“Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself”
Gloria Steinem

Dear Members

CanCERN had our AGM on Tuesday. It was a good time to reflect on the tumultuous year (or two) we have been through as a city and an organisation. Like in Canterbury, the priorities within CanCERN are an ever moving feast as different decisions and announcements thrust new issues and vulnerabilities forward. We have tried to be more of an organism than an organisation – being flexible enough to be adaptive to the needs of the members and the communities behind them. We haven’t always been able to easily see what it is we do for the wider community as much of what we do is translate and influence. However, there have been mighty successes and we will continue to use the relationships we have spent so long building to make sure the resident’s voice is represented at the table.

One of the things we can be very proud of is the way we have never strayed far from our foundational objectives – to encourage stronger connections within communities and to focus on two-way communication and engagement as the way forward for a more sustainable recovery. Of course when we look at the recovery in it’s largest sense, it can difficult to see that we have achieved anything to do with two-way communication but there are many examples of how we have connected the officials with the community leaders and examples of how we have put groups of residents in front of the officials to speak directly to what needs to be communicated. We’re proud of the way we are influencing communication paths but there is much more to do and the residents also need to be more actively involved. Start thinking about how residents as a collective group can influence communication pathways. Connected groups of residents are far more powerful than individuals. Connected residents have the power of being ideas and solutions focused. Connected residents can accept or reject what they are given. Individuals feel too vulnerable to do this.

There is a TC3 Letter Writing Campaign happening this week. Details are below and we encourage you to join with other TC3 residents and have a say.

We have some new members on the CanCERN Board so congratulations to Ali Hughes (Travis Country), Mike Moss (Avon Loop), Barry Tutt (ex Bexley) and Mark Hau (SME). Peter Beck is going to stay on as CanCERN Patron and we will be working with Peter and CCC to address any potential conflict of interest issues. Suzanne Vallance (Lincoln University) has also been a valued board member and has offered her time again as a co-opted member if the board would like to take up that option.

It was also time to acknowledge a few people. Evan Smith is still a member of CanCERN but is very busy with Avon Otakaro. It was a good time to recognise all of the work Evan put into the foundational days of CanCERN so we’d like to officially thank Evan for everything he had added to the organisation and wish him well in his work for Avon Otakaro.

Terry O’Leary from Sumner has been a wonderfully energetic board member who now has to focus his attentions on sharing the love with his family who has missed him as he has worked so tirelessly for CanCERN and his community.

Tom McBrearty, our outgoing Chair, has also been there from the beginning and he has been an inspiration to us all. Tom is a man who would give his last breath to someone he saw in need. His belief in the power of ‘we’ has kept CanCERN on the right tracks and we thank him from the very bottom of our hearts.

Warm regards

Leanne and Brian