2020 Annual Report
Following the enormously successful Euroa Show and Shine event in October 2019, the committee had taken a well-earned break over January and reconvened for their first meeting in February 2020.
At that meeting, the 2019 Annual Report was distributed to members, with additional copies having been printed to enable the document to also be used as an information and background source for prospective sponsors for the upcoming show on October 4th 2020.
A decision was also made on the theme for the event, which was to be the 1920s. With the advent of the “Fashions in the Park” event for the past two years and an increasing interest by the public and sponsors alike, the parade was becoming very popular as a pre-curser of the main presentation of trophies for the show.
Preliminary work on the proposed posters and flyers had been undertaken, and in preparation for distribution at forthcoming shows and events, 4,000 DL size double-sided colour flyers were produced.
During late February and early March, efforts to secure sponsors were underway, with very encouraging results. Last year’s major sponsor GMCU had agreed in principle to once again sponsor the GMCU Best in Show and the GMCU Best Motorcycle in Show.
Other sponsors who agreed to come on board included Aerodrome Automotive, Autobarn Shepparton, Maxam Printing, Triple M Goulburn Valley and Just Cuts Shepparton.
A new sponsor of Automotive Superbalance had agreed, and Specsavers Shepparton had also agreed to sponsor our Facebook event header to include “Your Specsavers 2020 Vision” slogan.
Negotiations were underway with at least four other new sponsors, some of whom were interested in the possibility of a new sponsored trophy addressing the “Best Holden” category this year, as a tribute to the demise of the iconic Holden brand of vehicles which had been discontinued. Darryl Twitt Motors, who had been a major sponsor for the past two shows were considering their position. Three of the sponsors who were in the process of negotiation were all interested to talking to again for 2021.
Many other sponsors, including long-time supporters Mothers Polishes, Shannons Insurance and Burton’s IGA were yet to be approached.
Although it was still a long time till our event, several major attractions from across the spectrum of show categories had already expressed their interest and been confirmed.
The Mad Max Interceptor replica supercharged 1973 XB GT Falcon of Peter Robinson had been confirmed.
Still true to the original, Peter’s car also sports the Supercharged 351 V8, a Monza front, with two massive fuel tanks and a spare tyre located where the rear boot used to be. And perhaps covered in dust!
The Mercedes Benz Club of Victoria had confirmed that their club would be visiting the Show and Shine with a variety of cars that would likely range in age from the 1920s right up to current models of today.
There was also a possibility of enhancing the display with a brand new, top-of-the –range model, subject to negotiation with a possible sponsor.
Last year we told you about Motor Cycle enthusiast Charlie Palmer, originally from Euroa but now residing in Sydney, who we hoped may return home to the Australian National Show and Shine Euroa 2019, with a very special bike for us to see.
Unfortunately, this was not to be, as Charlie was out of the country at the time of our event. However, hopes were high that he and the bike will be able to make it this year. Originally from Euroa, Charlie currently resides in Sydney and was hopeful of making the drip down for the show.
Charlie’s 1937 Harley-Davidson “knucklehead” might be 83 years of age, but it still punches well above its weight in terms of performance.
Together with the considerable talents of Charlie its rider, the knucklehead won the 2003 Australian Historic Championships.
Charlie Palmer and the "Knucklehead."
The COVID-19 Pandemic
By early March, preparations for the 2020 Euroa Show and Shine were progressing very well at this early stage, when the announcement came that the Covid-19 outbreak, which was spreading fast, had been declared a pandemic.
With announcements by the Federal Government implementing lockdown and social distancing just days prior to the committee’s scheduled March meeting, a decision was made to cancel the meeting at that time. No April meeting was called.
With the necessity of running the Show and Shine 2020 Annual General Meeting in May, an on-line meeting arrangement would be necessary. President Ross Holt arranged for a series of three Zoom meetings – one as a practice procedure to familiarise members with the operation of the facility, one for a general meeting and the third s the actual AGM.
It was becoming apparent that the social conditions necessitated by the pandemic would seriously jeapodise the possibility of running the 2020 show as normal, and with the likelihood of cancellation looking more and more inevitable, it was decided to defer any formal decision and subsequent announcements till the end of June.
A discussion document was submitted, which suggested four objectives to be achieved in the event of cancellation, and a 10-step plan for their phased implementation.
