Your National Committee met on 18 October 2010 by teleconference and the re-constituted National Committee met in Canberra on 27/28 November 2010.
Thanks go to outgoing elected National Committee members Peter van Vliet and George Williams. George has offered to remain as a consultant on constitutional issues. Welcome to new members Adam Wand (NSW), David Glynne Jones (ACT), Tom Curtis (QLD), and Youth Convener Francis Ventura (VIC). Grant Jordan has stepped down as WA Convener due to ill health and has been replaced by Hayden Foote. Thank you Grant and welcome Hayden. David Donovan has handed over to Ross Garrad as QLD Convener. Welcome Ross. David will continue as an elected member in the portfolio of Vice Chair (Media). Other individual portfolios for National Committee members were agreed and are listed for your information elsewhere in this eNewsletter.
The 27/28 November 2010 meeting was focused on a strategic review of where we are, where we want to be and how to bridge the gap! Inputs were many and varied and included your response to the October 2010 questionnaire. Interestingly, your replies to the questionnaire clearly illustrated what a demanding lot we are! You want an Australian republic, you want it now, you want us to be assertive but polite and you want a communications strategy that embraces both new technology and traditional methods - quite an ask for an all volunteer self-funding organisation! We were also able to put the inputs in the context of the results of recent meetings with all side of politics.
In a nutshell the outcomes of the National Committee meeting were:
1. What we have been doing over recent years has not cut through to achieve our objective. The ARM is alive and stable but we are a long way from achieving a republic.
2. This situation will not change unless we change.
3. Our primary focus in 2011 must be establishing the issue on the national agenda.
4. We are an advocacy organisation, advocating severing constitutional ties with the English monarchy and establishing an Australian citizen as our Head of State to unambiguously represent us the Australian people. We do not seek to be the sole source of wisdom on what process should be adopted - largely a matter for the Government of the day - or what option should be preferred - a matter for the people.
5. We need to engage more effectively with the political process, including Members of Parliament from all parties and independent and engage more successfully with the Australian community right around Australia.
6. To effect the required changes
we need a full-time paid Director/CEO and a communications strategy that embraces a social media approach together with our more familiar and traditional methods. We have the embryonic plans but we need to fund this structure for FY 2011/12 and FY 2012/13.
7. If we cannot fund this structure and effect the changes in 2011 we will need to review our objectives and settle for a much more modest focus.
So there you have it. None of this is stated as a criticism of the efforts made by a great number of people since 1999 - it is a sobering reflection on the real world. One option is to throw up our hands in despair and bemoan our fate. The other option is to grasp the nettle and fund the changes required for the next two years and seize the opportunity that is being presented. The members of your National Committee present at the meeting unanimously endorse the latter option. That's all very well, but any organisation is only as strong as the sum of its members. What can you do to help? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org