Minutes - AFA AGM, 4th April 2008 - Annual General Meeting

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Minutes - AFA AGM, 4th April 2008 - Annual General Meeting

    Annual General Meeting

    Albinism Fellowship of Australia (AFA) Friday 4th April 2008

    Colley Room 1 Stamford Grand Hotel, Glenelg SA

    Meeting commenced at 14:15 Australian Central Daylight time

    1. Attendees

    ; Elizabeth Beales ; Philip Latey

    ; Allen Little ; Melanie Boulton +


    ; Panapa Pabiale

    ; Fiona Collison

    ; Shari Parker

    ; Brian Evans

    ; Gail Penaluna

    ; Annette Ferguson

    ; Leonore Scott

    ; John Gillespie

    ; Ted Thomas

    ; Kim Gillespie

    ; Toni Tiller (Chairperson)

    ; Erika Webb ; Helene Johanson +

    Imogen ; Patricia Woodcroft-


2. Apologies

    a) Michelle Cameron

    b) Nirja Leong

    c) Rachel Perry

    th3. Confirm minutes of Previous Annual General Meeting Sunday 13 May

    a) Minutes confirmed by Toni Tiller and seconded by Allen Little

    4. Reports

    a) President’s Report – Kim Gillespie See attachment 1

    a) Treasurer’s Report Costas Louras has vacated this position a

    brief financial status report will be given by Kim Gillespie see

    attachment 2

    b) Vice President’s Report – Rachel Perry (to be read by Elizabeth

    Beales) See attachment 3

    At this point, Rick Guidotti joined the meeting. He is from Positive Exposure (

    c) Secretary’s Report – Shari Parker - see attachment

    d) State reports.

    ; Western Australian state report Erika Webb See

    attachment 5

    ; New South Wales Kim Gillespie “We‟ve had a couple of get

    togethers in NSW. We are going to have another one after the


    ; Other State reports will be emailed out to members when they are


    ; Kim Gillespie indicated that we need state / territory

    representatives for Tasmania, ACT and NT (NB since the time of

    the AGM, the Tasmanian state rep position has been filled)

    ; Helene Johanson (Queensland state rep) suggested that

    Queensland be split into two regions Northern and Southern to

    facilitate geographically logical get togethers she is working on


    5. General business

    a) Development of AFA Constitution Erika Webb see attachment 6

    ; If anyone has any problems or amendments to this, please let

    Erika Webb know. Erika indicated that it cannot be adopted at this

    AGM but will be adopted at a later date

    ; Ted Thomas gave his congratulations to Erika for her work on the

    constitution. He indicated his concern at having one of the

    executive being the public officer. As our organisation was

    incorporated in NSW, the public officer needs also to come from

    NSW. Ted Thomas has expressed his interest as being the public

    officer. Kim Gillespie indicated that we might need to call for

    expressions of interest for this position.

    ; Philip Latey sought clarification about whether we are registered

    as a not for profit organisation. Kim Gillespie indicated that we

    have been registered as such since 2006 and come under the

    clubs and associations division

    ; Shari Parker indicated that we have applied for Charity status but

    this has not yet been granted. Kim Gillespie indicated that this

    also has to go through the gaming commission. Costas Louras

    was following up on the status of this and he has resigned as

    treasurer, so the next treasurer will be following up on this issue.

    Erika Webb indicated that when / if we do obtain charitable status,

    a change in the constitution will be required.

    ; Kim Gillespie indicated that when we do get charitable status, we

    will have a fund raising subcommittee. Our current fundraising

    has been internal, with donations from members, one donation

    from Transitions Lenses of $100, as well as profit from the

    merchandising, DVD and CD-ROM sales.

    ; MOTION 1 Proposed by Ted Thomas and seconded by Shari

    thParker: “That the AFA adopt the constitution as a draft today, 4

    stApril 2008, with any amendments to be finalised by 1 June


    ; Leonore Scott pointed out that if a public officer is nominated,

    they must be registered within 30 days, and likewise if the public

    officer changes, that also much be registered within 30 days.

    b) Development of AFA Strategic plan Allan Little and Patricia

    Woodcroft-Lee - see attachment 7

    ; Allen Little acknowledged the people who contributed as the

    strategic plan was formulated. He indicated that when an idea or

    concept is put forward in a discussion list, these are read and

    recalled by people who may not necessarily respond. With this in

    mind, Allen put in place a profile or suggested strategic plan. This

    was sent to Trish (Woodcroft-Lee), who did “an absolute work of

    genius on it”. Allen Little publically acknowledged her for her input in

    the way the constitution came together. It was a joint collaborative


    ; Allen stated that the plan requires a commencement and a

    conclusion date. It currently takes in a two year period. When Allen

    and Trish commenced work on the strategic plan, it was meant to

    thrun for 3 years. Allen suggested that it run until 30 June 2010, so

    that it is concluded at the end of the financial year in which the next

    conference is held (the next conference is due to be held in Sep /

    Oct 2009 the last of the conferences to be held every 18 months,

    so we are then holding our conferences in the alternative year to the

    NOAH biennial conference).

    ; Allen pointed out that this plan is dynamic it will change with time.

