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Natfly General Meeting


DonRamsay
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As there will be no Natfly this year, what happens to the Natfly General Meeting? This possibility was recognised at the last AGM when an amendment to the Constitution was passed that gave the Board the right (and duty) to schedule a general meeting approx 6 months after the AGM.

 

Another amendment to the Constitution required the Secretary to invite members to submit items for the Agenda. In accordance with that, the Secretary has included that invitation in the current edition of SportPilot and flagged that the Agenda, location and timing of the General Meeting will be announced in the next edition of the Magazine.

 

The original purpose of having a Natfly General Meeting was to give the greatest number of members the opportunity to attend a General Meeting. It was also hoped that in time, the Natfly GM could become the AGM.

 

The Natfly GM was also needed to provide a second opportunity, along with the AGM, to have Constitutional change voted on. In his Presidents report in this months SportPilot, Mick Monck mentioned that amending the Constitution was to be a priority this year. In particular, there have been many suggestions to reduce the size of the Board. This cost saving and streamlining move will require considerable work on the current constitution to achieve. It implies a change in not just the number of Board Members but the process for election of Board Members. It is going to require real and considerable consultation with members all around Australia and members are going to need to approach the revisions with an open mind and a maturity that should consign parochial Regional thinking to the dustbin of history.

 

 

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As there will be no Natfly this year, what happens to the Natfly General Meeting? This possibility was recognised at the last AGM when an amendment to the Constitution was passed that gave the Board the right (and duty) to schedule a general meeting approx 6 months after the AGM.Another amendment to the Constitution required the Secretary to invite members to submit items for the Agenda. In accordance with that, the Secretary has included that invitation in the current edition of SportPilot and flagged that the Agenda, location and timing of the General Meeting will be announced in the next edition of the Magazine.

The original purpose of having a Natfly General Meeting was to give the greatest number of members the opportunity to attend a General Meeting. It was also hoped that in time, the Natfly GM could become the AGM.

 

The Natfly GM was also needed to provide a second opportunity, along with the AGM, to have Constitutional change voted on. In his Presidents report in this months SportPilot, Mick Monck mentioned that amending the Constitution was to be a priority this year. In particular, there have been many suggestions to reduce the size of the Board. This cost saving and streamlining move will require considerable work on the current constitution to achieve. It implies a change in not just the number of Board Members but the process for election of Board Members. It is going to require real and considerable consultation with members all around Australia and members are going to need to approach the revisions with an open mind and a maturity that should consign parochial Regional thinking to the dustbin of history.

"open mind" and "parochial" in the same sentence - good one, Don. Isn't democracy a real bastard.

 

 

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Don, have you noticed that there has been a real drop off in RAA chatter on the forum for the last 9 months?

Does that mean we are all happy, or we've just given up.

I can't see there being any big resolutions if they haven't been announced yet. By the time they come out next magazine and allow for "proxy voting" you'd be extremely close to the required date of middle of april for the Meeting.

 

 

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Don, have you noticed that there has been a real drop off in RAA chatter on the forum for the last 9 months?

To a fair extent that reflects the appointment of quite a few of our chatterers to board positions, that seems to clip their wings on the public chatter side of things, it is always difficult to juggle board opinion and personal opinion in a public forum. I am betting there has been pressure bought to bear from within to button the lips.

 

 

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Don, have you noticed that there has been a real drop off in RAA chatter on the forum for the last 9 months?

FT,

I agree with your observation. The reduced level of chatter though should not be taken as meaning nothing much is happening. On the contrary, there is a great deal happening at Board and CEO level. The Board, as we hear from the Maj, Andy and Jim is functioning well. It seems we still have 3 or 4 passengers on the Board but no real problem children. We have a CEO tearing up a steep learning curve but with a great skill set brought to RA-Aus from his previous employments.

 

The Board is being led very well by Mick Monck who is working hard on our relationship with CASA to get it to a much better place than it has been. That does not mean being submissive but the right level of assertion in the right way to get a vastly better deal from CASA.

