Thursday, October 20, 2011

Update: French Club Annual Report 2011

French Club BBQ: (from left) Karena,
Jessica Salafia, Myles, Ksenya & Pauline
Myles Farley

Bonjour à tous!!! Quelle année! After beginning 2011 with trying conditions and a dwindling committee, I would have to say I’m greatly impressed at what we’ve all achieved this year.

Among our events we’ve had a BBQ, several crêpe stalls, gone to the French Film Festival as well as a Melbourne French Theatre production and established conversation classes as a regular weekly fixture on the calendar.

However we could not have done all this without our fantastic committee, with Mia as VP/Communications, Jess as Treasurer, Karena as Secretary and our general committee members: Jessica Deprost, Ksenya Masendcz, Rachel Kelson, Tavor Lahat, Sonia Dropsy.

In March, the French Club saw
Les Petits Mouchoirs at
the Alliance Française Film Festival
I might also add that if it wasn’t for Mia’s fantastic work in communications, no one would have heard about us! Our website she developed now contains a treasure trove of information and French cultural snippets, along with podcasts of figures such as Michael Bula of Melbourne French Theatre and French artist Emmanuel Bernardoux.

I would also like to greatly thank all of those in the French program at La Trobe for their unwavering support of our Club and its activities: Raphaël Trantoul, Pauline Balan (who will sadly be leaving us at the end of this year), James Cannon and Laure Bonaventure. Our Club would not have flourished but for your assistance, including the use of your offices to store Club material!

Furthermore, thank you to all the French Club members and all those who turned up to our events and bought a crêpe — it is to you we owe our existence and to whom we are ultimately accountable! While we’ve done a lot, we haven’t managed to accomplish all we set out to do. French Club tee-shirts are still in the pipeline as is our push to secure some sponsorship from business and groups both within and outside the university. Bring on 2012!!!

C’était un honeur et un plaisir d’avoir tenu ce poste cette année et je donne mes meilleures souhaites au comité de l’année prochaine!

2011 Treasurer Jessica Salafia
at our O-Week table
Jessica Salafia

It has been a pleasure and privilege being part of the French Club over the past two years. I have been fortunate enough to hold an executive position in the Club in 2010 and 2011 — in 2010 as Secretary and 2011 as Treasurer.

The greatest joy has come from learning, teaching and working as part of an enthusiastic team who work tirelessly to bring a collective vision of French language and Francophone culture to everyone. I have done my best to embrace all ideas, comments and queries with a view only to bettering the Club, by reaching out to anyone and everyone. The Club input surrounding the website and the newsletter has been my personal highlight. A huge thanks goes to Mia in this regard. The conversation classes and crêpe days too, have been well-organised and casual, hopefully making everyone feel relaxed and welcome.

Pauline Balan has been our much loved
honorary member since 2010,
she will be missed énormément!
Another idea that will continue to have my full support is the honorary member position, occupied in both 2010 and 2011 by Pauline. La Trobe has been lucky to have such a valuable, kind and motivating lectrice. With much success, also comes room for improvement. In my view, more regular meetings (both executive and member meetings) are necessary, in order to really get the ‘bigger-picture’ projects off the ground. These include the French Club Ball (with other university French Clubs), movie nights and outings, as well as developing greater connections with Francophone culture outside of France.

I leave the French Club with the project for a European Languages Club Office. Whilst we have received support from the other language Clubs, a solid proposal is yet to be finalised and submitted. My hope is that the next committee will embrace this idea with as much commitment and excitement as the 2011 Club did. The New Year and the new Club has the full support of the outgoing committee.

Our masterful crêpe maker and
2011 Secretary, Karena
Karena Lane

It has been an absolute joy and pleasure to be involved in the French Club committee this year as secretary. It has been a wonderful opportunity to work alongside fellow students who are committed to making the French Club the best it can be, and to make an input into this new club. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting other like-minded students getting some events happening on and off campus to provide a taste of French culture for French students and French enthusiasts alike.

This year has seen the creation of regular conversation evenings on campus, a chance for students to practice their French skills and socialise with others in a supportive and relaxed environment. The BBQ and Crêpe days were also very successful, giving the chance to advertise the club on campus and give the student body a taste of France. The purchasing of a banner to display at the events has been a nice touch.

Ksenya’s patisserie at our
International Clubs Day stall
A special thanks is to be extended to Mia, who has done a fantastic job at creating and maintaining the club website, creating and distributing the monthly newsletters, compiling email addresses on ‘Mail Chimp’ and starting up the online recipe page.

The club has also run some off campus events including outings to see French plays, movies and participating in the Breizoz Crêperie conversation night. I think it would be a good idea to continue to attend these nights, as it is a chance to meet French speakers and members of the French community outside of La Trobe.

It is unfortunate that we have not had the time to organise more events this year, so a suggestion to next years committee would be to get more regular meetings happening and to try and get events organised as early on in first semester as possible. Such events that we considered were a French picnic on campus and a French ball in liaison with French clubs from other universities.

International Clubs Day
in the Agora
The introduction of a compulsory membership fee by the student union has led to questions about the organisation of membership. We have had some ideas to tackle this such as membership discount cards and the possibility to attaining sponsorship from French businesses around Melbourne. This is something that we hope to be able to assist the new committee in tackling early on.

I want to say a big thank you to my fellow committee members, whose hard work and dedication have been of a real benefit to the club this year, I have loved working with you all! Thank you also to the ongoing support of the members of the French program at La Trobe, and to Pauline who has helped us immensely in our endeavours this year.

I sincerely hope to be an active member in the French Club again next year, and look forward to seeing the club grow and prosper during my time at La Trobe. I look forward to meeting and working with the new committee members and wish them the best of luck for next year.

Emmanuel Bernardoux, French artist
and interviewee in our podcast series

Salut tout le monde! Je m’appelle Mia et je suis la vice-présidente et communications officer actuelle. Cette année, nous avons lancé notre site web, où on peut trouver non seulement toutes les actualités du club mais aussi une abondance de postes qui parle de la culture française et des meilleurs sites éducatives sur la Toile. De plus, nous avons lancé notre propre podcast dont je suis incroyablement fière. Il y en a trois jusqu’ici. Vous pouvez les trouver dans ledit site.

Finalement, depuis septembre, nous envoyons un e-newsletter mensuel à nos chers adhérents auquel vous pouvez vous abonner sur notre site (cliquez sur « Join Us » pour ajouter votre courriel). Surtout, je voudrais remercier le club pour les événements très enrichissants (notamment les weekly conversation sessions qui étaient vraiment géniaux), le comité pour sa passion et son dévouement exceptionnel, et j’espère que le site et le podcast continueront dans le futur proche sous la direction de notre comité de 2012!

À bientôt et merci infiniment, Mia.

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