SDPPA President Michael O’Sullivan, resigned recently due to work and family commitments, after serving the community for the past 4 years.
The SDPPA was founded in 1970 by a small group of dedicated and determined locals with the goal of serving, preserving and protecting the interests of the community. Many great initiatives have been borne and many fights fought in the past 52 years, all supported by this volunteer led Association’s Management Committee and its members. Michael is proud of the role he has played in continuing the founding member’s legacy.
“The Association has been a large part of the Samford community for the last 50+ years. There certainly have been some great memories and achievements during my time as President, much of which was achieved by simply meeting with people who had ideas on projects that we could help with as an association, or a fight that needed to be fought on behalf of the community,” he said.
These include meeting with the RDA to understand their needs which resulted in the purchase of a horse, assisting the Samford RFS in procuring some much needed equipment, providing funding to help with the new War Animals Memorial at the Avenue of Honour and continuing the annual funding of the Samford Eco-Corridor after the grant money from the government had finally run out.
The SDPPA produces this newspaper each fortnight and it is through the profits of advertising revenue since the paper began in 1977 that the Association is able to continue providing financial support to local, volunteer community groups to assist with their work. The annual Christmas on Main Street community event is also funded this way. In the last 4 years, this has amounted to approximately $250,000.
The biggest issue Michael has noticed is the downturn in volunteers, an issue echoed by many local community groups.
“Some of this is naturally through lack of time to give due to our personal lives, but some of it is just that members of the community aren’t aware of what to do, where to go, how to help or just who to turn to for help to get their own idea off the ground,” he said.
The SDPPA has a strong history of helping kick off projects before they become independent. The Samford Museum is a perfect example of this from a historical perspective, but in more recent times clever initiatives like the Samford Edible Garden Trail, management of the Samford Community Hub and the soon to be launched Samford Live are great examples of how the Association can work in the community.
Michael is quick to acknowledge the dedication of members through their advocacy and ongoing fight for appropriate NBN, and a fair go for flight paths over the valley, to name a few.
“I would also like to thank David Bannerman for the history lesson on why things were done the way they were done and Bob Millar for advice and knowledge of the development of the community over many years.”“A huge thank you also to the people I have worked with on the Management Committee as well as the SDPPA sub-committees, for the countless volunteer hours they have dedicated to the community. So much great work goes on quietly behind the scenes which makes this a special place to live. There is still a lot to do and I will continue to provide assistance, advice and guidance where I can.”
The SDPPA thanks Michael for his leadership and dedication to the role. Taking up the reins as President this year is Leah Hudson, ably assisted by Don Cousins as Vice-President. Treasurer and Secretary will be announced next edition.