Changing of the guard at Ciderfest

The Batlow CiderFest AGM held at the Batlow RSL, with 14 Committee members in attendance, was a celebration of many significant achievements including recognition and thanks for the vision of the outgoing Batlow CiderFest founder and leader, Harald Tietze and the tireless commitment of the retiring ChairpersonRay Billing.

Kevin Dodds, Batlow CiderFest Social Media and Website Coordinator, in attendance via videolink offered said “sincere congratulations, thanks and recognition must be passed onto Ray and Harald for their support of the Committee and the Batlow CiderFest overall, their achievements for Batlow have been amazing– the CiderFest has generated a lot of genuine goodwill and brought new people to Batlow and encouraged many who were previous residents to return to visit”.

Mr Billing made special mention of all Committee members’ dedication, hard work and long-term commitment outlaid over the 10 years he had been chair.

He extended his personal thanks to the incoming chairperson, Richard Breward for providing the electrical work in support of the Festival entertainment.

Looking to the future, Mr Billing said he felt confident he was handing over the Festival ‘in good shape’ as evaluation and feedback data from the 2021 Festival recorded 120 volunteers supported the event, 66 per cent of attendees were repeat visitors, 40per cent attended due to ‘word-of-mouth’, 97 per cent of attendees were in Batlow specifically to attend the Festival and 3,600-plus people attended the event despite Covid-19 and a turn in the weather.

Overwhelmingly the post Festival survey of attendees indicated they would prefer the event be held as a street party and the Committee was in support of reverting back to the original format, should the NSW Health regulations enable this to occur.

At the AGM, Keith McLaren was re-elected as Treasurer, Kylie Boxall was elected as Alcohol Stallholder Coordinator, Col Agate was re-elected as General Stallholder Coordinator, Kevin Dodds was elected as Social Media/Website Coordinator.


Karly Fynn, Turnstyle Events, was thanked for her agile event coordination and work with the Committee and Tonya Valentino for her work as Committee Secretary.

Anne Hallard was elected in the role of Publicity and Promotions with Kylie Boxsell elected as Sponsorship Coordinator, Chris Shoemark, Maria Long and Neil Shaw were elected as Volunteer Coordinators and Tina Billing, Harald Tietze and Maria Long were elected as General Committee Members.