 

RA-Aus still has a long way to go to get to where it needs to be as an organisation and that fact is crystal clear in the collective intelligence of most Board Members. But, governance has been tightened right up and the Board maintains compliance with the Constitution, something previous Boards seemed to think was optional.

 

It is important that Board get on with the job. There are 13 of them and they have a busy forum of their own. We need them to consult with each other and get on with the job. They are elected to do just that. It is very difficult to keep all members aware of work that it is progress. But, it is critical that the membership is consulted on things like the draft of Ops and Tech manuals before they go into print. Mick Monck has promised to do that in future. Hold him to it.

 

I have a great deal of confidence in the personnel of our current Board. There is a clear majority of people who know what needs to be done and are getting on with it.

 

Such a contrast to where we were two years ago . . . rushing down the road to oblivion.

 

 

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I wonder if the "strategic plan" that's been in the works since last GM will be announced and discussed with the members. The newsletters have been a bust, very little information on what's actually happening back at HQ and on the board, lots of good information on staff hobbies and holidays though

 

 

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Have you gone back to the CEO and or President and said "Gee the newsletter is pretty light on details...how about doing X,Y and Z.....

 

Nothing changes if the feedback doesn't go back to the people who matter....

 

I know you have email interactions with both so not too much of a stretch to provide the feedback....... Current bunch will react to feedback IMHO

 

Andy

 

 

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FT,I agree with your observation. The reduced level of chatter though should not be taken as meaning nothing much is happening. On the contrary, there is a great deal happening at Board and CEO level. The Board, as we hear from the Maj, Andy and Jim is functioning well. It seems we still have 3 or 4 passengers on the Board but no real problem children. We have a CEO tearing up a steep learning curve but with a great skill set brought to RA-Aus from his previous employments.

 

The Board is being led very well by Mick Monck who is working hard on our relationship with CASA to get it to a much better place than it has been. That does not mean being submissive but the right level of assertion in the right way to get a vastly better deal from CASA.

 

RA-Aus still has a long way to go to get to where it needs to be as an organisation and that fact is crystal clear in the collective intelligence of most Board Members. But, governance has been tightened right up and the Board maintains compliance with the Constitution, something previous Boards seemed to think was optional.

 

It is important that Board get on with the job. There are 13 of them and they have a busy forum of their own. We need them to consult with each other and get on with the job. They are elected to do just that. It is very difficult to keep all members aware of work that it is progress. But, it is critical that the membership is consulted on things like the draft of Ops and Tech manuals before they go into print. Mick Monck has promised to do that in future. Hold him to it.

 

I have a great deal of confidence in the personnel of our current Board. There is a clear majority of people who know what needs to be done and are getting on with it.

 

Such a contrast to where we were two years ago . . . rushing down the road to oblivion.

It appears that the board is leaking to you but not to the rank and file. This of course begs the question of what they are not telling you and what you are not telling us (although that is not your job).

Michael has promised that the membership will be afforded an opportunity to input to and review the next Ops and Tech Manuals but he and the board were silent on the prospective changes to the Ops manual and are now not telling anyone about changes to the Tech manual. While the President's report suggests that we should be informed there is nothing in RAA staff or board body language that there is an inkling of an intention.

 

You tell me that 9 or 10 on the board are working flat out, obviously in a position to chat to you but not to us. Who would do all the work if the board was reduced to 7 complete with 3 or 4 passengers.

 

One could even ask about progress to get a approval for a replacement for "Allsize" props - I'm not sure how many Lightwings are grounded because they can't be used for training or hire - I would suspect I should expect the usual response.

 

 

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It appears that the board is leaking to you but not to the rank and file. This of course begs the question of what they are not telling you and what you are not telling us (although that is not your job).Michael has promised that the membership will be afforded an opportunity to input to and review the next Ops and Tech Manuals but he and the board were silent on the prospective changes to the Ops manual and are now not telling anyone about changes to the Tech manual. While the President's report suggests that we should be informed there is nothing in RAA staff or board body language that there is an inkling of an intention.

 

You tell me that 9 or 10 on the board are working flat out, obviously in a position to chat to you but not to us. Who would do all the work if the board was reduced to 7 complete with 3 or 4 passengers.

