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Letter from the President

I hope that you had a relaxing Christmas/New Year break, even though that seems like such a long time ago. It was certainly a well-deserved end to a very eventful year and I hope that you had a chance to rest and recharge as we moved into 2021.

Here at IBCPC, we have been busy planning for the year ahead to launch into our goals for 2021 to ensure they are aligned with our mission, vision and strategic plan, that our work contributes to a well-governed, transparent and thriving organisation with strong support for our members.

We have been working on improving our website as new updates are handed to us, along with the templates that we work from for aligning with our strategic goals as part of the plan and resources. We are improving our IT and communication systems and refining our risk-based approach to how we govern this organisation.

Staying with that theme, in this newsletter we talk about planning across various aspects of the organisation. Planning shouldn’t only be something you do at the start of each year; however, it is a good time to take a step back to reflect on what has been done through the past year and what we would like to achieve in the year ahead. Further in this newsletter you will note changes to our national representatives’ program, the addition of regional coordinators, changes to the Privacy Act, the use of checks and updates to the Trusts Act which governs the IBCPC.

We know that it’s not always going to be easy to stick to the plan that we set out in 2020, if nothing else this last year has taught us that however good the planning is, we need to take these kinds of factors into account and allow ourselves to prepare for unpredictable moments with a backup plan. This thinking this has been further borne out by the postponement of the IBCPC festival from 2022 to 2023. There was always a backup plan in place, there was always an ability to postpone, and the 2022 Festival organizing committee has now done that in conjunction with the IBCPC Future Festival Committee (FFC), the accommodation and travel partners. You can find the latest bulletin “Festival bulletin 2023 #1” on the festival website at

It has been really exciting to see how teams have stayed connected through Zoom and exercise programs. It’s also extremely heartening to see new countries joining us, the latest being Cyprus, and new teams being formed in not only new countries but also countries such as Canada which have been long-standing members of IBCPC.

All of this bodes extremely well for the future, so as we say, “Paddles Up, are you ready?!” and hold on tight as it’s going to be an exciting ride.

Arohanui (much love) to you all.

Meri Gibson