auDA Members – Please Vote For A Fair Go!

auDA is a membership organisation – and if you’re either a Supply Class or Demand Class member, we’d like to respectfully ask for your vote to oust the Chair of auDA.

Why this drastic measure? There are lots of reasons which I will bullet point below, but the main one is to send the auDA Board and management a loud and clear message to give all members a “fair go”.

When over 10% of auDa members sign an online petition to put up four resolutions to be voted on by all members, then you’d hope that would be respected. But no, three days before the deadline for calling the meeting, the auDA Board and management simply declared:

auDA has obtained legal advice which has confirmed that the proposals 1, 2 and 3 are invalid and will not be included on the agenda for the SGM. Proposal 4 will be included on the agenda.

Pardon the “French”, but that’s just total crap about the first three resolutions. By not allowing all members to at least have their say – for or against – it shows utter disdain and contempt for all of us.

So we are only left with Resolution 4:

♦  “That Stuart Benjamin be removed as a director of the Company with immediate effect.”

Even if you wouldn’t normally be inclined to vote for this, may we please ask you to help us send a protest to auDA?

Please Vote In Favour Of Resolution 4!


Reasons Why The Chair Must Go

You would have got a long email from auDA yesterday with their “spin” as to why you shouldn’t vote for the removal of the Chair. We simply ask you to consider the following – and if any of these resonate with you, please vote with us.

♦  This is not about individuals – it’s about the principles below.

♦  Do you trust auDA anymore?

♦  Is auDA being transparently accountable to both the “Supply” and “Demand” sides of the internet community within Australia? We say no.

♦  Since Stuart Benjamin seized control of the Chair from the Hon. Tony Staley AO back in December 2015, 11 out of 14 staff have left or been terminated under his watch. What is the human cost to these individuals? In simple terms, there has also been a “brain drain” from auDA – many years of collective knowledge and experience has gone.

♦  How do Members really know what is going on at auDA? The new CEO seems to want to operate in secrecy – Minutes, Agendas and Reports disappeared from their website. They were forced to put some back by a FOI request – but we’ve been told that future Minutes won’t be forthcoming.

♦  Why is auDA considering awarding the registry contract to itself (via submissions to build an in-house registry)?

♦  How dangerous and potentially uncompetitive is it going to be if auDA (or associated entities) holds the monopoly on every aspect of Australia’s DNS?

♦  Could auDA actually run a registry properly? They’ve been battling to get their own website updated for the past 1o months!

♦  How do you trust auDA not to suddenly have another “thought bubble” in 6 months’ time?

♦  Let’s get some accountability, transparency and communication back. Members have a right to this.

♦  There’s nothing wrong with change – but let’s follow tried and tested procedures before even thinking of implementing something new. Panels, working groups and public submissions have always been the way at auDA. Recommendations then get made to our elected Board, and these are either accepted or rejected.


The Chair of any business or organisation is ultimately responsible for its actions. That’s why the buck must stop with Stuart Benjamin.

Please help us make this happen – and send a loud and clear message to auDA that all members deserve a “fair go”.

Please Vote In Favour Of Resolution 4!


For members who cannot attend the meeting in Melbourne on Monday 31st July, but still wish to vote, a Proxy Form (PDF) with instructions is available. If you have any trouble accessing the proxy form, (or just want to talk to me) please email me.

I’m going to be attending the meeting, so I’d be very happy to be your proxy. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Ned O’Meara – 14th July 2017


9 thoughts on “auDA Members – Please Vote For A Fair Go!

  • July 14, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Issues 1 & 2 will just keep bobbing back to the surface for AUDA because they have not been properly addressed.

    9 people like this.
  • July 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Excellent summary, Ned.

    Your reasons regarding why the Chair must go are far more concise and persuasive than the blatherings in auDA’s “Vote No” letter.

    But then, that’s only in my opinion.

    7 people like this.
  • July 14, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Nicole Murdoch has put her hand up as a suitable new auDA Board Chair.

    In the interests of everyone; auDA supply and demand members, government, Domain name users, Registrars, Wholesale Domain Name Registry, Resellers etc she is worth auDA talking to for a handover from Mr. Benjamin ASAP.


    4 people like this.
  • July 14, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Today AUDA disabled the Newsletter link to their Member Meet up Video. This was within an hour of me commenting on that video that the Code of Conduct had parts copied from the Western Bulldogs Football Club Code.

    3 people like this.
  • July 14, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    . . . the Panel considers that it would be undesirable for auDA to also operate as a registry or registrar, as this would compromise, or be seen to compromise, auDA’s ability to act as an independent regulator of the industry. – 2001 Report

    It says a lot about how much value this CEO and Board puts on its current members, past panels, stakeholders, and the wider internet community. They will do whatever pops into their head! 

    3 people like this.
  • July 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Well, talk about interesting timing.

    auDA is in desperate need of a competent Chair and then:

    Scott has always shown a deep and well-informed interest in .au, censorship,  Net Neutrality (as it could potentially relate to Australia) and general Internet issues including openness and universal accessibility.

    Just sayin’.

    Very, very seriously.

    • July 14, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      Do we really want a Kiwi in charge? I think there is something in the auDA Constitution about that. 😉

      Anonymous likes this.
  • July 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    This is all very unsettling.

    In cases like this I’ve often found it’s best to wipe the slate clean and start again.

    Death and rebirth is often the only way forward.

    Horrible past mistakes are corrected. The next version is well-worth the change.

    Things that were good from the past survive the change, become even more important.

    Things that were bad are cast aside, deservedly.

    All for the greater good.


    3 people like this.

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