Apex Clubs of Australia
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The Association of Apex Clubs of Australia is the collective name given to 330 individual Apex Clubs (service clubs) throughout Australia. An Apex club is a community service club, neither sectarian nor party political, that provides young civic minded people the opportunity to volunteer within the community and develop personally through club run schemes such as public speaking competitions. Club members are volunteers aged between 18 and 45.
Apex members share the same ideals, to:
- make the ideal of service the basis of all enterprise
- develop by example a more intelligent and aggressive citizenship
- provide means of forming enduring friendships, and rendering altruistic service and building better communities
- promote international understanding and friendship.
The first Apex Club was formed at Geelong in December 1930 when three architects attempted to join the Rotary Club of Geelong. As Rotary has a rule restricting one profession to each club the three architects - Ewan Laird, Langham Proud and John Buchan went on to form The Young Businessmen's Club of Geelong. After clubs were formed at Ballarat and Camperdown, The Association of Apex Clubs was formed, and the three clubs shortly thereafter were branded as "Apex". This creation was done at the height of the Great Depression in Australia. The inaugural club acknowledged the assistance of the local Rotary Club for assistance and advice.
Members were originally males from 18 to 35, although those who had joined could remain past 35. By March 1933, Tasmania was proposing two clubs, while New South Wales and Victoria had a total of eight clubs. A Wollongong club became the eighteenth recognised by the association in August 1934.
Until the early 1990s Apex only allowed male members, but the 2006 National Convention decided to merge the gender specific clubs (and boards) that had formed into one and for all to accept members of both genders to their clubs.
The last Apex in the Geelong Region (Grovedale) folded in 2015.
There are clubs in every state and territory of Australia and within each state there are regions which clubs belong to. There are approximately 150 active clubs. Membership is open to men and women between 18 and 45, although each individual club now have the right to increase this upper age limit and numerous clubs have done so. School-based Apex Youth Clubs are also being introduced for members between 14 and 18.
Apex undertakes a range of activities aimed at youth with its major programs including running Public Speaking and Debating competitions. Apex also runs the Apex Australia Teenage Fashion Awards in each state with the top three in each section heading to the national final, that is held in October each year. Other events include the Gympie Music Muster held outside Gympie each year, as well as ute musters, B&S balls, and anything else a club decides to organise.
Apex has raised large amounts of money to put into trust funds which then distribute grants each year, this is held under the custodianship of the Apex Foundation.
- Sir John Buchan (founder of the Buchan Group, former President of the Australia/America Association and Councillor of the City of Melbourne).
- Frank Beauchamp (the inaugural President of the Guide Dog Association of South Australia)
- The late Joe Ford OAM (former Grand Master of the Machester Unity Friendly Society and President of the Berrima District Historical Society)
- "Apex Clubs in Sydney & New South Wales (NSW), Australia". Clubsofaustralia.com.au. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- "APEX AUSTRALIA : Ideals, Logo and Mission". Renmarkapexclub.com. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- "Geelong and district". The Argus (Melbourne) (27, 453). Victoria, Australia. 14 August 1934. p. 3. Retrieved 15 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Apex - Our History". Apex.org.au. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- "At Geelong for Apex's 50th". Victor Harbour Times. 70 (3, 064). South Australia. 22 April 1981. p. 2. Retrieved 15 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Apex Movement". The Advocate (Australia). Tasmania, Australia. 9 March 1933. p. 2. Retrieved 15 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
- "The Apex Club". Camperdown Chronicle. LVII (1675). Victoria, Australia. 17 September 1931. p. 5. Retrieved 15 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Call to Youth For Communal Service". Northern Star. 62. New South Wales, Australia. 14 May 1938. p. 13. Retrieved 15 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for Mackay". Adb.online.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 18 November 2014.