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Update from Michael Monck

paul mckeownDDSAA general meeting summary‘Morning all. Another email from Michael Monck, shown below without modification.

I have attached several documents which Michael sent to me as attachments in his email. I have also made some comments of my own, at the very bottom of this post.

Letter from Michael Monck…
Hi all,

Let me begin (again) with an apology. It has been a number of weeks since the general meeting and I am sure you have been waiting for some sort of ‘debrief’. I was hoping to have a audio recording of the events to post by now but have had no luck on this front. Furthermore, catching up on work has taken some considerable time over this period and I have unfortunately not gotten around to providing a summary until now so I apologise for taking this long.

I have only included people on this list that responded to me in the past (and have removed the email addresses of those who requested removal) to avoid annoying people. I had a comment from the secretary accusing me of hacking into the RA-Aus computer system to get email addresses and infuriating a lot of people. I’m sure that many more people were infuriated by not being able to fly their aircraft but to avoid irritating anyone else I thought it best to cut down the list. Feel free to pass this on to anyone who you think might be interested and let them know to contact me if they would like to be added to my list.

The meeting went well although not as well as we had hoped. As we said there was no intention to remove the board or even any individuals, the meeting was always intended to open up a dialogue between the board and the membership and establish a line of communication that should have existed well before now. While this happened, I still feel we have some way to go before the board recognises that those who are asking questions are not detractors, they are simply members that are concerned and interested in the affairs of the association.

The morning began with a challenge from the floor on the subject of who chairs the meeting. While the constitution clearly states that the president will preside over all meetings, general meetings included, many people in the room felt that the president could not effectively chair the meeting as he, and other board members, were the topic of the meeting. A motion was put forward from the floor to this effect and was refused by the president who stated that the constitution is clear and we must abide by it. When his position of president was questioned (due to his resignation some months earlier) he clearly stated that he was the president and that would remain so until someone chose to take him to court.

It’s worth noting here that the question around his position stems from his resignation and subsequent withdrawal. He resigned and then a day or two later withdrew his resignation, his resignation also applied to his position as a member representative. His letter was clear that he resigned immediately and so the position was left vacant once the email was delivered. The constitution (the one that the same president said we must all abide by) provides guidance in this situation. The only way a member representative can be appointed is through a vote from the membership. Given that no poll was conducted the question of whether the position is still vacant and the members have been refused this right to reinstate him is one that goes unanswered.

I must stress at this point that the board has sought legal advice on this and the meeting was assured that everything was being conducted appropriately. We were not given access to this advice (advice that was paid for with member funds) and had to simply suck it up and live with it. It’s even more interesting that when the rest of the board (those who acted to accept the withdrawal of the resignation) were asked if they had seen the advice a significant number of them indicated that they had not. It seems that our board were not even privy to the goings on of the association.

The meeting moved on to discuss other topics and of course the registration debacle was one of these topics. To my way of thinking the executive simply passed the buck by saying that the problems arose well before they were appointed and therefore they weren’t responsible. This was followed by them saying sorry. It was clear from the secretary’s letter prior to the meeting that this was the way he felt and that they should be left alone to do their work and we should move one. It does raise the question though – if the problems existed prior to their appointment then the same could be said of the Tech Manager that commenced in April 2012 and was terminated later that same year. The executive alluded to deficiencies on his part and that he was responsible for his actions…

A notable question from the floor came when someone asked who instructed the staff to tell members that a computer glitch was holding up the registration process (despite there being no such glitch). Both the president and secretary denied knowledge of this instruction. The floor was then asked for a show of hands reflecting who, of those present, had received this advice. Several members raised their hands. Again, more questions remain…

Discussion around legal actions against the association also took place. We were told that we weren’t allowed to know what was going on and that the insurance company was handling everything. We weren’t even allowed to know what actions were being taken against RA-Aus (aside from being told that no Ibis owners had informed RA-Aus that they were considering legal action against RA-Aus) and were even informed that we were not allowed to know what our insurance covers! So we, as members, are expected to fly around the country side taking on all sorts of risk and yet are not allowed to know which of those risks we may be liable for. Furthermore, we don’t know whether we are sufficiently insured against risks as an association. That said, it was pointed out that we have a considerable reserve of cash in the bank and that this would be used to pay out any existing cases. This is despite the treasurer presenting a set of accounts with absolutely no provisions for such payments being included. Some significant questions still remain in my mind…

The meeting moved on and several motions were put forward. Geoff Kidd put a significant motion forward to begin a path of change which was followed with a motion to engage professional help in doing this. Both of these motions are, if followed through with, steps towards making RA-Aus a sustainable association well into the future. My hope is that the board takes these seriously and reacts in a more proactive manner than they did when they received the first audit results at the end of 2012. My concern is that they won’t. I have offered, both verbally and in written form, to provide assistance where my expertise may be useful (see my attached email) and have not even received an acknowledgement of my email let alone a request for help.

NatFly is approaching and we will be raising some more questions at the general meeting to be held over that weekend. I urge you to come along if you can (if not for the meeting then simply for the flying – it’s a great weekend and a real showpiece for our association) and voice your opinions. To my way of thinking this is a turning point in the history of our association and we should do everything we can to make sure we take the right road. At no point during the February meeting was it necessary to exercise the use of proxy’s as none of the motions put forward were contested by anyone in the room, however, I urge you to consider your vote at the NatFly meeting and to use it in a way that will reflect your wishes and views going forward.

To finish off I would like you to take a look at a couple of other attachments to this email. They are other people’s views of the meeting proceedings and I hope they will help you to form an opinion on the general flavour of the meeting. I am trying to present a balanced view of proceedings and one way to do this is to provide all sides. Unfortunately, at this time the only summary I have seen from a board member is the one from Ed Herring, it would be nice to have more communication from other board members but at this stage I have not seen anything so I can’t provide it here. If there is more communication from other board members that I have missed then I would be happy to forward it to others if you provide it to me.

As always, feel free to get in touch with me and have a chat. My phone number is 0419 244 794 or you can write to me via return email. And of course – send this email to other interested people!



See attachments, below.
Comment by admin…

Many of you will be familiar with George Orwell’s nightmarish vision of a post-apocalyptic world run by bureaucrats, “1984”.

One of the endearing terms used by Orwell in the book was the notion of the “unperson”, a person who had existed, no longer existed, or never existed at all. By using this term, a person could be effectively expunged from reality, assigned to a shadow world where everyday concepts are no more than ambiguous wordplay.

It seems to me that Mr Runciman, the president who was, then wasn’t, now is again, (quite illegally in my opinion), could easily be regarded as the “unpresident”.

The hold be has on the position he occupies is in complete contradiction to his stated desire that the Constitution be followed correctly.

Four failed audits are enough. When are those responsible for the mess going to fall on their swords?
email to SR

DDSAA general meeting summary

Ed Herring 14 Feb 2013

paul mckeown

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