This post serves as a notice to members of Honeywood Residents Group Inc. and the wider community. We have an obligation to our members to notify them of any significant loss of assets and/or decisions that affect the ability of HRG Inc. to carry out our purpose.
It is with great sadness that the committee of the Honeywood Residents Group Inc. are calling a Special General Meeting to formally initiate the closure of the organisation. The decision to close the group has been a long and difficult one but ultimately has come down to volunteer burnout and the demotivation of existing members following the theft of our dedicated Facebook Group that took place in 2021.
This has been a difficult decision for our volunteers, many of whom have served on the committee since its inception in 2014 and brought the community so many fantastic events, including:
- Carols by Candlelight Events
- Harmony Day Events
- Outdoor Movie Nights
- Family Quiz Night
- Tree Planting Events.
We were also able to champion numerous initiatives on behalf of the community, including:
- 2 public defibrillators registered via the St John First Responder Program
- Exercise Equipment in multiple parks throughout the estate
- Bus Stop Shelters on Honeywood Avenue
- 2 Off-leash dog exercise areas.
From 2014 onwards, HRG Inc. (the Residents’ Association) had been the custodians of the ‘Residents of Honeywood Estate’ Facebook Group (referred to moving forward as ‘the Facebook group’) and had been responsible for its management and moderation. This had been instrumental in allowing us to connect with residents, promote events and activities, and liaise with organisations on behalf of residents in line with the objectives of the association.
Late on the evening of Sunday 7th of March 2021 administrative access of the Facebook group was revoked from all committee members except the then Vice President (Mr. CJ) and then ‘Acting’ President (Ms. IW) who, at the time, remained as administrators of the group. Local resident (Ms. KT) was also promoted to an administrator.
In the same evening, a public post was made by Mr. CJ indicating that ownership of the group was being given away from HRG Inc. to the ‘Community’. This announcement was not discussed or approved by the committee (of ten volunteers) prior to these actions or announcements being made.
What Happened Next?
Immediately following the announcement several committee members called for an emergency committee meeting to be held to address this issue. The meeting was proposed for Wednesday 10th of March. The Vice President and Acting President then resigned from their positions on the 9th of March. Mr. CJ removed himself as an administrator of the group at this time.
The committee met on the 10th of March and retroactively voted upon whether transfer of control of the Facebook Group should take place, with the unanimous consensus against the transfer. The committee also chose to appoint legal representation at this time to ensure that the actions of the remaining HRG Inc. committee were in line with our constitution (and for other concerns relating to this matter). To date, there have been no legal costs to the community group as a result of this appointment.
A range of communications have been made after the 10th of March between the HRG Inc., our legal representatives and both Ms. IW, and Ms. KT requesting that administrative access to the group be returned to the association.
A Letter of Demand was sent by HRG legal representatives to Ms. IW on 16th June 2021. On the same day Ms. IW then removed herself as an administrator of the group leaving Ms. KT as the sole administrator.
Many attempts have been made via various channels to contact Ms. KT to discuss the future of the group. All attempts at contact have been ignored to date.
Why Does it Matter?
The overwhelming feedback from financial members at the time that this occurred was that the Facebook Group was a highly valuable digital asset for the association. Having a direct, unfiltered line of communication to verified members of the community was a significant drawcard when approaching outside organisations, potential performers/vendors and/or sponsors for our events, and engaging with volunteers for community initiatives.
The Facebook group is now all the more valuable given that Satterley are no longer providing financial grants to community groups in the Wandi area making us more reliant on alternative methods of funding. We had always known this would happen, and the Facebook Group had always been one of the strategies and assets intended to help the organisation remain sustainable.
Without administrative access, we are no longer able to communicate in the group as ‘Honeywood Residents Group’, which also unnecessarily puts our volunteers’ privacy at risk.
In addition to this, the group is now controlled by a single individual, who has the power to arbitrarily make decisions or changes to the group without repercussions, for profit or personal gain.
Last, but not least – the actions that have been taken by Mr. CJ, Ms. IW and Ms. KT are insulting to the dozens of volunteers who have donated their time and resources over the past nine years.
A Special General Meeting has been called to formalise the closure of the association. The meeting will be held at Honeywood Primary School at 6pm on Thursday, 11th May 2023.