Dear ANZA Friends,
It is with a heavy heart that the ANZA Beijing Committee announces we will not be setting a calendar of events for the coming year.
Over the past 24 months we have experienced great difficulty attracting New Zealand and Australian citizens willing to join us in voluntary positions on our executive and general committee. Last year our committee ran without several executive committee member positions for most of the year with a skeleton general committee performing multiple roles. Without these volunteers we are unable to continue the events program that ANZA has traditionally delivered to the Beijing community.
As you know the 2016-17 ANZA social events calendar ran without our beloved Great Wall Dinner, which was an enormous draw card for our members and major fundraiser for our organisation. This affected our membership base and our ability to raise funds for our needy ANZA Babies.
The other factor is the ever-changing laws surrounding the operation of groups, such as ANZA, within China. We have received assistance through our parent organisation AustCham, which we are forever thankful. Without AustCham, ANZA would not have been able to legally undertake any of its events since the change in these Chinese laws. Sadly even with this assistance continuing is unsustainable. The knowledge required to comprehend the legal implications along with the changes in reporting procedures has impacted the way our committee operates and requires persons with a level of skill that we are not able to fulfil.
ANZA Beijing was established in 1994 to provide a support network for Australians and New Zealand citizens along with international expatriates living in Beijing. Over the years we have provided an opportunity for thousands of members of the Beijing community to engage in social activities from our monthly coffee mornings, Spring Bling, Mad Hatter’s, Mother’s Day high tea, cultural Walk-a-bouts, ANZA After Hours, Melbourne Cup luncheons, and last but certainly not least iconic The Great Wall Dinner. And through all of these events ANZA held the babies of China in the palms of each of our member’s hands raising funds for those needy children with those loveable smiling faces. I am hopeful that this is just a change in the navigation required to operate in China and that with a new wave of people coming to Beijing in the future that ANZA can be reborn with renewed energy and continue to provide a support network for international expatriates living in Beijing.
I am so proud to have worked with an extremely dedicated, talented and honestly wonderful group of people on the ANZA committee over the past four years. They generously donated their time and energy to a cause that each of us hold so dear to our hearts. Together we really have made a difference.