PCYC Queensland Board Chairman steps down after nine successful years

Joining the PCYC Queensland Board nine years ago in 2011, Garry Humphries has been Board Chairman for the past five years. Stepping down from the role following this year’s AGM, hear Garry’s own PCYC Queensland journey.

When did you start at PCYC Queensland?
I have been involved with PCYC Queensland for more than 15 years. I joined the Board nine years ago in 2011, and I have been Board Chairman for the past five years. Our Constitution stipulates that after nine years of continuous service a Board Director must step down for at least 12 months, and my turn will come at this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November I will vacate the chairman’s position knowing that I am leaving behind an organisation that is financially strong, culturally positive and resilient enough to meet the challenges in our post-COVID world.

What have you most enjoyed about your time on the Board?
When I reflect on my time with PCYC Queensland and the journey the organisation has taken, it has been a fantastically rewarding experience. I have seen the full reinvention of the organisation including a new Board structure, our first civilian CEO, a Deed of Agreement with the Queensland Police Service and the implementation of modernised systems for human resources, finance, reporting and point of sale. When I started, frankly we were an organisation that was haemorrhaging funds. We were unable to report accurately, our clubs operated individually, and we were financially insecure and on the verge of bankruptcy.

Now we are an organisation that has a strong culture, is in a strong financial position despite COVID, and following the shutdown – we have a positive and energetic new lease on life. It has not been an easy path, but I can honestly say that I am leaving a stronger, more resilient organisation than the one I inherited.

What have been some of your highlights as Board Chairman?
One of my proudest moments was at our AGM three years ago when club managers voted away their own right to vote, meaning that we had absolutely transitioned from a group of individual clubs to a modern day unified charity, showing trust in me as chair and in Phil as our CEO.

Watching the exponential success of our Braking the Cycle program has also been a highlight. The program received a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in December 2018, an award that was instrumental in PCYC securing just under $16 million from the Motor Accident Insurance Commission.

Another significant highlight has been the creation of the PCYC Legacy Club Membership for families who have sadly lost a loved one in the line of duty, whether they be from the police, defence forces, ambulance and fire and emergency services. Not only does our program support families with support and access, but the establishment of our legacy club has also led to the development of other emergency services legacy programs.

What are you most excited about for the future of PCYC Queensland?
I am excited about the possibilities of PCYC Queensland going international. I think it is incredibly important to broaden the horizons of the young people we interact with and encourage them to rise above the local challenges and limitations their present lives may place upon them. If young people can travel and see what is going on in the world, it means they gain a global understanding, and immerse themselves in everything our global communities have to offer.

I would love to see youth exchange programs established with other great worldwide organisations like Police Athletics League and Boys & Girls Clubs of America for example, to allow our young people to travel, gain a global perspective and make achievement infinitely possible.

What are you planning to do once you step down as Board Chair?
I will still continue to volunteer at my local PCYC Toowoomba club…I’m sure you’ll see me at all the sausage sizzles and chook raffles and then once I’ve had my year off from the Board I’ll probably return once more and proudly serve our new Board Chair.

Dr Cassandra Cross has been selected as our incoming Board Chair, who I am absolutely thrilled is taking on the reins, and I look forward to seeing where she will take PCYC over future years.

Do you have any final comments?
I remember back to being around 13 years old and I was frankly a bit of a lout. The local Cannon Hill police sergeant at the time knew who I was, and knew who my family was. And because he actually cared about community policing, he gave me a kick up the bum and started me with the National Fitness Council where I spent every school holidays for the next six years helping run Youth Camps.

That police officer changed my path in life.

The introduction to youth clubs at that age led me to a lifetime of working passionately in the field of community development and I am still paying forward what that police officer did for me. PCYC Queensland will continue to improve and continue to help change young people’s lives. We will continue to make sure our clubs are in the right location, offering the right programs, with the right level of support.

So have fun, keep a youth focus, keep the club doors open, look after one another and don’t sweat the small stuff!