Saturday, 4 July 2015

Hard work, good effort to forge ties

I was the co-organiser of the barbecue at my constituency, held in conjunction with the Australian High Commission (AHC) on Sunday ("Poor ticketing mars Aussie barbecue" by Mr Marc Lim Swee Keat; Wednesday, and "Event ticketing: PA replies"; yesterday).

The event, entitled SG50 BBQ Musical Night, was held in Telok Blangah Rise and attracted more than 300 residents, including people residing in other constituencies.

The event was ticketed, as the amount of food provided by the Australian High Commission was limited to 200 portions.

In order to ensure that residents were not denied the opportunity to enjoy themselves, my committee had arranged for an additional buffet spread.

The event was also publicised in the constituency Facebook page, posters and banners.

Given the short period of planning leading to the event, and to ensure that the food was not wasted, tickets were printed and distributed to the lower-income groups in the constituency; the public could also get tickets at our community club.

Preparing for and executing the event was not easy, but we were fortunate to have had help from the AHC and Australian telco Telstra.

I urge my fellow grassroots leaders who helped in organising the event at the 20 locations islandwide not to be disheartened by negative feedback on the event.

I thank all of them for their hard work in forging close ties between the Australian and Singapore communities.

Alex Wong
Mount Faber Zone C Residents' Committee
ST Forum, 3 Jul 2015

Poor ticketing mars Aussie barbecue

I applaud the Australian High Commission's goodwill and generosity in organising 50 Aussie-style barbecues on Sunday evening ("It's barbecue time for a taste of Singapore life"; Monday).

Having been a beneficiary of the Australians' big-hearted hospitality previously, my group of friends and I had looked forward to being part of the festivities.

To our dismay, however, we were turned away at Bishan Park, as the organisers' personnel indicated that a ticket was required to enjoy the food provided.

This was contrary to what we had understood in earlier reports of the event being freely open to the public ("Steak feast to mark 50 years of ties"; April 18).

Much as our group understood the need for crowd management, the means of ticket distribution left much to be desired.

The People's Association was engaged as the local community partner for the event.

But only a select few community clubs had publicised the ticketing requirement prior to the event.

A sizeable majority of the ticket-holders were decked in grassroots attire, though we understood that it was not an exclusive event.

Many visitors were left disappointed and confused.

However, many, including my group, were undeterred and had picnics along the river to enjoy the street performances, while soaking in the atmosphere.

We had looked forward to an enjoyable evening of Australian hospitality, delectable food and entertainment.

But the poor public communications on the ticket allocation system had marred the true spirit and intent of our gracious Australian counterparts.

Marc Lim Swee Keat
ST Forum, 1 Jul 2015

Event ticketing: PA replies

People's Association (PA) volunteers helped to organise 50 barbecue events at 20 locations - one in Bishan Park, and 19 more in the heartland, on Sunday ("Poor ticketing mars Aussie barbecue" by Mr Marc Lim Swee Keat; yesterday).

The Australian High Commission (AHC) provided food for 1,000 people at Bishan Park and for 200 people at the heartland locations.

Publicity for the events was done locally three weeks prior, through posters on notice boards and through online channels.

We issued tickets to manage the crowd, and to assure ticket-holders that they would be able to enjoy the food.

In total, 4,800 tickets were available and given to residents on a first-come, first-served basis. The AHC had also requested some tickets for their volunteers.

As the evening progressed, our volunteers welcomed people until the food ran out.

Lim Tze Jiat
Senior Director
(Corporate Communications)
People's Association
ST Forum, 2 Jul 2015

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