Saving Chairman Benjamin

Stuart Benjamin’s position as Independent Director and Chair of auDA is on the line a week today.

It’s a bit sad when auDA (and some of their Directors) try to stack the deck against their own members in order to try and keep him in the job.

Not content with denying 3 out of 4 of the resolutions put forward by members (and leaving us only with the opportunity to remove the Chair), they have since resorted to the following:

♦  Not answering written questions about various issues and conduct at auDA.

♦  Sending out to all members a recommendation from “the Board” that:

“Stability and structure is integral to the successful execution of the goals and objectives highlighted. Disrupting the composition of the board will work directly against that. For these reasons your Board urges you to vote AGAINST the resolution to remove the Chair.”

♦  Attempted to “pork barrel” Registrars with a meeting due today (the registrars decided to postpone this until after the vote next week).

♦  Certain Directors that I’m aware of have been calling and cajoling members to vote for the Chair. Mates helping mates again? Interested in their own welfare and positions perhaps? They should be staying out of it – he is an Independent Director.

Why Do We Seek To Remove The Chair?

There are many reasons – but if we had to isolate just two, it would be these:

♦  It’s time that auDA is held accountable to all its members – transparency, communication and proper processes must return.

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

This is not personal against Stuart Benjamin – it is simply an accountability measure. The entire culture of governance at auDA is under the spotlight, and rightly so.

Please help us send a clear message to auDA by voting in favour of Resolution 4

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

For members who cannot attend the meeting in Melbourne on Monday 31st July, but still wish to vote, I would be happy to act as your proxy.

Once you have completed the proxy form (please note it needs to be be hand signed, not electronic), please email it to me – and / or Di Parker at auDA.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything with me, please call me on 0437 013 523.

Ned O’Meara – 24th July 2017


17 thoughts on “Saving Chairman Benjamin

  • July 24, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Time is overdue for the current auDA Chair to resign gracefully.

    The issues around political Liberal party jobs for the boys  at auDA is the bigger issue now which needs full investigation by an independent watchdog.

    ALL members need vote Yes for resolution 4.  and to call on the other resolutions to also be voted on by members.

    The new CEO Cameron Boardman and his close personal and political party friend auDA Chair Stuart Boardman are in my opinion damaging and risking the reputation of the .au namespace.

    While the auDACEO is off track in Timor Leste for business totally unrelated to the auDA Constitution and the role of auDA more questions and suspicions arise daily.


    A failure of domain name industry best practices and repeated attempts by auDA to mute and censor staff and members.

    To help get auDA onto the right track, improve auDA transparency, improve auDA accountability and get auDA meeting true domain name best practices;


    11 people like this.
  • July 24, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Sounds like registrars are not confident that he will be staying in the job.

    “he is an Independent Director”

    That’s a good one Ned!

    5 people like this.
  • July 24, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    An auda director called me last week asking that I support Benjamin. What a stroker.

    8 people like this.
    • July 24, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Reseller, was it someone you knew or are they just cold calling members?

      3 people like this.
      • July 24, 2017 at 4:56 pm

        I’d love to hear the answer to this Reseller!

        And by the way, what “pitch” could they have possibly thrown your way to try and convince you Herr Benjamin should stay?

        3 people like this.
      • July 24, 2017 at 5:04 pm

        It was one of the supply directors that got elected last year. He emailed me then and must have kept my email.

        5 people like this.
  • July 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Ned – great work keeping the pressure on and the issues focussed.

    Stocktake time!

    So we’ve got many unhappy members – including domainers, registrars and resellers. It isn’t just one stakeholder group.

    auDA Exec and staff are wandering off doing what they please – stuff auDA’s objectives and Constitution.

    The Member Code of Conduct was a huge blunder they wont admit to.

    auDA Board STILL wont post key docs online. Even when an FoI to the Dept of Comms says otherwise.

    Overall visibility of auDA’s efforts and outreach to members is being managed through a one-way communications funnel.

    Speaking of communications – how much is being shovelled towards that at auDA? And what do we see? Not even a new website. It isnt that hard.

    Failed Member meetings are another black mark on auDA’s comms efforts.

    Claims from auDA that the Board is “unanimous” in most decisions sound very dodgy.

    Demand class Directors are obviously being gagged. Same for supply?

    auDA Directors are actively lobbying to retain the Chair.

    I’ve got a long list above – what REAL reasons do Directors have to offer for keeping the current Chair?

    5 people like this.
    • July 24, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      Thanks Anonymous – that’s a good checklist!

