Jason McKenzie, Alliance Francaise De Brisbane, 2022 recipient

“Jason started volunteering on the Board of Alliance Francaise de Brisbane in around 2007. Since then, he has dedicated a lot of time and energy as the Board’s secretary for 3 years, Vice President for 2 years, and President since 2019. The Alliance Francaise is a not for Profit organisation, teaching French every year to over 1200 individual students. Its managing board is elected by the members (550 at present), Board positions are entirely voluntary and the Managing Board supervises the running of the institution and bears financial and legal responsibility. At the outbreak of the Covid Pandemic, Jason had been President for a few months. The French Film Festival which was a crucial source of revenue for the institution with its 25,000 spectators was cancelled the day before its opening. The premises had to be closed as well as all the language classes. The Alliance Francaise was on the verge to closing down. Jason McKenzie stepped-in, and put all his energy and skills at the disposal of the Alliance Francaise, to overcome the cancellation of the AFFFF, and move all the classes online for the first time in the organisation's history. This was truly a full time job that Jason did in addition to his own business, and responsibilities that he assumed fully and gracefully without showing any signs of weariness. Not only this was this successful for the AF Brisbane, but Jason's model was applied to the entire AF network in Australia. Jason also initiated and put in place a communication and marketing plan for the national network which contributed widely to the survival of this network in Australia. His contribution, his guidance and his long term vision is recognised by the local Board, staff and Management as well as by the national network of AF. As the CEO of this institution till July 2021, I appreciated his huge support and sharing of skills through his Presidency, especially in time of crises. In all my career at the AF worldwide, I have rarely seen from a volunteer Board Member such support and dedication to the organisation and the mission. I can truly say that the organisation has survived thanks to his huge dedication. His dedication and huge contribution should be recognised officially.”