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Congratulations & Thanks Andy & Michael


DonRamsay
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Congratulations and thanks to Andy Saywell and Michael Apps for accepting nomination and being elected to the two NSW/ACT board positions.

 

We should be grateful that we now have three excellent Board Members from NSW/ACT.

 

 

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I haven't seen all the results yet but I understand the Maj was returned, Mike Smith (SQld) , Mark Christie (NT) and Eugene Reid (Tas) returned unopposed.

 

Congratulations and thanks to them all for their commitment to serving the members of RA-Aus.

 

 

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Guest Maj Millard

A big thanks to all those who took the time to exercise their privelage and vote.

 

Again improved voter numbers as I understand it.

 

It is a great time to be part of the board. Whilst there are those out there who continue to cry out that the RAA is surely doomed, there are many more like myself who feel that the RAA at present, is probabily in a stronger position than it has been in many years, with even stronger times ahead.

 

Those are the members who are happy with the board members that they themselves elected, and like the board itself feel that we have covered considerable ground since Jan his year, when it appeared that our immediate future was very uncertain.

 

As a meeting with CASA just this past week showed, we now have a much better rapport with the regulator, and are now discussing things one on one with them, instead of them dictating to us how things will be done, as was their previous style.

 

I feel this is a direct result of the board president Mick Monck's two brilliant and very timely visits to the aviation minister to voice our concerns about how we were being treated by CASA and in particular SASAO. This risky move was taken with full board support.

 

We also now have a very exciting and very active new CEO, who like Michael Monck doesn't beat around the bush, and has also hit the ground running from day one. The new CEO has already reduced our projected budget deficit for this year to almost half. Additionally he has presented CASA with a new RAA re-registration way of doing things, and they have viewed it very favourably . The new proposed system will completely eliminate the hiccups that the current processing methods continue to experience, once and for all. His pro- active style is a breath of fresh air to all working with him.

 

I am eagerly looking foward to the next two years of my service to the board, and have every intention of carrying out my prime goals of protecting the freedoms and privelages that we currently enjoy, ensuring that our organization survives and prospers in to the future, and minimising the regulatory burden upon our sport...

 

As self- administering organizations go in this country at the present time, the RAA is one of the strongest, and we will continue to get even stronger with the board and staff that we currently have in place in my opinion ..................Maj......012_thumb_up.gif.cb3bc51429685855e5e23c55d661406e.gif

 

 

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I thought there were some other candidates down in Tassie

Sorry, of course you are correct there were other candidates for Tasmania. Clearly, we didn't work hard enough to get some new blood.

 

 

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Great post Maj. Everything I hear these days confirms what you have written. In January last year I was very pessimistic about the future of RA-Aus and for good reason. But, in August 2014, I would say the prospects for RA-Aus have not been brighter any time in the last 5 years. This is not just optimism based on hope but confidence in the new Board and Management to re-establish RA-Aus at the pinnacle of Self-Administering Sport Aviation Organisations.

 

I believe this turnaround is the result of member activism overcoming a long tradition of member apathy and voting in a Board that is both dedicated and capable.

 

The next big step is going to be cutting costs and lifting service levels by modernisation of our IT systems and reducing the Board from 13 to 7 or even 5. Potential annual savings in excess of $500,000 are realistically achievable and should be reflected in the Budget for the 2015-2016 financial year.

 

Don

 

 

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Thanks Don,

 

As I see it the CEO already has IT modernisation of office procedures firmly in his sights and has already commenced that work in earnest as we speak.

 

Any working office needs a leader to set the pace, and it is a difference office now to what it was two months ago.

 

I might also make note of the belief of some, that all of the board members should be highly qualified in the academic field. Of the four board members selected by the board president to carry out recruitment of the new, and so far very capable CEO, only one carried any notable academic qualifications. Rather the other three were however very experienced and long-term participants in our sport. It would also appear that the members in North Queensland feel the same way in them re-electing me to the board over my competitor, who ran on his considerable academic qualifications.....as I see it we do need to reduce the board numbers ( I favour 7 or 9) however I feel the best mix is an equal split of both academic qualified, and members with considerable experience in the sport to show the best long- term judgement and make the best decisions on members' behalf..the main thinking in reducing the number of board members was to improve decision making and productivity of the board.. However due to a new online process now put inplace by the president, the board can now vote on any decision and bring it to a conclusion within 24 hours or less. The process has already been used a couple of times, and shown to be very successfull in making prompt decisions and getting things done....additionally although annual board expenses could certainly be trimmed somewhat, it is not one of the major expenses when compared to say producing the magazine each month...........Maj....