    It does not say anything new that we do not want, it does say all the

    things that the AFA seems to want

    ; Allen went on to explain that the strategic plan includes the following


    o An overview of AFA

    o Strategic drivers

    o A vision statement - AFA‟s vision is of a society where all persons

    with Albinism will participate fully in the life of their community,

    with the same opportunities, rights and responsibilities as other

    citizens, and will have the knowledge and freedom to choose and

    achieve their personal goals in life

    o Our mission statement To promote an understanding of

    Albinism in the Australian community; to provide peer support to

    persons with Albinism and to encourage, educate and inform

    families and friends of people with Albinism and health and

    educational professionals as to how they can best support and

    assist them

    o Five objectives of the AFA are stated

    o Key reporting areas the areas that the office bearers of AFA will

    report to the AFA so that they are accountable. These are the

    areas which you look at to evaluate the plan. These are

    membership, communication, development and maintenance of

    strategic alliances, fundraising, technological developments and

    effective advocacy

    o Membership the membership clause in the constitution has now

    been expanded to encompass International memberships. Shari

    Parker pointed out that there is a sentence under membership

    regarding communication with every Australian citizen. Allen Little

    and Patrician Woodcroft-Lee indicated that this will need to be

    changed to reflect the updated constitution, with a more global


    o Allen mentioned about the importance of strategic alliances

    between AFA and organisations such as Vision Australia, Guide

    Dogs, Albinism Trust in NA, NOAH and Albinism Fellowship of UK.

    Patricia Woodcroft-Lee also emphasised the importance of

    strategic alliances with non-vision related organisations who

    address issues related to albinism, such as public transport (and

    the Senior Citizens and Pedestrian Council) organisations who

    want the same outcomes as the AFA.

    o Fundraising this is really critical as we can do little without

    money. This needs some time and thought to be devoted to it

    fundraising is all about perception and communication, data

    capture and motivation. We need to be innovative. o Patricia Woodcroft-Lee pointed out that the strategic plan is a

    broad outline and underneath this, the executive or individual

    states may wish to develop action plans or particular strategies.

    ; MOTION 2 Proposed by Allen Little and seconded by Ted Thomas: “That, with the amendment to the membership clause to include

    International members, that the strategic plan as discussed above

    become the draft Strategic plan of the Albinism Fellowship of

    stAustralia, with any amendments to be finalised by 1 June 2008.”

    c) Development of Annual Budget

    ; Motion 3 proposed by Shari Parker and seconded by Elizabeth

    Beales: “That the treasurer and executive committee prepare an

    stannual budget for presentation to the membership prior to 31

    October 2008. ”

    d) Set membership renewal fees for financial year 08-09

    ; Shari Parker outlined the current annual fee structure for the

    Albinism Fellowship of Australia: Individual membership $30, Family

    membership $35, individual professional memberships $35, and

    organisational memberships are $50 (the organisation can print the

    newsletter and distribute it to its members). About 2/3 of members

    currently receive their newsletters via PDF, over the internet via

    email, and about 1/3 receive it via hard copy. Shari Parker went on

    to point out that the cost of printing the newsletter reflects a

    significant cost to the AFA, and thus proposed that the current fees

    be left as is if members receive their newsletter and correspondence

    via email, but a premium of $5 to be added if members prefer to

    receive correspondence via mail.

    ; Leonore Scott sought clarification about whether this $5 would cover

    the additional costs of printing and postage. Kim Gillespie and Shari

    Parker indicated that postage is covered with the use of the vision

    impaired stamps, and that the additional premium would cover the

    additional printing costs.

    ; Patricia Woodcroft-Lee sought clarification about the fee structure for

    unwaged members (those whose only income is government

    benefits). Their current annual membership cost is $22 per annum.

    Kim Gillespie and Shari Parker confirmed that this would continue at

    the same rate regardless of the format in which the newsletter is


    ; A discussion about postal issues then ensued. Below is the vast majority of quotes from this discussion as far as the Secretary could determine from the recording and her notes. Any queries about the accuracy can be raised with the secretary


    o Leonore Scott: “In South Australia, we are supposed to by law

    use the stamp only if it is a Braille copy or a tape that's sent out.

    o Kim Gillespie: “It's actually for visual impairment.”

    o Shari Parker: “We have someone who‟s married to a postie here.

    o Erika Webb: “Not according to the World Blind Union who

    manage the International Postal concession, as opposed to a

    postie. The International postal concession by the World Blind

    Union is currently under review.

    o Shari Parker: We‟ve looked it up on the Internet and it does seem

    to cover materials for visual impairment also.

    o Erika Webb: “It is materials for the blind and it comes under the

    International Postal Concession Agreement of the World Blind


    o Helene Johanson: “I receive free stuff from NOAH and I‟m not

    visually impaired at all, and they send it to me with the same

    stamp.....I made enquiries at my local post office, then Kim made

    enquiries as well and they told us it was ok in Qld and

    NSW...there is a database and they said that.....I think take

    advantage until someone says that we can‟t”

    o Erika Webb: ”I am just pointing out how it is.

