PFA review + reflections


The PFA has been vibrant and active in 2018. Our underpinning goal is to engage the community to create Fun, Friendship and Fundraising for our school. Our motto, ‘many hands make light work’ rang true this year, whereby many have shared the load to help make our activities enjoyable for those organising them.

Our aim this year was to ‘do what we do well’ and to not over commit our volunteers. We have successfully managed a number of events for the enjoyment of students and families and are on track to achieve a similar fundraising profit.

In 2017 we managed 30 events which stretched our volunteer team. In 2018 we reduced our number of events to focus on one large event per term with additional events added to the calendar where volunteers stepped forward to run them. We scheduled 16 events. As a result, the PFA team is fresh, buoyant and ready for 2019 with energy to spare for The Great Fete in March.

Successful fundraising and socialising doesn’t happen by accident. It takes time and effort in planning, preparation and delivery – and more often than not, requires hours and a dedicated team (both in-front of and behind the scenes) to bring each event to life.

With much thanks to Event Coordinators, Class Representatives and parent helpers who have kindly volunteered their time, PFA has been able to deliver a calendar of events and activities in 2018 that our school’s families, students and staff can be proud of, and have all been able to participate in and enjoy.

I have found it personally rewarding leading PFA over the past two years. Being involved in PFA has open many friendships and provided plenty of magic moments with students, parents and teachers alike. PFA is a team effort and as a group we’ve felt a huge sense of satisfaction that we have been able to make a difference. Together We Achieve More is true! To say I am grateful for parents stepping in an up to assist in PFA activities is an understatement.

Some Highlights:

1.    State Government Funding Grant - 2019 will see the 95th anniversary of our school on 23rd May. PFA is delighted to have been able to put forward a case to our local member, Vicki Ward MP for an upgrade to our school toilets, in particular to replace the grade 3 portables which are now 13 years old. $450,000 has been committed to ENPS for upgrade and the school will work towards a master plan to future project development to ensure that school buildings meet and address our needs going forward.

2.    Events – Our Family Festival & Movie Night in Term 1 showcased student talent in a Talent Show and provided our Wildlife Conservation Club members another leadership experience. Despite the rain, the show went on. A lesson in resilience for us yet again with a touch of 2017 déjà vu! The Walkathon, School Disco, Footy Day were fun for the kids. Ladies Night was fun for mums. Fingers are crossed for sunshine for the Fun Run which was postponed to last week. Great weather and fun on the oval.

3.    Class Representatives – this is an important role to help knit our community, particularly to help adults in our community feel connected. The loss of the Eltham North Adventure Playground to arson just before Christmas last year was felt deeply by our community and unfortunately meant that many of the social gatherings that would normally occur there didn’t happen. We value the many and varied efforts Class Reps have undertaken in their role.

4.    Fundraising – PFA is conscious of placing additional financial pressures on families. We have worked hard to secure sponsorship and donations to reduce costs. Last year together we raised $36,890 profit. This year we are sitting at $23,220 and expect to bank another $11,700 by the end of the year. This result is something we can all be proud of. These funds have been used to help fund the Atrium Pergola and playground improvements like the Cubbies and the Gaga Pit. The final Fundraising Report will be submitted to School Council in December.

Some Challenges:

1.    Funding - We also acknowledge that the funding model from the government does not meet the costs of the high standards ENPS delivers and what we as a parent body have come to expect of our school. We are grateful to those on School Council who look to navigate our school towards a positive future and establish good governance.

2.    Communication – Through Compass and Class Rep emails/text messages, we have tried to keep parents informed of our activities and requests for support. The Class List compilation process changed this year delaying the distribution of lists. Two classes have been without a Class Rep this year and for some, Class Rep communication has been inconsistent. The new school newsletter approach has been adopted to cut down email clutter but PFA has found that parents feel disconnected from what’s going on and we have found it tricky at times to get new parents involved. We will work with the office to find a happy medium. We will publish a schedule of meetings for 2019 before Christmas and stick to the 3rd Tuesday of the month as our meeting day, with two night meetings.

Recognition & Thank you

1.    PFA Structure – Our Leadership Team structure has been informal this year and we propose returning to dedicated roles for a small committee plus event coordinators and class representatives. Many thanks to Carol Tibbetts for your efforts as Treasurer this year. Thanks also to Sally Harris for managing the ENPS Facebook page and to Tiffany Kent, Melissa de Jonge and Luke Harris for creating our posters.

2.    Marvellous Managers - Thank you Sally Harris for coordinating the Family Festival, Olga Craigie – Icy Pole Days, Gill di Pasquale & Shelley Borg – Ladies Fashion Night, Janelle Poliness, Janine Hartney & Mark Borg – Disco, Patty Thompson & Holly Morgan – Footy Day, Jade Mannix – Bake Sales & Robyn Page – BBQ’s, Nadia Bovalino & Jess Harris – Walkathon, Simone Cusack – Mother’s Day & Father’s Day Stalls, Jess Harris, Nicole Ford & Louse Crook – Christmas Hamper Raffle, Wendy Kilcullen – Bulb Drive and to Patty Thompson for coordinating our Family Camp at Healesville. Last but not least, a big shout out to Jackie Minty & Simone Cusack for enthusiastically coordinating the upcoming Fete in early 2019 & to the team assisting them. A very special thank you to Paul James and Angela Harris for running the ENPS Wildlife Conservation Group. Paul, your contribution has been enormous in time and in benefit for our kids. We wish you all the best in your new project and will miss your involvement at school.

3.    Community Sponsors – How lucky are we to have the generous support of so many local businesses? Cleaver and Co, Eltham Leisure Centre, Papa Bear, Gigliola, Woolworths St Helena, Eltham Physiotherapy Centre, Buckingham and Company, Eltham Leisure Centre, SportFirst Eltham and more. We are grateful for your involvement and your financial assistance.

4.    Terrific Teachers & Office Staff – Our amazing faculty of teachers make it easy to want to help them, They are passionate and excellent at caring for our children. Thank you for cheerfully supporting PFA events and for being actively involved. Thank you to Lina, Donna and Karen in the office for all you do to assist PFA administratively and thank you to Darren for always being on hand to ‘helping hand’ when needed. David Foley, Stephen Hayes, Tandy Johnson and Donna McGregor thank you for your open door, encouragement and positive approach towards parent involvement in our school.

Here is a photo of all the raffle prizes that PFA prepared for the concert. Great job !