Message from the CEO

Annual report cover

A young program participant had a startling experience on the top floor of 100 Story Building not long ago. Having been a member of our Monday afternoon program for more than six months, it was perhaps just a little unsettling for him to discover that there is a secret reading nook hidden behind one of our bookshelves, and that it had been there the entire time he had been visiting. Having just witnessed our Program Facilitator Simon Conlon casually push open the bookshelf to reveal the secret room, the young writer dropped the pencil from his mouth, stood up, and declared with a slightly shaking voice “This is how all good stories begin!”

This past year has been ginormous, and amongst the increase in both free and fee-based programming, we have learned that curiosity is just as important for an emerging social enterprise as it is for young writers. So we have been searching our networks and programs for their own hidden secrets and ideas, in an effort to develop a greater understanding of the needs in our community, and our place in addressing these. We have embarked upon a long-term process of community consultation, and our In the Community discussions with stakeholder representatives will be a key factor in making our new evaluation framework a useful and effective tool.

Business development and sustainability continue to drive our strategic thinking, and we are on track to achieving our goal of earning more from trading income than philanthropic support within the next three years.

I would like to thank the people who have contributed to our success this year: our Board who have led with vision and enthusiasm, and my colleagues Jess, Simon and Lisa, who accept their lot working in a building filled with monsters, llamas and evil toasters with dignity and good humour. And of course our community of volunteers, pro bono supporters, funders and investors, without whom we would likely only have one level, no trapdoor and very little time or resources to do what we do. Thank you.

Lachlann Carter

View our 2015 Annual Report online