Kylie Nitz with incoming president Peter Boulton.
Kylie Nitz with incoming president Peter Boulton.

Changing of hands for Maryborough City Progress Association

FOUR years ago Kylie Nitz and Jenelle Harrington were invited to a Maryborough City Progress Association meeting to pitch an idea she had for a 4650 CBD Extravanganza to showcase Maryborough business skills and products.

They found the association fractured.

“Little were we aware that this was a secondary AGM in which executive positions had to be filled otherwise the organisation would fold,” said Ms Nitz.

“Truly having no idea of what I was doing, I self-nominated for president then quickly nominated Jenelle as secretary. Jo Collins, who accompanied us, self-nominated as treasurer – and so this rollercoaster ride began.”

With little in the way of event management skills, the new team had the business extravaganza in full swing for its inaugural year.

Over the next four years the MCPAI spread its wings to manage regular street parties and become a recognised voice in the community.

Ms Nitz stepped down at this year’s annual meeting, handing the reins to ardent hands-on

community supporter Peter Boulton who was elected president after a ballot with Nshara Kingston.

Ms Nitz said her term had been marked by exhilaration, inspiration, times of disappointment and moments of failure.

“With little funding behind us, the small gatherings, sometimes only consisting of four people, we decided that we needed to shift the narrative of our beautiful city.

“Instead of accepting all the negative innuendo that was rapidly spreading, we decided to call them out, counteract these claims and spruik the factual beauty and positivity of our city and region … this caught on and is spreading.”

The MCPAI gained traction and membership began to grow, said Ms Nitz. She is hoping that will continue under the new team, with Mr Bouton supported by Jenelle Harrington (treasurer), Brodie Millar (secretary and vice-president).

“I would like to see some tangible improvements for the city, with the MCPAI collaborating with other community-based groups, including youth groups.”

Mr Boulton said he was looking forward to building on what Ms Nitz had achieved and ensuring Maryborough continued to have a strong progress association.