 

 

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Maj, I completely agree with your assessment that we should have diversity of experience, qualifications and skills on the Board. Going back a few years, 7 out of the 10 on the Board were CFIs - not a lot of diversity there. Equally not good would be nobody on the Board with maintenance or instructing credits. I think we have quite a good mix at the moment.

 

The other thing not to forget is that we have close to 10,000 aviation enthusiasts as members - many of them have considerable skills and experience that is available to the CEO and the Board for work on sub-committees. This is a valuable resource that has been severely under-utilised in the past.

 

 

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Guest Maj Millard

That's correct Don, we do indeed have a huge amount of experience out there to draw upon. Yes a few years back it appeared that being a CFI was the minimum qualification to become a board member, which was of course plain wrong and which I believe supported the feeling that it was an 'old boys' club.

 

Although I don't hold any formal academic qualifications, I am highly qualified and trained in the engineering field in many different areas at a formal level, and I have spent a lifetime in aviation and recreational sports.

 

I have already found this to be a distinct advantage as a board member in dealing with both Ops, Tech areas, and also with the regulator.

 

It does help to be able to 'talk the talk' so to speak, and I feel have already been quite helpfull to some in those areas.........Maj.......

 

 

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Guest Maj Millard
how much does the magazine cost? and could we do without the paper copy?

The cost varies somewhat but it is in the a region of $70k per issue (11 issues per year) which covers production and distribution . It is more of a money loosing area than a profit maker for the organization. Various proposals are currently being looked at and considered by the board and CEO. Proposals were discussed at the Natfly board meeting to produce both an online and print version so that the area can be turned into a profit maker and it is a major area of discussion at this time..I don't support completely doing away with the paper version ...............Maj

 

 

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I have been involved with a similar circulation association magazine that was break- even. This was achieved from advertising revenue and I think that is where we have an opportunity. Engage an advertising agent to build up the revenue.

 

It takes a year for a new board member to become an effective contributor, so too much turnover is bad. I think we have it right at present, congratulations to the new board members. I would add previous board experience as useful background to the technical skills.

 

 

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The Magazine is the major means for RA-Aus Board and Managers to communicate directly with pilots, instructors and maintainers. And most on here have said that they want to know more not less.

 

With the popularity of iPads and the like an electronic version would be well received. However, it would have to be one or the other. To add an electronic version and keep the print version would add some costs. If you reduced the print version by making it optional the savings at the margin would be, well, marginal.

 

Alternating print and ezine versions month about could well be an acceptable cost saving without damaging communication.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that all magazines will over the next few years go electronic. The trend is well established in the market with all Mag sales on the decline.

 

Personally I, and a I suspect most on here, would be more than happy with an electronic version with the opportunity for the addition of video. Better to hear the President's report than read a column?

 

 

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Yes, I would be happy with an electronic version but I think the printed version is good for marketing and promoting the RAA.

 

No doubt all RAA clubs and training facilities are sent a few free copies every issue?

 

I've also noticed public libraries stock magazines. Are they getting the mag?

 

Lots of marketing avenues are available with it. Are we utilizing it to it's full potential?

 

 

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Paper version I still like, can't come to grips with reading a mag on the iPad yet it just isn't the same.

 

Although the idea of video does appeal a lot if we could make good instructional or educational type videos

 

Best part of the paper mag is they stay around for a long time, I just cleaned out the cupboard at home and sent all my old mags to my sons primary school library, so who knows what might come of some young mind reading on of them in the future.

 

 

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The real beauty of the paper magazine is the RAA can make statements about the RAA and they disappear into the cupboard or recycling bins within a week. If they made those statements via the internet they are part of history forever. The same reason the RAA President doesn't make comments on this forum, scrutiny of decisions will always work against the board.