    o Shari Parker: “Can I propose that I clarify that and report back to

    the membership if there is an issue?

    o Kim Gillespie: “Helene clarified it and I clarified it. How do we

    clarify is the question?””

    o Elizabeth Beales: “I‟ll ask Martin to check.

    o Erika Webb: “BCA is currently doing the review through the World

    Blind Union of the International Postal Concession. I am not trying

    to put a spanner in the works by the way....”

    o Allen Little: “Any item adapted for the use of the blind, and

    remember the definition of legal blindness, up to 7Kg goes

    through regular surface mail for free.

    o Erika Webb: “And they assume that when you talk about material

    adapted for the use of the blind that you have changed it from

    print to Braille or compact disc.”

    o Shari Parker:”and large print?”

    o Erika Webb: “No, large print‟s never been listed.”

    o Allen Little: ”I‟m sorry. As a former regional chair for the World

    Blind Union, I can tell you that large print is acceptable and it was

    suggested under the convention because there are numbers of

    prints that are used and if things are adapted for people who are

    visually impaired.

    o Erika Webb: “I understand that.....”

    o Annette Ferguson: “I get a large print from Vision Australia and

    Guide Dogs.”

    o Erika Webb: “Vision Australia is distributing to all sorts of people

    with vision impairment/. We are doing one specific group of

    people with a vision impairment who all access print, not Braille,

    not audio, you‟re only providing print. You are not providing it in

    an alternative format, apart from PDF, which is inaccessible for

    people who are totally blind.”

    o Helene Johanson: “It‟s a relevant concern „cause I know Kim and

    I, we discussed this for ages and we went and saw several people

    and we just went with it.”

    o Erika Webb: “And when you brought it up, I had concerns and I

    raised them at the time. I just didn‟t know about this World Blind


    o Annette Ferguson: “Do we need to do anything about this?”

    o Kim Gillespie: “Who do we actually speak to in order to get 100%


    o Allen Little: “Marianne Diamond.

    o Erika Webb: “Marianne Diamond at Vision Australia.

    o Kim Gillespie: “So she actually runs the whole scheme does


    o Erika Webb: “No, she‟s the International relations person at Vision


    o Shari Parker: “So Erika, is this only an issue for mail that‟s going

    to New Zealand and for our International ones?”

    o Erika Webb: “Not it‟s within Australia. As far as I know, you are

    breaching the Australian Postal Act.”

    o Kim Gillespie: “If it‟s been done, it has been completely

    unintentional. We will.....”

    o Erika Webb: “I had questions at the time....”

    o Kim Gillespie: “I remember you questioning it, and that‟s why

    Helene and I went and checked.”

    o Allen Little: “Madame Chair, some people at the back are not

    getting the chance to make a contribution to get your attention.”

    o Kim Gillespie: “Sorry I couldn‟t see. Who wants to talk over


    o Brian Evans: “I was just going to say that if there is an issue about

    the distribution, then at the bottom of the large print version, you

    can say, „a small print version is available on request.‟ “

    o Kim Gillespie: “I am sorry, Brian, can you clarify that a bit. Is that

    so we....”

    o (said by a female): “That‟s so we know it‟s been adapted.”

    o Kim Gillespie: “What I‟ll do...I will contact Marianne Diamond at

    Vision Australia. I will discuss it in full, let her know the whole

    process and the concerns and what we‟ve done and what we‟ve

    been doing so it‟s totally........I mean, I‟ve always thought it was

    above board because Helene and I have looked into it with the

    actual post offices, but obviously......”

    o Erika Webb: “I‟ve always been unhappy about it.”

    o Kim Gillespie: “You have. I know that Erika you‟ve always

    mentioned......I remember you mentioning in email with the

    committee. So I totally acknowledge that.”

    o Elizabeth Beales: “I think it was too grey.”

    o Kim Gillespie: “It was too grey and that‟s why we investigated it

    with actual post offices and they said yeh that‟s fine, but if

    Marianne Diamond is the person to speak to, I‟ll give her a call in

    the next two weeks, so say by the end of April. I will contact her

    by the end of April and I will discuss with her whether we should

    be using this, and if we shouldn‟t be using, then I‟ll report back

    either way and exactly what she said and if we shouldn‟t using it,

    we will stop using it”.

    o Helene Johanson: “If she says that we can use it, ask if she can

    print an official recognition of that.”

    o Leonore Scott: “If you‟re trying to cover your costs, then the $5

    extra will just cover what you‟re doing or.....”

    o Shari Parker: “It will be an oversized letter, so it would be quite

    significantly more, in addition to the printing, it would be postage

    on top of that.”

    o Leonore Scott: “That‟s why I brought it up. It would be great if it

    can be done in the way that you‟ve been doing it......”

    o Allen Little: “The other contention that you do have, Kim is that a

    lot of, and BCA in particular does this, when they send out their

    documents, they send them out on a 3 ? inch floppy, or a CD

    ROM. Now a CD ROM can go in anyone‟s computer anywhere in

    the world, there‟s no special adaption in it. But that still goes out

    as articles for the blind.”

    o Shari Parker: “And that can‟t be used by someone who is

    completely blind either”

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