Simone Pettit elected first female president as Club Heathcote is rescued from administration

When Club Heathcote went into voluntary administration and closed its doors 15 months ago, it appeared unlikely they would ever reopen.

However, the club was able to start functioning again in December last year and, after paying creditors and trading profitably, the external administration has ended.

"This is a great story about the community banding together to save an important social asset," said Simone Pettit, who was elected the club's first female president at the annual general meeting on May 31.

"Without this club, Heathcote and Waterfall would have no public/community venue."

Ms Pettit, a long-time club member who is the operations manager for one of the club's suppliers, negotiated the bailout with creditors.

Ms Pettit said rescuing the club, which is officially called Heathcote Services and Citizens Club, had been "very difficult".

"Once you go into administration it is very hard to get back out," she said.

"It's all about liquidation for people like ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission) and the ATO (Australian Tax Office).

"You are pushing uphill to find anyone who has confidence you will be able to trade profitably again.

"Luckily for us, there are some really motivated community people who didn't want that to happen and here we are going well."

Ms Pettit said membership had increased from about 900 to more than 1600 and attendance at the anual general meeting was up 50 per cent on that at the previous three annual meetings.

Ms Pettit said to, make the club viable again, the board had reviewed all costs and expenditure and cut out anything that was wasn't deemed to be necessary.

"For instance, we are now doing our own stocktakes instead of having someone come in every month," she said.

"The board are all involved in undertakings within the club to reduce the administration costs.

"We are doing things like marketing, promotions and social media and setting up functions, including community events.

"We have been putting on live entertainment, with a band every month, and getting people into the club through other initiatives, such as the Heathcote Meat and Machines Festival staged on Sunday, June 16.

Rain kept most people away from the car park event, which included a wood-fired, American-style barbecue, provided by Fired Up BBQ of Engadine, and a car and bike display.

It was warmer inside the club where the Hard Rocking Amigos performed.