 

Imagine how many negative comments Eugene would have gotten as president and treasurer on this forum, it probably would have made him quit the board. Thankfully for us, he doesn't engage with the members online.

 

 

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That's correct Don, we do indeed have a huge amount of experience out there to draw upon. Yes a few years back it appeared that being a CFI was the minimum qualification to become a board member, which was of course plain wrong and which I believe supported the feeling that it was an 'old boys' club.Although I don't hold any formal academic qualifications, I am highly qualified and trained in the engineering field in many different areas at a formal level, and I have spent a lifetime in aviation and recreational sports.

I have already found this to be a distinct advantage as a board member in dealing with both Ops, Tech areas, and also with the regulator.

 

It does help to be able to 'talk the talk' so to speak, and I feel have already been quite helpfull to some in those areas.........Maj.......

Formal qualifications are just a piece of paper and only prove that you have attended lectures, tutorials and passed exams to the satisfaction of the appropriate academy. Some of the most exceptional people I have employed or been involved with in business were not academics but had worked their way through, suffered the pitfalls and learned through the university of life. Being a good communicator and an exceptional listener are at the top of my list. You demonstrate these qualities.

Congratulations for your re-appointment and also to Andy (my local rep & resident at our airfield) & to Michael.

 

 

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Yes, I would be happy with an electronic version but I think the printed version is good for marketing and promoting the RAA.No doubt all RAA clubs and training facilities are sent a few free copies every issue?

I've also noticed public libraries stock magazines. Are they getting the mag?

 

Lots of marketing avenues are available with it. Are we utilizing it to it's full potential?

Some very good points there Downunder. I'm pretty sure that all members, including affiliated Clubs and FTFs get a copy. I doubt that we send copies to Libraries and that I think could be useful in getting the message out. I wonder who uses Libraries these days? Pensioners and kids? Not sure too many Gen X or Y wander in to a library too often.

Anyhow, perhaps you could suggest copies for Libraries to your local Board Member? The marginal cost of a few more mags is not a big ticket item. We could even consider knocking a buck or two off the price - as long as we're covering the marginal cost we are not losing anything.

 

However, I think a web based version is going to get a much wider (& free) circulation than we could ever hope for from a print magazine.

 

 

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There's no evidence that the magazine actually works as a marketing vehicle. Most people that can afford aviation own those TV things with typewriters in front of them that are connected to the interwebs and the cloud.

 

Don, how often are you in your local library?

 

 

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The real beauty of the paper magazine is the RAA can make statements about the RAA and they disappear into the cupboard or recycling bins within a week. If they made those statements via the internet they are part of history forever.

Not sure I agree with you there FT. Every so often, I drag out the Magazine and quote passages from Eugene's column when he was President, especially remarks about what a good CEO Robbie Costmeyer was going to be only to hound him out the door after a week or two and appoint his mate Tizzard with no recruitment/selection process. You are correct of course that if that report was on the net it would be readily available for any current member to read about the bad old days and wonder.

 

The same reason the RAA President doesn't make comments on this forum, scrutiny of decisions will always work against the board.Imagine how many negative comments Eugene would have gotten as president and treasurer on this forum, it probably would have made him quit the board. Thankfully for us, he doesn't engage with the members online.

Can't speak for Eugene but the main reason most Board Members other (than Ross and Jim) don't often get involved here I think has to do with the fact that their own Board Forum is a pretty busy place (and should be) and it must take precedence for them. Being a Board Member is a very time consuming activity - especially if you are doing it right. However, I think most do at least monitor what is said on here.

 

Another reason is that some have copped untold abuse just for stating their opinions. Intellectual criticism of a point of view targeted at the opinion not the holder of the opinion is fine but there are times when that line has been crossed.

 

What RA-Aus needs, I believe, is a mailout (email) to all members utilising the email address on the members register. For that to work, members need to be able to update their personal data more often than once a year at membership renewal time. Online access to your personal data would certainly result in a more accurate and up to date members register.

 

How anyone can function as a pilot without access to email and the net now is something I wonder about.

 

 

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