It was in 2012, while still working parttime, that Nola Shoring first began to attend Canberra North branch meetings, where her husband, Geoff, was secretary. The couple would frequently spend time discussing the happenings at the branch, volunteer together to help with activities such as filling bags for the Seniors EXPO, or attend some of the holidays and outings. Then, in 2014 and 15, the then Canberra North branch president Judy McLeod indicated she was ready to step down from the top job. Combined with Nola’s retirement the timing couldn’t have been better.
She found the presidential role to be a boon as she was missing the structure and busyness her paid work life had provided. “Now there is always something to think about and plan and I know lots of people in the ACT senior community. I still have time to undertake hobbies and to socialise, but I also feel that I am doing a useful role for the ACT community,” she says.
Nola learned the ropes quickly, and was supported by attending committee meetings as a visitor in the six months leading up to the branch AGM, where she was elected. “The main role for the president is organisation and running the monthly meetings. I have had experience at running meetings, thanks to my teaching background,” Nola says, adding perhaps there is something to the adage about getting wiser with age. Nola says she enjoys contributing to the work of the branch president and working with other members on committee.
“[With COVID-19] we have continued to prepare an e-newsletter each month during the pandemic, but the content is a bit different as we have no events to attend. Instead I provide ideas for online exercise class, jokes, and short stories that could be of interest to our members,” Nola says.
Being involved with organising events and planning for the future means you have lots to talk about.Nola Shoring
When asked what she considers are major positives in joining branch committees at higher levels, Nola says getting to know people, building relationships, and using your talents to make a real contribution.
“We got to know more people by working with them through committees, on bus trips, going to events,” Nola says.
“As president, I find I now know many more members. They see me at meetings and come and chat with me. Being involved with organising events and planning for the future means you have lots to talk about. We have 80 to 90 people at our meetings.”
Become a member and join a branch. National Seniors has over 100 branches nationally. You can find your local branch at nationalseniors.com.au/branches or phone 1300 765 050 or 3233 9198.
Why not step up and help with making sure members voices are heard in government! We are always looking for people to join branch committees. There’s one in your area.
Members, here’s why you should join a committee:
- Express and discover your talents and skills
- Get to know more people
- Represent your local community
- Shape the direction of branch activities
- Guest speakers (when meetings start again)
- Bus trips and tours (when travel restrictions allow).
To join a committee, nominate your interest at your next AGM.