It was becoming increasingly apparent that an orderly process of cancelling the 2020 event and planning a clear transition to a successful 2021 event would not be a simple task.
Most apparent were two facts: Firstly, the likelihood of Social Distancing (1.5m or 4 sq. metres) would be around at least until an effective vaccine is developed, and generally available. Secondly, limitations of crowd numbers. At the conclusion of the three-step plan as introduced by the government, a maximum gathering of just 100 people is permitted. Neither of these two issues bide well with the 10,000 + crowd that we may expect on a good day.
Understandably, many of our sponsors may have suffered significant financial downturns during the lockdown period, and it would be embarrassing at least to approach them for sponsorship. Disposable income for spectators would also be an issue, although our entrance free of just $5 is probably the best family entertainment anywhere.
Without the usual amount of sponsorship, the financial viability of running the show would be questionable at best.
Most critical though was the necessity of obtaining the necessary Event Permit from the Strathbogie Shire Council, without which the show could not occur. In previous years, this permit could generally be taken for granted, but under the current circumstances, a significant lead time of at least three to four months would be necessary to make the necessary arrangements.
In a situation where the committee would already be four months short of this usual preparation time by the end of June, a permit by that time appeared extremely unlikely, especially considering the fact that the governments step 3 could still be in place at that time.
It was likely that even if restrictions are lifted earlier than anticipated, there will remain in the public (exhibitors, spectators and our own gate attendants) an understandable reluctance to become involved with “crowds” because of the likelihood of residual COVID-19. If we do proceed, we could therefore expect greatly reduced crowds.
This was clarified further in early June, when Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised new rules governing events. The need to comply with these rules essentially meant that our proposed 2020 event would be unable to proceed.
"If we're talking about from tent to tent, and gathering to gathering, that is not something that is being talked about here," Mr Morrison said.
There were also several other important issues to consider such as public risk insurance, the required council permit, the fact that Euroa residents may not react favourably to an influx of outsiders, especially from Melbourne, and males over 60, who make up a significant component of our exhibitors and spectators are the highest COVID-19 risk group.
Cancelation of the Euroa Show and Shine event for 2020
The Euroa Show and Shine Committee, which had been meeting via Zoom video-conferencing for the period of the pandemic had set the end of June as the critical date whereby a decision would be made as to whether the 2020 event would proceed, or be cancelled.
On Wednesday 24th June, the committee decided unanimously to cancel the event for 2020. A list of tasks to be undertaken by various committee members was discussed, with implementation to take place over the next few days.
Agree to an orderly and responsible plan to cancel the event for 2020 and prepare for transition for a return to normal practice on 3rd October 2021.
Ensure retention of our sponsorship and customer base.
Retain a maximum financial position throughout 2020.
Advice to all effected parties was communicated by either Email or phone in the days following the decision. Advice was forwarded to sponsors, the Shire of Strathbogie, exhibitors, stall holders, suppliers and the many other individuals and groups who are normally involved in the running of the Euroa Show and Shine each year.
Media releases were provided to newspapers, radio and television stations as well as posting details of the cancellation and the prospective 2021 event on the Show’s Website and Facebook page as well as the Euroa Community Notice Board.
Seven Creeks Park Euroa
One of the first to respond was Melissa Ralph, CEO of our major sponsor GMCU. Ms. Ralph said, “Thank you for letting us know. This would have been a tough decision, but we certainly support the decision the committee have made. I look forward to speaking with you again regarding the 2021 event at a later date.”
For the year 2020, our pristine environment of the beautiful Seven Creeks Park Euroa would not play host to the magic of old cars and bikes, and the sound of multiple bands playing to thousands of enthusiasts and family groups.
Announcement of the cancellation of the event was announced on the Euroa Show and Shine Facebook page on Thursday 25th June. It reached a total of around 4,000 people, with a significant spike in interest being shown by our fans and followers. The announcement was made via a statement on both the main page, and event section, as well as a video.
On the same day, Facebook recorded a variety of reactions, comments and shares to other pages. The reaction of fans was generally along the lines that they were disappointed, but that they understood the decision.
“Sad, but inevitable” was a common phrase.
Advice was also forwarded to Unique Cars Magazine, as a long-time supporter of the event, and also to AOMC (Association of Motor Clubs) whose many members frequent the Euroa Show and Shine each year.
