It has been a great and social year.

Thank you to all members for their ongoing support and involvement with the association.

A particular thank you to Glen Maymann, our treasurer for his continued commitment.

Thank you to Wilson Accountants for preparing and lodging our financials again in gratis.

Thank you to Councillor Helen Abrahams, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad MP, and our federal MP Terri Bulter.

This year the association’s membership has been steady. The association has focused and achieved an increased number of social networking events, and alternated between meeting venues to provide equitable access to both sides of the Gabba.

We have found a new base for future meetings being the Morrison Hotel. Social networking evenings have definitely been well received with the quantum being two thirds of the dates.

The year in review has been somewhat quieter than the year previously however our venues have been spectacular with two rooftop events, at the Quest Apartments and the Sebel at South Brisbane.

Yellow Jersey hosted an evening with a dual gold medallist inspiring the gathering and giving all an insight to the pursuit of excellence and life after the Olympics.

Our social networking evenings throughout the year have been made possible by our members hosting these events. So, thank you.

The Christmas Party in November celebrated an end of an era for The Chalk Hotel, who formerly closed their doors a few days later on December the 10th. The theme “Make a Spectacle” was embraced enthusiastically by members and the photo booth provided great creativity to the theme.

It is sad to see the demise of the Chalk Hotel. The Association acknowledges and is very gratefully for the many years of supports that Steve Hammond provided us by providing a venue for meeting and celebrating. His initiative of exploring the idea of Gabba Fest is now realised by others, as the End of the Line Festival. His contribution to the community and our association is acknowledged.

To begin 2016, we invited Gabba Legend, Gail Austen from Goodtime to speak at our February meeting about doing Business in the Gabba. Her business has been around for 45 years and it was wonderful to hear the history of the area. Gail exudes passion and emphasised that beyond passion, if businesses are to succeed they need to change and grow in response to market demands, be innovative and fearless. Never take a No and never be afraid to make a tough call. At this meeting we also farewelled our local councillor, Helen Abrahams. Helen was in this position for 12 years and her dedication and enthusiasm has seen the ward transform. Helen’s presence at our meetings over the years, providing us with updates, support and local knowledge has been greatly appreciated and a testimony to her dedication to her civic role. Both these women contributed such change toBrisbane and the conversation between the two, reminiscing the Jim Soorley era, and their personal contributions was remarkable.

March’s meeting continued the focus on business with a networking workshop on “How to add value to your Business.” Our three speakers delivered a dynamic, engaging and educational insight.

Thank you to Adrian Coyne of Sell your Business ASAP, David Angel from Mint Social and Stuart Murray from Red Bean Productions.

As president I have been actively engaged behind the scenes and facilitate the social calendar for the year. I have high expectations on delivering value to our members through networking events, and this year already has some great things lined up.

Through October and November last year, I was actively engaged as part of the consultant team to assist with developing a Masterplan for the GABBA Stadium. As the community liaison representative it was critical to integrate the demands of our constituents and their concerns: business opportunities, education facilities, green space, recreational areas and historical trails. This is a wonderful opportunity to realise some of the ideas explored by the masterplans developed with the University students in the previous year.

Our support and sponsorship of $1000 to the Canon Garland Memorial Society will be formally recognised in the realisation of the memorial on April 22. This project for us was an addition to landmarks within the area and also adding to a heritage trial. The association has been linked and promoted through social media with the Canon Garland Society. The society itself has received worldwide recognition given 2015 was the 100 year anniversary of Anzac DAY .

The idea of the Picnic at the Gabba from 2015 to fundraise for the Homeless has been recrafted into a solution that provides a real and tangible outcome. 2016 has kicked off with conversations between all tiers of government and community groups to develop a brief for a crisis and refuge centre for the victims of domestic violence. We are focusing on the re appropriation of the soon to be former Ronald Macdonald House and another site. We are looking forward to working with Rotary to raise funds to equal state and federal funding initiatives that will be sourced later this year. This project is gathering momentum and I am very proud to be a part of it representing our Association.

I have also approached the operators of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre who are keen to deliver a world class and unique entertainment & convention solution within the bounds of the Brisbane CBD. I have offered an invitation to discuss a partnership in delivering such as solution on the Go Print site. Keyed in with the recently announced commitment to the Gabba Train Station it appears that the area will transform significantly in response to the vast number of residential towers that are emerging from the ground. The traffic situation will be resolved and the greater masterplan for the area will be realised with these co current major infrastructure projects. It’s exciting times.

Thank you again for your continued support of the Association and it’s endeavours. I am looking forward to a prosperous and fulfilling 2016- 2017.

Ms Suzanne Bosanquet. President