Roma Show

Presidents Report 2023

Welcome to the AGM of the Roma Show Society 2023. I would like to thank Joe Regan for once again taking on the role of chairman, your support is appreciated. I welcome the hardworking volunteers who have supported the society in 2023 and in many cases, years previous, without you this society would not exist. To any new members… welcome. It is pleasing to see that the Roma Show continues to attract support and new identities. I look forward to working with you throughout 2024.

It seems such a long time since the last AGM, 2023 has been a difficult year for me personally, and I cannot express fully my gratitude for the support of my committee and members especially over the Roma Show week when I truly was not well. However, while my energies may have been depleted somewhat, my enthusiasm for the Roma Show Society has not and my eyes have been opened to a few changes and improvements that I feel require attention.

The running of a family friendly New Year event for the Roma community, while noble in thought, proved to be very expensive. Several well-meaning decisions made, proved to be incorrect. We have come to the realization that over the Christmas period, a very large number of residents move to the coast and the coast does not have any desire to move back here. To those members who supported and worked hard to make it a success, thank you. It was decided that we do what we do best, run a successful agricultural show.

The 2023 Roma Show was a success. While there were a number of aspects that were undesirable the show went over well. A big thank you to Barry Waldron at the Club Hotel for coming in at the last moment and filling in a large gap following the withdrawal of a major sponsor. The Club honoured the sponsorship deal, made good on meal deals for competitors, supported the bar and provided accommodation for judges at a reduced rate. We are more than happy to welcome them in 2024. Paid entertainment continues to be a problem for all show societies. Roma relied heavily on local entertainers and displays that were seen as free. I would like to work on more main ring entertainment to draw the crowd to centre ring. It doesn’t need to be expensive, just entertaining.

Changes made to gates this year were well accepted and were easier to run, but like many shows we have issues with obtaining volunteers to man/woman the gates. Many thanks to Annette Huntley who took on the role of training workers. This is a very important role as accountability of money and the smooth running of routines is vital. I have become very aware of the need to make sure that we are not wrapped up in paperwork but that every hard-earned dollar is accounted for. The procedures are vital to the running of the show and to the protection of anyone who handles money. For this reason, I would like to see a working party developing our own Procedures and Guidelines.

I made sure that I talked to a number of stall holders and competitors over the show. From these discussions I have taken it upon myself to combine the sections of Ground Space and Machinery Alley into one. With the help of Stephanie and Scott McDonell, a permanent map of spaces available has been drawn up and changes have been made to the Application Form. Not only will this map allow itinerants to choose spaces and move in when it suits them, thereby making the job for the Ground Space committee less stressful, it will also provide the Maranoa Regional Council with a blueprint for electrical needs and allow us to work better with Easter in the Country and prepare for major changes in 2025.

Roma Show 2023 was a year of relocation with the Horticultural and Farm and Garden moving to the Wool Pavilion. This allowed the school section to spread its branches a little to under the grandstand and Art and Photography to also branch out. Although some were skeptical it worked, and the public was happy. It will be nice to see some paint in these areas for next year. Each section in the pavilion were well supported and I thank each and every volunteer for their contribution to the show. The photography section had some amazing entries. We have extraordinary talent in the Maranoa and thanks to the wonderful stewards in Art, Handicraft, Home brewing and Cookery, those people have a chance to shine. Taste testing in the cookery section has now become part of the Presidents role!

Dogs seem to be the word of the year. The Show Dogs was again a visual and financial success and will be back in 2024, taking the space of the cattle who will be absent due to Beef Week. Many thanks to Carmel Stringfellow, Roma is fast becoming the place to go if you have a registered show dog to show. Working dogs continue to flourish and with the upgraded facilities provided by the Maranoa Council, these facilities make the running of the event so much easier. Thank you, Rohan and team.

Our main ring was jumping this year. Many thanks to Darcy and team for the well run Qld Country Showjumping Championships. Lovely to see our sponsors being so well looked after. Already plans are in the pipeline for next year. To Sharon and her wonderful team, each year the ring gets better. A visit to the stables was like a walk back in time, parties and happy people. The atmosphere was so positive. Well done. The new  stables should make some people even happier in 2024.

The rent of the grounds for 2 weeks was a trial in 2023 and although it threw up some issues, which can be addressed, overall, it was well accepted. Our issue is at the conclusion of the show and the tidy up. We need to put thought into the cleaning and packing away. The Maranoa Council has come more and more to our rescue but there are still discussions to be had with this problem.

Time and volunteering that time has become difficult. I value any time provided to the running of the show. I would like to see sections run by a group or committee of people not one chief steward. Delegation of duties means that one person is required to spend less personal time completing requirements. Several like minded people on a section would make for a far more successful section, than one where one person does everything. I would also remind those people who take on roles to get started on obtaining sponsorship NOW. We are in a very competitive world when it comes to sponsorship. It was pleasing to note that the majority of our sections ran at a profit or very close too. Getting in early is important. However, remember we are facing tough times and sometimes the money is not there. My final request is to communicate. Many things that seem insurmountable can often be solved quickly and quietly. When in doubt, make that phone call or call into the office and have a cuppa.

As this year draws to a close and we look towards 2024, I thank all those members and executive members who make the Roma Show possible and look forward to working with everyone in the future to make our show the best yet.

Alanah Ladbrook
Roma Show Society Inc.

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