PETER STEPHENSON

Last month I talked about the challenges facing GLBTI organisations due to the change in social behaviour of younger more technologically aware GLBTI community members.

With this in mind, it’s been interesting watching the comments about ALSO on Facebook. In times past, to understand the issues facing ALSO you would have had to attend the meeting.

These days, you can find out what is happening from your computer. No personal interaction required!

Following a special meeting, it appears as though there is a question of the ongoing viability of the ALSO Foundation.

It has become apparent that poor business decisions have finally caught up with ALSO.

Over the past 30 years it has been a significant focus and voice in Melbourne’s GLBTI community. It has contributed significantly, bringing awareness to a range of GLBTI issues, from young people through to the more mature members of our community.

ALSO is a complex organisation that helps and supports many GLBTI initiatives.

If ALSO is not able to continue, this raises questions about how the ‘gap’ is going to be filled.

There are many projects undertaken by ALSO so the community needs to put any divisions aside and come together to ensure that the ALSO initiatives are not lost.

All GLBTI community organisations need to heed the lessons from the ALSO situation and not be complacent. GLOBE, along with all GLBTI groups, is comprised of volunteers and it is always challenging to get highly skilled people on organising committees.

I think a number of committees will consider the implications for their committee members after watching the ALSO saga.

Volunteer committee members have a duty of care and subsequent responsibility that is often not emphasised or even brought to the attention of these volunteers.

We run our respective organisations under a charter, for our members, and often we can overlook that it is not ‘our money’ we are spending but our members’. They joined so they could get a benefit from being members — in GLOBE’s case through social and business networking.

The only constant in the world is continual change. Organisations need to recognise this change in order to survive.

GLOBE, ALSO and JOY are there to help and support you, support them back, so they can stick around well into the future.

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