 

One could even ask about progress to get a approval for a replacement for "Allsize" props - I'm not sure how many Lightwings are grounded because they can't be used for training or hire - I would suspect I should expect the usual response.

Col

 

If a member asks me about X and I reply to him, is that leaking....or merely answering the question? (where X is not something that requires me to break board solidarity, or break privacy principles)

 

"Leaking" has a whole set of inferences, all negative, that IMHO aren't warranted.

 

Andy

 

 

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ColIf a member asks me about X and I reply to him, is that leaking....or merely answering the question? (where X is not something that requires me to break board solidarity, or break privacy principles)

 

"Leaking" has a whole set of inferences, all negative, that IMHO aren't warranted.

 

Andy

Do you want 9,000 members all ringing you up?

 

 

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No....but by the same token I don't want to have an answering machine that says "your call is important to us... select 1 for trite motherhood statements, 2 for unctuous agreements about whatever ails you, 3 for a buzzword bingo response. for a real answer to a real question please dial 1800WECARE !

 

I agree that RAAus Comms still hasn't reach the magnificence of the primary political parties but I still think its a bit better than it used to be.....

 

BTW I think the chances of getting 10,000 RAAus members to care enough to ring me is about as likely as me winning lotto when I don't play! Cynically I believe that the group of RAAus that care enough to question what is going on is about the same as the percentage of members that care enough to vote etc..... Clearly I know you are in the camp that does care...and have been for as long as we have been talking....

 

Andy

 

 

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It appears that the board is leaking to you but not to the rank and file. This of course begs the question of what they are not telling you and what you are not telling us (although that is not your job).

the RAA has always been about mates helping out mates

 

 

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It appears that the board is leaking to you but not to the rank and file. This of course begs the question of what they are not telling you and what you are not telling us (although that is not your job).

Col, that is an astounding and disturbing allegation to toss out there. Have a look back through what I wrote and you will find there is no fact in there that has not been made public by RA-Aus already in print or at members meetings. Some of my the comments are judgements rather than facts but I believe them to be reasonable and based on my personal observations. As you know, I have, at considerable personal expense, over the last few years made it my business to keep tabs on what is going on. So, I'm in the unusual position that I know every one of the Board Members personally and have talked to every one of them at different times including at many AGMS and General Meetings.

From time to time some Board Members (you would be surprised who) ask me for advice or bounce ideas off me and I'm always happy to do that. Of course that is done on a confidential basis with no strings attached from either side. There is none of the animosity and entrenched positions of the bad old days. There is a real grasp of what needs to be done and they are getting on with it. We shouldn't forget what a low base they are climbing up from.

 

By the same token, I am trying to stay out of their hair and let them get on with it. I have confidence in the current Board, Management and Staff that they know what needs to be done and are getting on with it. Allows me to enjoy flying in the confidence that Recreational Aviation has a bright future.

 

. . . You tell me that 9 or 10 on the board are working flat out, obviously in a position to chat to you but not to us. Who would do all the work if the board was reduced to 7 complete with 3 or 4 passengers.

I many have been a bit generous at 9 or 10 but most are doing what they can within their availability and capability. The many problems with 13 on the Board don't need a re-hash. With a smaller Board, chances are there'd be no passengers and no where to hide for a lazy or unresponsive Board Member. And, with a competent CEO, the work of the Board is reduced to the highest level strategy and policy issues. And who knows, they just might actually get around to tapping into the available talent in the membership base and utilise sub-committees.

 

 

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Having a look at the recent membership spread published in the magazine, I can't see why at the next AGM a resolution can't be put forward reducing the board to 8. An even number of board members isn't of great concern since we have a procedure in place for resolutions which are dead locked.

 

A special resolution isn't that complicated and if the board are serious about getting it done could be ready by April, you are editing the Appendix B and one clause 18vii (quorum from 7 to 5). This years election would elect the new Group B and fill the vacant positions of Group A.

