auDA Snippets – September 2017

There have been a few things happening at auDA, so it’s time to do another “snippets”.

2017 Policy Review Panel (PRP)

As I wrote on September 12th, this kicks off in Melbourne next week. In the view of many, this is THE most important panel that auDA has had in a long time. And I’m thrilled to be part and parcel of it as the “Demand Class” representative.

I will not be blogging or commenting on the machinations and activities of the PRP, but what I can say is that I’m very impressed with the organisation and planning to date. It augurs well for a constructive panel.

Staff Changes

♦ Rachael Falk was supposed to leave auDA at the end of June, but apparently she either came back or stayed on for a couple of months. However, I have had it confirmed that she has now definitely left.

♦ Helen Hollins (Director Communications, Marketing & Engagement) has left auDA. Not sure exactly when this happened, but I think it was in August.

Given that we were told that Helen was responsible for the new auDA website (which has supposedly been in the works for a long time), I’m not sure who is looking after that now? Or who is doing the media and membership announcements?

Resignation Of Auditors

Last week, we were advised that auDA’s long standing auditors had resigned. Given that they were only re-appointed at the November 2016 AGM, this has led to a lot of speculation as to the reasons behind this. It would be good if someone from auDA could be more forthcoming. I can imagine there will be lots of questions about this at this year’s AGM.

Independent Chair

Given the Cameron Ralph Report last year, and the recommendation that the Chair of auDA be an Independent Director, I was surprised to see Erhan Karabardak appointed as Interim Chair. Particularly given that he is a “Supply Class” Director.

There is still one remaining Independent Director (Sandra Hook). Was she offered the interim position? If so, did she decline?

Next AGM

I understand that there may be a number of special resolutions put up at the next AGM in November. Things like a proposed Code of Conduct – and some long overdue changes to the outdated Constitution. Many changes should have members support. However, given what happened at last year’s AGM (when a special resolution was voted down by Demand Class), it would be my constructive advice to put up the proposed resolutions long before the AGM to get some feedback. As I wrote last year in “Why auDA Lost The Vote”:

“If you take the voters / members for granted; and you don’t sell the case properly; don’t expect to get your agenda passed.”

Who Said This?

To end on some fun, here are some past candidate statements from prospective “Demand Class” directors. Can you guess who said them?

And this one?

Go on – have a guess!

Ned O’Meara – 19th September 2017


9 thoughts on “auDA Snippets – September 2017

  • September 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Did auDA engage forensic accountants and did they find something the 15 year long auditors did not?

    This is serious question and everyone deserves the truth if this is the case.

    What did they find?

    What has been done about what has been found?

    Who was / is involved?

    What was responsible at the time at auDA, on the auDA Board or at the auDA Foundation?

    Will auDA be making any public announcements or disclosures?


    Who has the power to investigate auDA and look into this further?

    3 people like this.
    • September 19, 2017 at 10:09 pm


      “Did auDA engage forensic accountants and did they find something the 15 year long auditors did not?”

      Excellent question. Let’s see if we get an answer.

      Anonymous likes this.
  • September 19, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Hahaha! Nice finish to the article Ned! I immediately recognised Erhan’s old Board nomination statement!

    More seriously, you have raised an unfortunately long laundry list of issues and I can only add to it.

    – You mention the AGM which, I assume, will be convened before 30 November. If Nicole’s assertion in another thread (about memberships not being processed) is correct, then we now have a bunch of prospective new members who have been locked out of the AGM vote. I believe this is the second time membership approvals have been “bumped” from the Board agenda. I am aware of at least one application still pending from JUNE. This is unacceptable.

    – The auDA website lists Erhan as “Chair” – no mention of the Interim status. More importantly, the Chair is empowered by the Constitution to have a second, deciding vote in the event of a divided motion. That is a significant power and one I believe should not be vested in a Director of either membership class.

    – Given my particular experience, I am dismayed to see the continuing exodus of staff, including one from the “old regime” (the CEO’s words, not mine) and a more recent, senior acquisition. At what point does the haemorrhaging become terminal?

    – And just a minor one to finish off. Bruce Tonkin is now in auDA’s employ as the head of the Registry Transformation project. He was also the Member that proposed Stuart Benjamin as a candidate for the auDA Board back in 2012. That potential conflict aside, I assume he will not be eligible to vote in the upcoming Board elections?

    2 people like this.
    • September 19, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      FYI I asked auDA if it can “backdate” the memberships to the time of application (and I understand there is no mechanism in the Consti to do so), but I didn’t get a response to that question – odd.

      – repost, I should have posted this here.

      Anonymous likes this.
      • September 19, 2017 at 9:58 pm

        @Nicole – if some membership applications have been bumped a couple of times as Paul suggests (and I know he is right), then they should be backdated to time of application. Otherwise, these people will be effectively disenfranchised come election time.

        Please keep squeaking the door.

        2 people like this.
  • September 19, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    That is very disappointing, Nicole.

    There are many “gaps” in the Constitution that mean it does not directly address current circumstances. It never needed to in the past and it seems that “prior best-practice” lulled us all in to a false sense of security.

    It is like trying to legislate / regulate against aerial recording drones or Internet “piracy” as we now know it – you don’t know what the problem is until it is upon you.

    By the way – I should also clarify a comment I made in my earlier post…

    I never meant to imply that there was any impropriety associated with Bruce Tonkin’s appointment as lead of  the Registry Transformation project. I cant think of anyone more qualified to take on the role. I sincerely wish him all the very best for the process. My only concern was his membership vs. employee status, which I now believe has been resolved.

    • September 19, 2017 at 9:54 pm


      Good of you to make that clarification re Bruce Tonkin. Knowing you, I’m sure your intentions were good.

      I’ve never met a more “straight up and down” person than Bruce. This is what I said back in May:

      What impresses me the most is who auDA have picked to lead the transformation. Dr Bruce Tonkin is a tremendous choice in my opinion. I’ve had the pleasure of being on a couple of auDA working groups with Bruce over the years – and have also dealt with him in his role as a Director of NetAlliance Pty Ltd (Netfleet). He is such a knowledgeable man when it comes to the “internet”. More importantly though, his integrity is second to none. He doesn’t seem to let office or organizational politics get in the way of giving straight answers. Let’s hope working for auDA doesn’t change that!

  • September 20, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Is Bruce also paid by Melbourne IT or associated entities as well as auDA ?


    2 people like this.
    • September 20, 2017 at 6:38 am

      @Sean – Bruce resigned in April from Melbourne IT (in order to take up this new challenge with auDA).

      Having had a bit to do with him over a number of years, he is genuinely one of the good guys. Calls a spade a spade.

      Anonymous likes this.

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