Do you remember the children’s story about the hen who asked the other farm animals to help her bake a cake? They all said they would love to help, but unfortunately were too busy, thus leaving the hen to bake the cake on her own. Of course, once the cake was ready everybody wanted a piece! Many ACCC members find the Annual Conferences most enjoyable and the pages of our journal The Priest thoroughly informative. But how many members assist (actually or financially) in their preparation? I appeal to all ACCC mem- bers and lay associates to do whatever possible to assist in these and other works of the ACCC.

Up till now, the bulk of the work in organizing conferences has fallen to the hosting State Councilor. In recent years, however, the amount of work involved in organising and hosting a quality conference has become too great for just one man. For this reason, the Executive has agreed to form a Conference Committee, which will have some continuity as well as some fresh faces from year to year. The committee will consist of the ACCC Deputy Chairman, the hosting State Councilor, and two other ACCC members (usually from the host state) co-opted for a twelve month period. The Committee for the 2009 Annual Conference is in the process of being formed. These committee members will then approach other members and lay associates to take on certain tasks to assist them in their preparations. Your cooperation in assisting if you should be asked would be greatly appreciated.

The increasing costs associated with organising and hosting quality conferences is a further challenge for us. The Executive would like to approach this challenge by seeking conference sponsorship. We have managed to attract some small-scale sponsorship for our last two conferences, but the long-term viability of our conferences rests upon our being able to attract more significant sponsorship. In this regard, I appeal to any members or associates who may have any ideas or some expertise in this area to contact me.

The long term future of the ACCC itself as an organisation able to play a significant role in the events and discussions that shape the future of the Church in Australia requires a steady source of income beyond membership dues. To this end, I appeal to members and associates to remember the ACCC in their wills. (See entry below the Treasurer’s Report at page 21 of this issue.) It is our hope that such provisions will allow us to create an investment fund to ensure future earnings. The Executive is currently looking into fitting ways to acknowledge such benefactors.

Many people do work tirelessly for the ACCC. I wish to thank Father P. A. McGavin for almost single-handedly producing The Priest, Father Gregory Jordan, SJ, for host- ing our Brisbane conference, Mrs Carmel Negline for her skillful Secretariat work, and all the retiring, continuing, and new members of the ACCC Executive.

May God reward you and bless you all.

Bishop Michael Kennedy is the tenth bishop of Armidale, in New South Wales. He was previously a priest of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga, and Chairman of the ACCC from 2005 to 2009.