Launching our new app

Launching our new app
Tony Penna

Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) held its 25th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the end of August and made a massive announcement.

Yes, 25th! What a milestone. This was my 10th AGM presiding as president.

Guest speaker at the event was the City of Melbourne’s Greenline project director Mark Allan and his team to present to us the masterplan which was endorsed by the council the week prior. This is an exciting project, and we were delighted Mr Allan and his team were able to make themselves available. There were some great questions from the audience too for them to think about.

Of note, in my president’s report I announced SRA had engaged a developer to produce an SRA app to allow us to better communicate and interact with our community but particularly with a focus on connecting our business community.

This app has already commenced development and we were able to show a small demo to our audience.

An SRA app has been a pipedream of mine for more than five years and I was delighted to make this announcement. It has essentially taken that long for our committee to be prudent with members’ funds to save enough to finally commission this app.

So far, we have an indicative number of around 50 businesses which are showing strong interest across all sectors of our community, from restaurants/cafes, retail, real estate, and the arts. 

The Yarra River Business Association has more than 150 members, so we would hope all, if not a majority, will be engaged with a special offer only available to Southbank residents via SRA membership. There has been strong interest in these very early days, and we can’t see why any business would say no to being involved, so watch this space. 

SRA members will have the option to opt-in and like businesses which appeal to them to receive their offers in real-time. For example, if Arts Centre Melbourne was offering last-minute highly discounted tickets for unsold seats to their shows, you would need to follow them to get these offers in real-time, so you don’t miss the show. 


Why is this so exciting for SRA? Besides being able to connect our community, if we can generate 1000 new members who wish to exploit the goodwill of our local businesses then that will be an additional $10,000 in annual membership revenue for SRA.


However, at the AGM we moved a motion to increase our membership to $15 for financial year 2024/25 (first increase since SRA inception 25 years ago). So, with an increased membership fee of $15 this would translate into $15,000 of membership revenue per year. Imagine if we could sign up 5000 new members from the 25,000 Southbank residents. That would result in annual membership revenue of $75,000. I believe this is truly achievable. 

I am hopeful this app can secure the long-term viability of SRA. Imagine how effective our committee would be if we could achieve such levels of ongoing revenue. We could afford to pay for our social media to be managed; to improve the quality of our submissions by engaging professionals to draft them; to fund significant community events e.g., Battle of the Buildings trivia nights (how cool would that be?); an upgraded and well-maintained website! These are just a few of the potential visions.

A committee functioning this way may also attract more interest from the community to join, as it could then be a decision-making committee as opposed to a very hands-on committee as it has essentially always been. There is great future scope with this app for the betterment of SRA which I have not spoken about here. In many ways, what has been mentioned here is just scratching the surface.

If you want to know more about SRA or our app in development, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

Failing that, tell all your friends about this app and to join SRA now while membership is cheaper. Oh, and encourage your favourite local business to be involved too! •

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