auDA – What Is The Human Cost?

As of March last year, auDA had 14 staff on the books. By my calculations, only 3 of those staff remain. For such a small organisation, that could be deemed both shocking and unbelievable.

We all know that Chris Disspain was punted at about that time, and that auDA’s longest-serving employee, Jo Lim, left later in the year. I am also aware that auDA’s compliance manager, Vanessa Stanford and Registrar Liaison Lujia Chen also departed. As I noted in an earlier post, we now know that auDA’s “new” second-in-charge (Rachael Falk) has also left after a surprisingly short tenure.

All in all, that is a huge haemorrhaging of corporate knowledge. There is also a strange radio silence from other staffers. As I wrote in this article, it looks like the writing is on the wall for Jacki O’Sullivan and Lisa Lunardi. And auDA’s International GM seems to have suffered a similar fate, according to his recently-updated LinkedIn status.

Here is the list from last year – auDA: who is still standing?

Human Cost

At a more humanistic level, what has become of people with (presumably) families, mortgages, children and other personal and financial commitments?

Was everyone treated fairly and equitably when they were “let go”? And did some staffers receive ex gratia payouts to keep their silence?

We wouldn’t know with regards the latter – because one of the major bones of contention I have had with auDA recently (and there have been many!) has been their potentially questionable adherence to expected standards of accountability and transparency.

In terms of previous Directors, I struggle to understand what purpose could be served by deleting all reference to the service provided by 35 previous Board members – including early servants such as Michael Malone, Kim Davies, Greg Crew, Greg Watson, Craig Ng, David Goldstein (and so many more); as well as more recent departures such as Cheryl Langdon-Orr, Josh Rowe and Miguel Wood? Most mentions of long-standing Independent Directors such as Julie Hammer, Graham McDonald and auDA’s former Chair, The Hon Tony Staley AO, have also been expunged from auDA history.

More importantly, I remain surprised that there is no longer a record of auDA’s staff arrangements. While former Directors deserve a historical nod, the absence of detail regarding current staffing should be more immediately disconcerting for members.

Given that auDA is heading in to uncharted waters with a review of all policies, a Registry Transformation Project, direct .au registrations and a complete strategic overhaul, it would be reassuring to know that they have the resources to do this with.

Importantly, a lot of these changes have taken place since Stuart Benjamin replaced Tony Staley as Chair in December 2015. Does the buck stop with him? Or is it the CEO Cameron Boardman? Or both?

In my opinion.

Ned O’Meara – 15th June 2017


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One thought on “auDA – What Is The Human Cost?

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    June 15, 2017 at 11:50 pm
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    It brings into question what the management are doing and if they realise what a small but quite complex industry they are in

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