This Is Embarrassing auDA

auDA has become a secret society of late. All previous Board Minutes and Agendas have been taken down. This is despite an assurance at the auDA AGM in November from Stuart Benjamin (Chair, auDA) and Cameron Boardman (CEO) that communication and transparency with Members would improve.

Fortunately though, the Membership List is still available online – current as at 3rd April. And this is the thrust of today’s article.

Why Is Stuart Benjamin Still Listed As A Demand Class Member?

As many may recall, there was a “secret move” to install Stuart Benjamin as an Independent Director in November 2016 (just before the AGM). This is part of what I wrote back in December:

“As I’ve written constantly on this blog, there has been a total lack of communication (to members) by the auDA Board on the Cameron Ralph Report (and the recommendations thereof). Not to mention many other things. E.g. The sudden move to have Stuart Benjamin resign as a Demand Class Director and Chairman, and then be contemporaneously appointed an Independent Director (and reappointed as Chairman) was seen as “sneaky” by some. Particularly as it was done only a couple weeks before the AGM.”

However, in order to do this, he had to resign as a Demand Class Director and a Demand Class Member. This from the November 14 Minutes (I happened to have a copy!).

At the November AGM, a former auDA Director (Cheryl Langdon-Orr) questioned the legitimacy of this move, and Erhan Karabardak (Deputy Chair, auDA) responded. For your info, I have the audio of question and answer.


♦  Is Stuart Benjamin still a Demand Class Member as indicated on the Membership List?

♦  Did he vote at the November 2016 AGM? (He told me at the meeting that he had supported Simon Johnson in his re-election).

♦  Is he truly an Independent Director and Chair?

If auDA now claims his removal from the Membership List was just an oversight, then that’s not really acceptable. Particularly given the spotlight on the mechanics of this appointment.

auDA has had time to update the list for other membership changes – see below. I’ve compared membership lists from November 2016 to the current one. In the 3rd April table, new members are shown in green – in the 2016 table, red denotes people who are no longer members in 2017.

Stuart Benjamin is there “loud and proud” in both lists.

As always, I’m interested in your thoughts and comments.

