What a year! The 2022-2023 Financial year and a Big start to Spring!

We fish we care

What a year! The 2022-2023 Financial year and a Big start to Spring!

A year is traditionally January-to-December, or a 365 day calendar cycle. However, here in Victoria,
our perspective shifts from one summer to the next. For avid anglers, it can be a transition from a
favourite fishing season to the next, and for a dedicated few, fishing remains a year-round pursuit,
adapting to the ever-changing seasons. At Fishcare, we embrace all these perspectives, but the
culmination of our efforts comes at the close of the financial year.

This fiscal year stands out as the first since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that has
experienced minimal interruptions. This respite has allowed us to supercharge our programs, expand
our volunteer network, and extend our reach beyond previous boundaries. We’ve ushered in new
team members, fresh ideas, and, by and large, enjoyed a year of great success.

Let’s delve into the statistics, which serve as a compass guiding our assessment of a year’s worth of
hard work. It’s important to remember that although COVID-19 may have receded, its influence
lingers in the way we operate. Despite these challenges, our achievements shine. We organized an
impressive 362 fishing clinics, with 304 specifically catering to schools and community groups—85 of
these being school-related events and 219 community-based gatherings. Additionally, 58 clinics
were dedicated to our beloved Fishability program.

The execution of these events hinged on the dedication of our remarkable team of volunteers.
Between them, they selflessly contributed a staggering 1,483 hours of their time, while our staff also
played their part with a commendable 883 hours of work. It’s this exceptional dedication and
boundless enthusiasm from our volunteers that truly propel the success of our program.
It’s evident that our programs found the most enthusiastic participation in staffed regions and major
population centres. Melbourne, for instance, took the lead by conducting a remarkable 102
workshops, closely followed by Geelong & Bellarine with 101, and East Gippsland with a
commendable 77 workshops. These numbers serve as a testament to the thriving engagement and
impact we’ve had throughout the year.

So what does this all mean, if we look at the evaluations,

The year ahead:
The dawn of a new financial year, often greeted by cool weather and turbulent waters, demands a
measured, contemplative start. As the winds blow strongly, we find ourselves honing our focus on
charting the course for the upcoming 12 months. Our planning endeavours have already come to
fruition, as we’ve secured critical dates in collaboration with the Victorian Fisheries Authority for
their renowned ‘Hooked On’ and ‘Vicfish Kids’ event series, which will span across Victoria.
In an exciting development, we are forging partnerships with the Women in Recreational Fishing And
Boating (WIRFAB) group to orchestrate a series of special events. These initiatives are poised to
inspire and empower female anglers, further fostering inclusivity within our beloved pastime.
One enduring pillar of our program remains the ‘Come & Try Fishing’ series, a cherished tradition
spanning several years. This cornerstone offering is tailored to nurture novice anglers, providing
them with a comprehensive education in the fundamentals of fishing. From imparting knowledge
about rules and regulations to instructing on the delicate art of casting, rigging a fishing rod,
mastering knot tying, and beyond, we equip newcomers with the essential skills and know-how to
embark on their angling journey.

Yet, our commitment extends beyond teaching; we are dedicating significant efforts to bolster
volunteer recruitment and engagement. This has become an increasingly pressing concern for not-
for-profit organisations, exacerbated by the onset of the pandemic. However, we have risen to the
challenge by introducing innovative marketing strategies and securing a grant from Coastcare
Victoria for their Coastcare Community Grants program. This funding will fortify our endeavours to
both recruit new volunteers and retain our existing corps. The future holds tremendous promise,
and we eagerly anticipate the adventures and growth that lie ahead.

Come & Try Fishing Days:
The Come & Try fishing days for the September school holidays are as follows and you can sign up
These events will be held at the following locations:

  • Rhyll – 17th September
  • Mornington Pier – 19th September
  • Portarlington Pier – 19th September
  • St Helens Pier (Geelong) – 21st September
  • St Leonards Reserve – 25th September
  • Albert Park – 27th September
  • Barwon River (Geelong) – 27th September
    Full details in the link below. Limited spots available.