 

RA-AUS Board.xls

 

RA-AUS Board.xls

 

RA-AUS Board.xls

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. . . A special resolution isn't that complicated

Having done about 25 Special Resolutions, I agree that the process is straightforward enough. However, getting the wording right is not a trivial exercise partly because of the clumsy way our Constitution is put together (courtesy of the model rules in the Regs).

 

. . . if the board are serious about getting it done could be ready by April . . .

The SR requires 21 days notice. To get that done, the SR would need to appear in the March edition of the SportPilot. Deadline for matters for the March SportPilot would have been around 13 February. Even if the work was done, it would appear as a "take it or leave it" proposition with no prior consultation. Col Jones would not be happy about that!

 

. . . you are editing the Appendix B and one clause 18vii (quorum from 7 to 5). This years election would elect the new Group B and fill the vacant positions of Group A.

If you had a 5 or 7 or even 8 person Board, you would not need an executive sub committee of the board. All Board decisions and actions could practically be a decision of the entire Board. That of course is not practical with a 13 person Board.

You really need to amend Rules 12, 13, (possibly 16), 18 (vii) and any Rule that references the Executive. You need to be very clear about having one region - "Australia" - otherwise you end up in a quagmire of parochial gerrymanders.

 

 

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Removing the executive isn't required for a reduction of the board and should be treated and addressed separately. You still need a process between board meetings, I doubt that should be given to a single person (no checks and balances)

 

I don't understand the one region reference?

 

 

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Or, being more blunt than Don and prepared to call a spade a spade, No its not easy and what problem is it that you are trying to fix? I hear constantly that the board is too big...and maybe it is, but of all the many problems we have, board size, at present (in my not so humble opinion), is not priority one! but I haven't always said that and feel you could go back in time and find under a previous president plenty of posts by me arguing for a smaller board....that by fact that there were really only a small number managing the show (actually managing is a poor word to use....there really didn't seem to be too much managing, merely a lot of circular motion!) Getting our spending under control and getting our systems updates sorted is the very best way to ensure we are sustainable.......Then fine tuning the size of the board can be dealt with at your hearts content.

 

What turn around are you expecting a change of this type to produce? what is it that you feel is not being addressed?

 

Work continues on Functional specifications for our new systems. History has shown me that while this step can sometimes be seen as a hell of step, reality is that if you get this one right you get to pay only once for your system to be written/integrated (if Of The Shelf based) Don't spend the time getting the functional spec spot on and you get to pay for your system at least 3 times (and that's just cost focus...if looking for time then its generally worse than 3 times) , once to get it wrong, once to pay the developers to work with you to get the spec right, and once more hopefully to produce it right. I've seem some disasters where 3 times around the buoy would appear to be sheer luxury!

 

The point of all this diatribe........Work is progressing and the WIP (work in progress) is being reviewed but there isn't really anything to show the members yet....don't think that because you aren't seeing something that nothing is being done....... To me if I were just a member rather than on the board I would be asking for progress reporting at the upcoming GM and a view of the expected timeline......

 

Andy

 

 

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3 reasons, one is that 13 doesn't seem manageable and this has been quoted a few times from both board members and RAA management staff. The fact it only seems to meet and pass resolutions twice a year also (still waiting for the recent resolution to cancel NATFLY for 2015 to be published, or is that another board decision that doesn't qualify as a vote and resolution by the board), suggests not much is done in phone hookup meetings.

 

Another reason as you touched on is to reduce costs. It's alot cheaper in travel and reimbusements for 8 members then 13, and while I acknowledge it won't solve our financial crisis, every little bit helps.

 

And lastly, because the current divisions is not representative. Like 102 members (about 1%) being able to elect one of the 13 board members, or Qld having an extra board position over NSW/ACT while representing less members.

 

 

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In a modern intelligent tech savvy industry, there is no need for the board to be region based at all. The board should be selected from a pool of the people best suited to do the job irrespective of current residential location. IMHO. To choose on regions is doing the RA Aus a disservice by not giving us access to all potential candidates.

 

 

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While the board member is selected by members based on the region, they don't actually need to be a resident of that region to stand for election. Regional based is not my preference (but a lot of members are for it). If you try and change too much too quickly we'll end up still discussing this in 10 years time without any changes at all.

 

 

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