President's Message

A message from our president Cass McCormack, as read at the 2023 AGM.

12 months ago I took on the job of president, and I’m not sure where the year has gone. Time flys when your having fun.
One of the main reasons I did take on the job was that I didn’t want to see all the hard work that all the Cattlemen before me be forgotten. Those before me have protected our history and heritage and maintianed the High Country environment for so many years.
I wanted to make sure the Assositation was still here to continue the fight for effective land management. That meant changing how we do things, embracing new ideas and implementing up to date management strategies.
It was obvious to me that whilst the MCAV board had a lot of knowledge and experience it was needing a representation from the younger generation.
We have been able to find ways to improve our communication and make it eaiser for us to combine the knowledge and experience of our older generation with the tech skills and enthusiasm of the younger generation. Also making sure that we utilize each members skills to benefit the area they are involved with.
Sometimes this year my calm patience, that I inherited from both my parents, is tested and I think ‘what am I doing this for?’, but then I am reminded of all the things we have achieved in such a short time. I feel like I have had a small part in moving the MCAV into the next generation.

A trait I know can be off putting is that I am stubborn and will make sure that my voice and opinions are heard. I have tried to be a strong and confident voice even in the face of those reluctant to change.
For some this can be confronting, but overall I have definetly felt the support and encouragement of the board members who seem ready to embrace change.
Change can be confronting and time consuming and takes energy away from achieving actual results. To this day I continue to stay true to myself, and to the ideas and goals I have for the organisation as a whole.
Together with the help of the board and members, this year we focused our time on connecting with the next generation. We developed the VCE resource which is still in draft form but getting very close to being ready for the next school year. We have commissioned wedid to create a video resource and we are starting to set up our Junior Cattlemen’s group.
Having said that, we remain equally as passionate about the past and know that we would not be here without the years of dedication and hard work from so many.
We are excited to have engaged Libbe Pattern who will be travelling around interviewing local historians and cattlemen, capturing all the old stories and information for us to be able to use for our future records.
I have had a big year with many interviews about about the bush fires, press releases, have helped Rhyll out at our Merchandise stalls and I was invited to be an MC for A Rural Womens Day event ( I was very nervous as I haven’t don’t anything like that before) but it was great to give the MCAV exposure.
I am still learning everyday but am happy with the year that I have had.

A huge thankyou to Tania Coleman for taking on the job of Get together co-ordinator and getting a great team together to run our major event. At the event we acknowledged the huge hit to the region and the closure of the native timber industry. I know Gippsland has relied on timber since it was settled and part of our heritage tent featured some great imagery of the pioneers of the industry.
I felt very proud to be the President over the G2G weekend when so many people congratulated me on the MCAV running such a great event. I had an older cattlemen say to me how he loved sitting back and watching all the younger generation running around having a ball.
I also had many people say that I am doing a great job as president and that I need to keep doing what I am doing so that was a nice feeling and made my think I must be doing something right.
I think the MCAV is heading in the right direction and we will continue to do what we have done for years.

Cass McCormack
MCAV President 2024