VALA Annual Report 2014/2015

Read about VALA’s 2014/2015 financial year activities in the annual President’s report, Treasurer’s report and AGM powerpoint presentation.

President’s Report | Treasurer’s Report | AGM presentation

VALA President’s Report 2014/15

(Click HERE for a pdf copy of the President’s Report.)

The 2014/15 financial year has been one of innovation, consolidation and development for VALA. A non-conference year allows other priorities to be addressed, and both the VALA Committee and the Secretariat embraced the opportunity to implement some improvements that have been on the agenda for some time.

VALA Online

The most significant initiatives completed and commenced in the past year relate to the VALA online environment, and include:-

  • Web Host – new website host secured and website moved in January 2015
  • Website upgrade – shift to the new host enabled a full upgrade and rebuild of the Joomla site to current version, with future upgrades occurring automatically
  • New Database – VALA invested in Wild Apricot membership management software in February 2015; all previous membership, delegate and contact lists were amalgamated into a single source, with full history, emarketing and financial integration capacity. Final integration of the database into the VALA website will occur by 1 July, enabling (for the first time) online registration and payment for membership and events.

Consistent with building a new online presence and establishing our own database, VALA is also focused on improving communication to our growing network and reducing reliance on others. Significant efforts to develop and maintain a monthly enews (VALAdates) and social media (particularly Twitter and Facebook) have seen increases in event attendance and online engagement.

VALA Events

VALA Events were delivered both in the traditional face to face style and – for the first time – via webinar. Partnership with ALIA Vic delivered an audience of 100+ at a new and exciting venue (Library at The Dock) in November.

  • 27 May – VALA Soundbites
  • 25 June – Is there an Imposter in the Library?
  • 26 August – Learning to Connect – Connecting to Learn (Webinar)
  • 26 November – Lightning Talks

VALA Awards

The 2014 VALA Travel Scholarship drew a strong field of applicants and was awarded to Ingrid Mason in January 2015.

VALA Membership

A new membership structure was developed, consultation undertaken with key members, and the structure and pricing approved by Committee for implementation from 1 April 2015.


No VALA year would be complete without acknowledging the enormous effort involved in planning and delivering the next VALA conference.

The VALA2016 Program Committee was established in July and met 4 times between August and November to scope the VALA2016 Conference. Committee members David Feighan and Ebe Kartus accepted the shared responsibilities of the Program Chair. Contracts were negotiated and signed with WaldronSmith Management (conference managers), the MCEC (conference venue) and AON (conference insurance). Keynote speakers were identified and secured; budget approved; Sponsorship and Exhibition opportunities opened.

VALA chose to respond to the long-time issue of shared registrations at conference. A new set of registration options was developed consistent with the new membership structure and will be available for the first time when VALA2016 registrations open on 1 September 2015.

VALA Committee

The 2014/15 Committee has been:

Kim TairiSwinburne University of TechnologyPresident
Hugh RundleCity of Boroondara/Brimbank City CouncilVice-President
Julie GardnerParliament of Victoria/Victoria UniversityTreasurer
Jeremy TaylorSt Vincent’s HospitalSecretary
David FeighanMentone Girls GrammarCommittee Co-Chair VALA2016
Ebe KartusRMIT/ACUCommittee Co-Chair VALA2016
Tom EdwardsWyndham City CouncilCommittee
Lynette LewisZenith Information Management ServicesCommittee
Bart RutherfordWesley College LibraryCommittee
Lian ToddSage PublicationsCommittee

Over the past 12 months the VALA Committee and Secretariat have put their shoulders to the wheel to upgrade our systems and processes and build a robust and contemporary online environment. There is always more to do, but we’ve made outstanding progress this year and I thank my hard-working colleagues on the VALA Committee, together with Lesley Ryall and her team at The Good Work Group, for their persistence, good humour and commitment to making VALA the best it can be.

Kim Tairi

1 July 2015


VALA Treasurer’s Report 2014/15

(Click HERE for a pdf copy of the Treasurer’s Report.)

I am pleased to present the Treasurer’s Report for the Financial Year ended 31 March 2015. I would like to focus on some critical indicators that give me confidence that VALA is in a sound financial position.

Financial Performance

As is normal in a non-conference year, the Balance Sheet for this financial year has recorded a deficit (of -$75,002). VALA has maintained a focus this year on containing expenditure in the non-conference year, and the resulting deficit recorded in the current period is significantly less than in recent, comparable reporting periods, as shown below:-

Overall Statement of Profit/Loss

 2015 = -$75,002
2013 = -$142,065
2011 = -$127,224

VALA’s current net assets, at $409,183 have decreased by just over 15% from last year’s closing position of $484,185. This reflects a decrease of approximately 10% on the balance at March 2013 (a comparable reporting period).

 2015 = $409,183
2014 = $484,185
2013 = $449,748

Our next key task is to grow the profitability of the VALA conference; the committee has taken some tough decisions in planning for VALA2016 to retain quality content and experience for delegates, sponsors and exhibitors at affordable rates, whilst reducing costs and risk. The VALA2016 budget shows a modest but viable return.


The most significant membership activity to report is the review of the membership structure which we undertook between September 2014 and February 2015, resulting in the adoption of a new structure at the Special General Meeting in April this year.

The new structure offers greater flexibility for institutions, better value for money for non-Victorian personal members, and greater access for library students to VALA activities and opportunities. It also paves the way for changes to conference registration which will be available from 1 September 2015.

Membership income reflects the slightly lower membership numbers which are typical in a non-conference year.

$ value of membership in FY2014/15 = $29,975
$ value of memberhsip in FY2013/14 = $33,090
$ value of membership in FY2012/13 = $27,935


At 31 March 2015 VALA had retained cash holdings ($218,000) pending bank requirements for security over merchant facilities for VALA2016. We will look to reinvest this once final arrangements for conference merchant facilities are known in August 2015.

Managed by Morrow’s, VALA’s investment portfolio has performed well throughout the year, with modest but positive returns to both our income and assets base.


Audit for the year ended 31 March 2015 was uneventful and efficient. My thanks to Fiona and Lesley (VALA Secretariat) for their accounting and record keeping, which again received high praise from the Auditors.

Priorities for 2015-16:-

  • Manage VALA2016 to return on or better than budget
  • Seek opportunities to diversify income streams and reduce reliance on conference
  • Preparing a financial procedures manual


  • Audit for the year ended 31 March 2015 was successfully completed by The Banks Group.
  • Regular financial advice regarding VALA investments has been provided by Morrows, and a substantial amount of equity has been held as cash.
  • VALA has recorded significant members’ equity of $409,183 at 31 March, 2015 and remains in a sound financial position.

Julie Gardner
1 July 2015