Demand Members as at 2016 AGM Demand Members as at 3 April 2017
Accommodation @ Australia Pty Ltd Accommodation @ Australia Pty Ltd
Adrian Bartlett Adrian Bartlett
Alan Isherwood Alan Isherwood
Amanda Edwards Amanda Edwards
Amanda Lawrence Amanda Lawrence
Amba Communications Pty Ltd Amba Communications Pty Ltd
Andrew J Cole Andrew J Cole
Andrew Robinson Andrew Robinson
Andrew Wright Andrew Wright
Angelo Dounis Angelo Dounis
Angelo Giuffrida Angelo Giuffrida
Anna Johnson Anna Johnson
Anthony Alabakov Anthony Alabakov
Anthony Blackie Anthony Blackie
Anthony Campbell Anthony Campbell
Anthony James Conaghan Anthony James Conaghan
AusRegistry Group Pty Ltd Anthony James McCreath
Australian Communications Consumer Action Network AusRegistry Group Pty Ltd
Australian Web Industry Association Inc Australian Communications Consumer Action Network
Beads Pty Ltd Beads Pty Ltd
Beare Investments Pty Ltd Beare Investments Pty Ltd
Belinda Wadeson Belinda Wadeson
Benjamin Ball Blake Media Group Pty Ltd
Blake Media Group Pty Ltd Bradey Smith
Brendan Fitzgerald Brendan Fitzgerald
Brett Koch Brendan Smith
Bruce Smith Brett Koch
Bruce Tonkin Bruce Smith
Calie Salter Bruce Tonkin
Cameron Groppi Calie Salter
Caroline Gonzalez Cameron Groppi
Cheryl Langdon-Orr Caniluna Pty Ltd
Chiliad Consulting Pty Ltd Caroline Gonzalez
Chris Burgess Cheryl Bromfield
Chris Chaundy Cheryl Langdon-Orr
Chris Gryg Chiliad Consulting Pty Ltd
Chris Jennings Chris Burgess
Chris Wright Chris Chaundy
Christine Osterloo Chris Gryg
Colin Jones Chris Jennings
Computing Assistance Support and Education Inc (CA Chris Wright
Cooper Mills Pty Ltd Christine Mackenzie
Craig Ng Christine Osterloo
Craig O’Toole Clive Bartlett
Craig Smithers Colin Jones
David Connolly Computing Assistance Support and Education Inc (CA
David Goldstein Cooper Mills Pty Ltd
David Kal Courtney John Fabian
David Keegel Craig Marchant
David Priest Craig Ng
David Purdue Craig O’Toole
David Thompson Craig Smithers
Davies Collison Cave Patent and Trade Mark Attorne David Goldstein
Dent Medic Pty Ltd David Keegel
Derek Whitehead David Priest
Dimitri Rytsk David Purdue
Dinesh George David Thompson
Dirk Hunter Davies Collison Cave Patent and Trade Mark Attorne
Dotrader Pty Ltd Dent Medic Pty Ltd
Eamon McGrath Derek Whitehead
Edward Keay-Smith Digital Monopoly Pty Ltd
Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc Dimitri Rytsk
Elizabeth Keys Dinesh George
Emma Weekly Dirk Hunter
Erhan Karabardak Dotrader Pty Ltd
Eric Karabardak Eamon McGrath
Erwin Groen Elizabeth Keys
eTrading Pty Ltd Emma Weekly
Federick Stark Erhan Karabardak
FFA Services Pty Ltd Eric Karabardak
Frances O’Meara Eric S Johnson
Gabriela Facci Erwin Groen
George Fong eTrading Pty Ltd
George Pongas Federick Stark
Gordon Frend FFA Services Pty Ltd
Graham Gooley Frances O’Meara
Grant Wiltshire Gabriela Facci
Gurmeet Macker George Fong
Helen Beckman George Pongas
Helena Kingston Gordon Frend
Holly Raiche Graham Gooley
Ian Halson Grant Wiltshire
Imogen Corliss Gurmeet Macker
Insure QLD Pty Ltd Helen Beckman
Internet Association of Australia Inc (IAA) Helena Kingston
Internet Shop Holly Raiche
Internet Society of Australia Ian Halson
iSolutions Technologies Pty Ltd Imogen Corliss
Jack Fitzgerald Insolvency Notices Pty Ltd
Jack Simpson Insure QLD Pty Ltd
Jarrod Kagan Internet Association of Australia Inc (IAA)
Jason Squire Internet Shop
Jeff Marr Internet Society of Australia
Jenny Johnston iSolutions Technologies Pty Ltd
Jenny Ng Jack Fitzgerald
Jenny Wiltshire Jade Fitzgerald
Jeremy Feiglin James Chesters
Jessica Moore Jarrod Kagan
Jezweb Pty Ltd Jason Squire
Joe Thymian Jeff Marr
John Graham Jenny Johnston
John Kolenda Jenny Ng
John Nugent Jenny Wiltshire
John Ostermeyer Jeremy Feiglin
John Selby Jessica Moore
John Swinson Jezweb Pty Ltd
Jonathan Gleeson Joe Thymian
Jonathon Lawrence John Graham
Joshua Rowe John Kolenda
Joshua Todd Cowper John Nugent
Juliet Summers John Ostermeyer
Jump Pty Ltd John Selby
Kamdha Pty Ltd John Swinson
Kane Maneylaws Johnny Ho
Karen Zhang Jonathan Gleeson
Karl Schaffarczyk Jonathon Lawrence
Katie Halson Joshua Rowe
Keith Besgrove Joshua Todd Cowper
Ken Brandt Juliet Summers
Kevin Karp Jump Pty Ltd
Kevin O’Brien Kamdha Pty Ltd
Khajaque Kortian Kane Maneylaws
Kids Media Pty Ltd Karen Zhang
Kim Davies Karl Schaffarczyk