The Annual General Meeting of the Euroa Show and Shine Inc. was held on Wednesday May 13th The Executive from 2019 was returned with the exception of the Treasurer’s position which was vacant pending finalisation. President Ross Holt undertook to also act as treasurer in the interim period.
Since last year, we have seen the resignations of some of our valued committee members in Anthony Clota as Treasurer, but remaining as a committee member. Susan Thomas and Jodie Kuhne also resigned from the committee.
The President and Committee members extended their sincere thanks to these people for their valuable contributions to their positions on the Euroa Show and Shine over a number of years.
Ross Holt President
Ray Read Vice President
Bill Ely Secretary
(Vacant, Ross Holt acting) Treasurer
Paul Anderson Co-ordination
Alan Borden Lions stalls
Mal Breaden Traffic control
Peter Byrne Flyers distribution, Judges co-ord. and Area Manager
Anthony Clota Gates and event revenue
Tony Clota Area Manager
Edna Hemming Co-ordination
Ross Holt Administration and Shire Council liaison. Web page, Treasurer, Stalls
Jennifer Jones Information station and event theme co-ordinator
Di Leslight Facebook and IT
Chris Mann Speedway display, motorcycles
Glenn MacDonald Motorcycle Manager, signs
John McGregor Tractors and Area Manager
Ray Read Media & Promotions Manager and Facebook
Kerry Stackhouse Social
Dee Vidler Committee & volunteer welfare co-ordinator
NOTE: The positions shown here are the main nominal duties which are normally undertaken by the various committee members.
Keeping in contact
During the Pandemic-enforced “off-season” several initiatives were employed to ensure that we kept as close contact as practicable with our customers. This included sponsors, spectators and exhibitors.
Committee members made a point of personally contacting many of these people.
Several news updates were posted to the Facebook page, including video clips and pictures of past events.
A new EVENT promoting our 2021 show was posted, with the proviso that this would proceed if possible, given the COVID-19 situation leading up to this time.
Some light at the end of the Covid tunnel
By November, Victoria was virtually clear of Corona virus, and celebrated a series of “Double Donut Days” as the numbers of new cases and deaths both dropped to zero. On 21st. November, the Victorian Government issued its “COVID-19 Public Events Framework” which set down a three-tier approval process for holding public c events.
The Euroa Show and Shine, with a capacity of well over 5,000 attendees was classified as “extremely complex” and rated as Tier 1. A Covid-safe event plan must be submitted for review and approval at least 8 – 10 weeks prior to the event commencement. Tier 1 includes such events as the Australian Open and Royal Melbourne Show.
Accompanying the Framework document was an “Event Plan Template”. An examination of the requirements under the current level of Covid restrictions revealed that requirements were indeed extremely complex and demanding, and it was apparent that holding a 2021 Show and Shine event would not be possible, for reasons of costs, complexities and man-power required to comply with the Government’s conditions. Limitations of numbers because of social distancing would also have made the show uneconomical in terms of reduced attendee revenue.
By early December 2020, Covid restrictions had been eased to the extent that the committee was finally able to arrange a meeting following a meal at President Ross’ home.
L - R: Kerry Stackhouse, Bill Ely, Mal Breaden, Sue Thomas, Glenn MacDonald, Anthony Clota, Lorraine Read, John McGregor, Peter Byrne, Tony Clota, Ross Holt. Picture by Ray Read
Brief discussions by the Show and Shine committee decided to adopt a “wait and see” strategy in the hope that future Covid-safe requirements would become more achievable.
With the election of a new council for the Strathbogie Shire, an early meeting with Councillors and the new CEO was high on the committee’s agenda. It was important to present the details and aims of the Euroa Show and Shine, and to gain an understanding of the council’s views and outlook, especially regarding issues relating to Covid-19 and its ongoing impact on our event.
At this stage, some of the factors which were critical to the running of an event in 2021, apart from the obvious Covid-safe issues included an assessing of the response from sponsors, exhibitors, stand holders and spectators. It was proposed to prioritise early consultations with sponsors to gauge the likelihood of support in view of the economic downturn following the lockdown period.
On the lookout
During the “off-season” we were still keeping our eyes peeled for some likely attractions for our next show. Our friends at the Shepparton Adviser proved a handy source of inspiration with the regular “If it’s got Wheels” section of the weekly paper.