      Unless auDA sit down with us to understand our issues (and deal with them), the dissent has only just begun.

      5 people like this.
  • July 24, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Lets not forget that auDA installed Dr Michaella Richards as a replacement for an elected Demand Class Director.

    Coincidentally she also worked for the Victorian Government as did Cameron Boardman and Stuart Benjamin.

    She has no experience in our industry being a digital health expert. What does health have to do with domains?

    She was nor has ever been an auDA member and still is not.

    Is this stacking of the board? Were there no better candidates?

    7 people like this.
    • July 24, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Yes there were – in particular Shane Moore. SME owner and domain owner. Well versed in “demand” side of domains; and widely respected by many.

      Stuart Benjamin was advised – as was Erhan Karabardak.

      But lo and behold – the “recruiter” came up with Michaella. No disrespect to her, but how is she ever suitable to be a “Demand Class” Director? Plenty of experience in other fields, but none whatsoever with domains. Let’s hope this comment doesn’t see me accused of bullying and sexism again.

      4 people like this.
      • July 24, 2017 at 6:33 pm

        Surely there’s nothing wrong with getting your mates a job?

        Hang on STEMM appointments trump all allegations of wrong doing! It’s like a get out of gaol free card.

        2 people like this.
      • July 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm

        Seriously though, the next highest vote getter (Shane) should have been given the opportunity.

        The bullshit criteria they made up to justify getting an inexperienced person in, was a joke.

        Irrelevant tertiary qualifications : tick

        Total lack of domain experience : tick

        No prior knowledge of whom auDA is : tick

        woman in STEMM : congratulations you are the winner (until voted off at the first opportunity)

        3 people like this.
      • July 24, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        Three people who just happen to be close friends and Libs have taken over auDA and completely stuffed it in 1 year – in my opinion.

        It seems apparent to me that Erhan, Cameron and Stuart will not listen to members and we have only scratched the surface of Conflicts Of Interest, Vote, job and board stacking.

        How much do these 3 personally gain from auDA? Why and how did they get control of the auDA Piggy Bank?

        Why the refusal for auDA Board Agendas, minutes and Resolutions?

        It really seems they are hiding things from members for what purposes?

        Those directors who agree with non transparency, non accountability and questionable job and board stacking will be sacked eventually.

        Members have woken up.

        auDA should never have taken on a flawed politician with failed .melbourne extension responsibility. The .au Namespace is something this board can totally screw up.

        7 people like this.
    • July 26, 2017 at 10:03 am

      OK now I get it.

      AusMedtech 2015 Final Delegate List

      Cameron Boardman – Executive Director, Innovation, Technology & Industry Programs – State Government of Victoria
      Michaella Richards – Director, Innovation & Technology Research/Programs – State Government of Victoria

      Obviously Michaella Richards was the best candidate for the job after an extensive search of suitable candidates.


      5 people like this.
      • July 26, 2017 at 10:44 am

        Well spotted!

        5 people like this.
      • July 26, 2017 at 1:08 pm

        This is getting beyond ridiculous. We’ve reached complete insanity.

        Before I get Ned threatened for publishing material with a gender bias, let me preface my rant by saying I don’t give a flying fig about the gender identity of ANYONE at auDA. My comments have nothing to do with that and it is a weak cop out if anyone suggests otherwise.

        If Dr Richards had been brought in as staff, members would have little reason to grumble. A CEO can appoint whoever they wish.

        If she had been appointed as an Independent Director, there would also be little reason to complain as these Directors are often brought in from “outside” to add balance to the collective skill set of a Board. Heck, Tony Staley was a vastly experienced politician, Board member and Chair. Julie Hammer brought vast technical and leadership experience.  Graham McDonald brought tremendous legal / arbitration / ombudsman experience. Not that it did them much good, in the end.

        But to be appointed as a representative of Demand class members is just appalling. In that role, Dr Richards’ considerable professional qualifications are no longer relevant. She needs to represent us.

        To then be revealed as a former subordinate to the current CEO brings in to question her position, the process of her selection (why not Shane Moore, who missed out by 4 votes at the 2016 AGM?) and the impartiality and decision-making of both the Chair and CEO.

        Heck, I’m being too polite – they planted someone in a role that is not representative of members’ interests. They denied us one voice on the Board. Mr Benjamin isn’t the only one who should have his position aggressively questioned.

        5 people like this.
        • July 26, 2017 at 1:53 pm

          Absolutely no hint in this newsletter by Cameron Boardman that he ever knew Michaella Richards (let alone worked with her).

          Anonymous likes this.

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