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More From Michael Monck

On 17/07/2013 11:02 AM, Michael Monck wrote:


A few more weeks/months have passed since the February meeting and unfortunately things don’t seem to be getting better. It is hard to tell what is going on but from what I can gather our association is still going through some serious turmoil.

We have had three presidents since the February meeting. Steve Runciman was replaced by Ed Herring who has also since stood down and been replaced by Rod Birrell. There has been some other significant movements within the board with our treasurer resigning then taking on a paid position within the organisation (there may be questions about due process here and I can understand the cries from some members claiming it appears like a jobs for the boys situation). The public officer resigned from the association. The WA rep stood down from his position. All in the last few months.

The registration issue is still on going. Like many other members I have spoken I am directly affected by the issue. In my case there seems to be no simple answer as I have been informed that a piece of paper (indeed several pieces of paper) that were issued by RA-Aus and formed the basis of registration for my aircraft are not valid. In fact, I’ve been told that RA-Aus never had the authority to issue the paperwork and, despite the plane flying safely for some ten years now, it can no longer be registered as it was. The only option available at this stage is to register it as a single seat aircraft.

The numbers are interesting and the last time we had an idea of the total number of aircraft affected was at 26 March 2013 when we were told that 405 aircraft were caught in the backlog. I may be mistaken but I can’t find a further update to that so I can only assume it has gotten worse.

It’s clear to me that while Mark Clayton and Wayne Matthews are doing an outstanding job the board has guided our association into its worst position in history. Unfortunately it seems history is once again repeating itself and many of the seats due for election this time round have gone uncontested. There are 6 positions up for election and only one, in NSW, is being contested by more than one nominee. While this time round we have been lucky in that most of these seats have been filled by people who appear to be good candidates it does beg the question – if multiple good candidates are coming from one state then why does our present system prevent them from standing? I don’t know many of the other nominees for NSW very well but it looks as though there are some solid credentials in there. Why would we exclude these guys purely based on their place of residence? Of course we could simply re-elect the incumbent Dave Caban but before doing so I would suggest some serious questions need to be asked.

In his election statement he notes that he was the secretary from 2005 and it seems that he has had a period of continuing service on the board since then. One of the pieces of paper I referred to above in relation to my aircraft was issued in 2006. Dave also served as the Treasurer for a little under a year in 2009/10. What he doesn’t note is that the board asked him to step down from the position. He also mentions the “theory of a new broom sweeps clean” but dismisses this with “history and corporate knowledge is generally maintained with the on-going commitment of long standing board members ”. I would agree that corporate knowledge will be maintained if Dave is re-elected but would ask what use this is if the same knowledge led us to the point we are at today.

I still have concerns about the future of our association. I urge each and every one of you to firstly, take the opportunity to vote in the upcoming election and secondly, take the time to think about who you are voting for. Think about what they offer you as a member. Are they capable of delivering on their promises or will they just attend the board meetings and eat sandwiches?

For what it is worth I have worked with many organisations in the past that have faced similar issues as RA-Aus faces today. These organisations have successfully overcome their problems and are stronger as a result of the changes that have come in. They have done this not through stubbornness, instead they’ve pulled together to see what needs to be done and, as a team, they’ve done it. This is what RA-Aus needs to do now.

We need good governance, rational minds and a change from reactive decision making to forward looking strategic thinking. We need some solid leadership over the next few years so we can turn this turmoil into an opportunity for change and make some changes that result in RA-Aus being a bigger, better and stronger association for many years to come.

Please, take the time to vote and have your say. Spread the word to your fellow members and get them to vote as well. At risk of sounding morbid it may be the last chance we get if we don’t do it right this time around.


Michael Monck.

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