Message From the CEO Jan 2021

Dear Members,

What is there to say about the 2020 year other than it is thankfully over…

Terrible and devastating bushfires around NSW and Australia which cost lives, homes, land and wildlife. It will take years to recover. One would have thought this is enough for any country to go through then along came COVID-19, an international pandemic that has shocked the world.

This was and is not something we could just say “She’ll be right mate” this was something the modern world had never gone through and for which it was certainly not prepared.

It was met with all different types of reactions such as shock, disbelief, ignorance, even arrogance at times. But the majority of people accepted how dangerous COVID was, and still is without a proven vaccine, people started pulling together, understanding that hard and difficult decisions had to be made and upheld so we can all come through this together. Yes, unfortunately lives were lost and business interruptions adversely affected also financially, such as our Club, but it could have been much worse.

The RACA Management had to make decisions to make sure it also survived for its post COVID-19 rejuvenation without too much inconvenience to members and staff. I am pleased to say that the RACA Management Team pulled together and thought carefully about how we could Survive and Thrive through the pandemic.

I am very proud to say that the RACA TEAM worked closer together than ever before to make sure we only had to close for a minimum amount of time while still able to help members with what essentials they may have needed such as food and beverages for take away and care packages with disinfectant wipes, hand sanitiser, toilet paper and tissues.

Members were very happy we were able to help with these things as it was absolute mayhem in supermarkets at the time.

We re-opened on the 1st of July 2020 to show members the RACA was here for them with all services as usual, just under certain restrictions via the NSW Government. Members were happy to be back in the club and showed understanding for the circumstances we and everybody were in.

I thank all members for their patience and support throughout this difficult period and hope all members understand that all decisions were made to make sure members and staff were safe within the RACA walls.

I hope you will join me in saying a big THANK YOU to all staff members for the fantastic job they did throughout 2020. Also I would like to thank all members on behalf of the RACA Team for their generosity in offering gratuities.

Thanks also to the President, Mr Michael Callanan, for all his support throughout 2020.

We were able to undertake certain works throughout the club such as room renovations, painting throughout the Club, new A/C will be installed in January, and a lot of back of house works.

As you may know the building is now 92 years old, you can imagine internal and external works are always ongoing.

In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, our business did survive lockdown for a while, asking members to renew their membership and Minimum Spend and finding ways for members to utilize their MSP and house accounts.

There is no perfect solution in such demanding times and we all have learned much from the experience.

Our assets and capabilities have been adversely impacted (no different to other Clubs and businesses), and new opportunities will emerge to challenge us all. The challenge for us is to use our assets and capabilities, financial and otherwise, in novel ways to create value for existing and new members and clients. This is fundamentally important to management.

Recessions don’t just create problems, they create opportunities. A positive mental attitude is critical for our success. Our reaction to the events that occur is what produces the results. The event is merely the trigger. Creating a recession proof business must start with a positive frame of mind.

Firstly, we have to accept the truth that we don’t have a recession proof business. We are currently unable to grow or maintain our core sales, which had slipped during last financial year, then the pandemic, which could mean utilising the overdraft which to date we have, through careful financial management, avoided.

We could then possibly bounce back reasonably. We may not be an entirely recession/pandemic proof business, but we may be at least a recession/pandemic resilient one. We have minimised our costs while in lock down and maintained cost effective thinking at all times.

We took and are taking advantage of any government funding and looking after our staff. We have contacted all contractors and suppliers to be patient until we can pay them but have also asked for reductions in future weekly, monthly and quarterly payments.

We now try to keep business as usual as far as we can manage to keep the RACA viable.

Now it is about holding the line when others are failing. We look for opportunities to grow sales where we can. We remain positive.

What we ask of all our members is just that you visit the club as often as possible and assist your Club to immediately resume normal trading patterns.

I am happy to say goodbye to 2020 and on behalf of the RACA Team wish all members a Happy New Year for 2021 and I hope it delivers safety, health, prosperity and a sense of excitement for things to come.

Yours Sincerely,
Markus Friedler
CEO/Secretary Manager

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