1 January 2016 to December 2016
The year commenced with our Museum stand featuring prominently at the Sydney Test Match but, like the game, was cut short due to the constant rain.
During January we hosted a festival with displaying significant Bradman private collectors James Merchant and Peter Schofield. This was our first venture into displaying items from private collections and it built a great deal of goodwill with others collectors who would like to work with us in the future.
Our good friend and Cricket Australia Team Liaison Officer, Pearce Gibbons, coordinated the Australian ODI team to visit the Museum on 21 January 2016. As a direct consequence, Captain Stephen Smith donated a complete set of his playing outfit which is now on display. And, as a thank you we also received CATV video footage of the Team’s visit which is shown daily in the Game Gallery and is a valued resource.
The Maasai Warriors Cricket team came to Bowral in February 2016. The visit and associated cricket match between this Kenyan cricket team and our own proved to be a rich cultural experience for all the community. This event was extremely well supported locally and proved an ideal opportunity for the Museum to increase its cultural profile.
A number of community events were hosted throughout the year. These included Order of Australia, Triple Zero Cricket Match (Emergency Services), and the Wedding Fair – a community tourism event. All were well attended and the ground surface was left in good shape.
The annual Carols by Candlelight will be again held on Bradman Oval in December 2016. It is usually very well attended by locals and visitors alike.
Cricket conferences and events which align directly with our Charter and strengthen the game included 35 Level 2 coaches and 15 Level 1 coaches. They attended courses hosted by Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia in April. Bradman was also selected for hosting Cricket Australia’s National Umpires Conference in May.
On June 2 the Cricket Australia Board came to the Southern Highlands and toured the Museum. In August a training and history session was conducted by our staff for the Cricket NSW Academy female squad teams.
We have signed an MOU with Steve Waugh Cricket (SWC) as our coaching partner. SWC will conduct our coaching programs including residential camps and is a very positive partnership given the alignment between both our organisations to provide the highest possible coaching underpinned by strong ethics and values. This change became necessary due to accommodation not being available at Chevalier College until their facility refurbishment is completed in 2018.
The Bradman Crest Membership Program is growing in numbers through the Crest on a Picket which is promoted heavily by our Cricket Officer Jock McIllhatton. We have continued to grow our involvement in local students with a disability, conducting weekly clinics for Bowral and Moss Vale High Schools.
Full-time Education Officer, Mark Preddey, has worked alongside the Cricket Officer and Museum Curator. Tailored school holiday programs have been delivered which include discovery trails and skill zones. Younger staff and volunteers have been trained and frequently oversee and manage these activities during the school holidays. As a consequence monthly volunteer meetings have been more engaging.
It should also be noted that we partnered with Cricket Australia to launch the Bradman by Numbers education unit. Our patron, board director and former prime minister, John Howard, joined staff form both originations to launch the program.
The 2016 Bradman Scholar, Tom Galvin, was announced at our second Scholars Luncheon on
29 April. Tom is from Bathurst and studying at Sydney University. He was selected from over
Alex Ross from South Australia was announced as the 2016 Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year by Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricket Association at the annual Allan Border Medal.
The Foundation honoured two greats of the game, Graeme Smith and Bill Lawry, at the annual Gala Dinner at the SCG in early November. We were delighted that Graeme Smith’s parents and Bill Lawry’s daughters could be present to celebrate these awards.
Improvements to Bradman Oval continued throughout 2016. A new 30 meter square one-piece wicket cover was purchased. It attaches to an inflatable roller, which was also acquired, for quick and efficient laying when inclement weather threatens. This was necessary due to the difficulty of manually covering our square with contracted labour.
In June we experienced storm damage which saw areas of the museum flooded. Following the settlement of our insurance claim we need to undertake the necessary repairs to the older part of the Museum building, especially the roof.
In June this year, Ms Robyn Holt resigned from the Board for family reasons. We thank her for her service and for the invaluable experience she brought to the operation of the Museum.
We will also see the retirement of Steve Crawley and Stuart Clark who are not renominating for a third term due to work commitments. We thank them for their dedicated contribution. The Board has been extremely fortunate to have two people so experienced in the field of sport, to provide first hand advice.
Gavin Solomon continues to show tireless energy with the organisation of the annual Gala Dinner. His drive, flair and insights ensured another highly successful event and, as always, we are extremely grateful to him.
It is our intention to improve both the financial and unique aspects of this increasingly popular event in 2017.
On a sad note, we mourn the passing of our former Chairman and Life member, Michael Ball AM. His legacy lives on. There are so many testaments to Michael’s vision and energy at Bradman, among them the players interview programme which he championed, and which is now a major asset in our Collection.
Finally, I want to thank our Chief Executive Rina Hore, our volunteers, management and staff who have been so totally committed to working “above and beyond” to ensure that the Museum functions efficiently and remains one of the world’s most respected and important centres of cricketing heritage.
Maurice L Newman AC