Kim Harvey – Keddy Katie Halson
Kimberley Heitman Keith Besgrove
Kimberley Lowton Keith Bower
Kristina Kingston Ken Brandt
Kym Squire Kevin Karp
Laurie Patton Kevin O’Brien
Leanne O’Donnell Kevin Sutherland
LemonStone Group Pty Ltd Khajaque Kortian
Levins Consulting Kids Media Pty Ltd
Lindok Pty Ltd Kim Davies
Linux Australia Inc Kimberley Lowton
Lion Global Pty Ltd Kristina Kingston
Louis Crossing Krystyna Stedman
Louise Meyers Kym Squire
Lucas Benning Laurie Patton
Luke Carlos Dale Leanne O’Donnell
Luke Cuthbertson LemonStone Group Pty Ltd
Luke Grogan Lindok Pty Ltd
Luke O’Meara Linux Australia Inc
Luke Summers Lion Global Pty Ltd
Lyrek Business Services Pty Ltd Louis Crossing
Maddocks Louise Meyers
Maggie Whitnall Lucas Benning
Mark Sinclair Lucian Popaly
Mark Smith T/A Brennan and Smith Optometrists – Ar Luke Carlos Dale
Martin Freckmann Luke Cuthbertson
Martin Verhulst Luke Grogan
Max Webb Luke O’Meara
Michael Mckinnon Luke Summers
Michelle Hayes Lyrek Business Services Pty Ltd
Miguel Wood Maddocks
Moniker Pty Ltd Maggie Whitnall
Naomi Benjamin Marc Boschma
Naomi Rowe Mark Sinclair
Narelle Clark Mark Smith T/A Brennan and Smith Optometrists – Ar
Natasha Dwyer Martin Freckmann
Ned O’Meara Martin Verhulst
Nick Bell Mauro Santos Otero
Niels Endres Max Webb
Norman Bruce Munro Michael De Wildt
Online Referral Networks Australia Michelle Hayes
Ozlem Hassan Miguel Wood
Pacific Fund Pty Ltd Moniker Pty Ltd
Patrick Brown Myles Harris
Paul Hughes Naomi Rowe
Paul Johnson Narelle Clark
Paul Levins Natasha Dwyer
Paul Shaw Ned O’Meara
Paul Stephen Cormack Nick Bell
Paul Woods Niels Endres
Paul Young Nikki Scholes
Peter Anderson Norman Bruce Munro
Peter Berry Online Referral Networks Australia
Peter Jetnikoff Ozlem Hassan
Peter Mead Pacific Fund Pty Ltd
Peter Moon Paul Hughes
Peter Tonoli Paul Johnson
Pip Cuming Paul Shaw
R & B Security Services Pty Ltd Paul Stephen Cormack
Raymond Marshall Paul Woods
Rhys Ritchie Paul Young
Richard Burleigh Peter Berry
Richard Green Peter Jetnikoff
Robin Schmitt Peter Mead
Rod Seeber Peter Moon
Rudy Labordus Peter Moran
Sam Bennett Peter Tonoli
Sam Bennett Phillip Parker
Sarah Pike Pip Cuming
Sasha Zander R & B Security Services Pty Ltd
Scott Long Richard Burleigh
Scott Peterson Richard Green
Scriven Holdings Pty Ltd Robin Schmitt
Sean Fogarty Rod Seeber
Search Global Pty Ltd trading as Stewart Media Roger Ward
Serap Yeni Sarah Pike
Shanan Dahlen Sasha Zander
Shane Moore Scott Long
Shaun Ewing Scott Peterson
Shelston IP Scriven Holdings Pty Ltd
Simon Johnson Sean Fogarty
Simon Keddy Search Global Pty Ltd trading as Stewart Media
Simply Honest Pty Ltd Shanan Dahlen
Sports Geek Pty Ltd Shane Moore
Steve Sammartino Shaun Ewing
Steve Vallas Sheldon Cambell
Steve White Shelston IP
Steven Stroud Simon Delzoppo
Stuart Benjamin Simon Johnson
Studentnet Simon Keddy
Susan Mack Simon Wilson
Telco Together Foundation Simply Honest Pty Ltd
Teresa Mitchell Sports Geek Pty Ltd
The Institute of Patent and Trademark Attorneys of Steve Sammartino
The University of Queensland trading as AUSCERT Steve Skinner
Theo Hranakis Steve White
Timothy Connell Steven Stroud
Tom Templeton Stuart Benjamin
Traffic Sauce Pty Ltd Studentnet
Two Bulls Holdings Pty Ltd Suelette Dreyfus
Verity Shepherdson Susan Mack
Vicki Gottliebsen Telco Together Foundation
Visatec Legal Pty Ltd Teresa Mitchell
Western Australian Internet Association (WAIA) The Institute of Patent and Trademark Attorneys of
William Lye The University of Queensland trading as AUSCERT
XD Global Pty Ltd Theo Hranakis
Yi Tong Timothy Connell
YOURLifeChoices Traffic Sauce Pty Ltd
Two Bulls Holdings Pty Ltd
Verity Shepherdson
Vicki Gottliebsen
Visatec Legal Pty Ltd
William Lye
XD Global Pty Ltd

Yi Tong

Ned O’Meara – 1st May 2017


22 thoughts on “This Is Embarrassing auDA

  • May 1, 2017 at 11:09 am

    I share your concern Ned, auDA must be more transparent with members and other stakeholders. I will be interested to see how the organisation responds to this.

    7 people like this.
    • May 1, 2017 at 11:13 am

      It didn’t take them long to respond Josh. The power of the pen.

      The membership list now has no trace of Stuart Benjamin!

      Fortunately, WayBack machine backs me up; and I did get independent people to do screenshots as well. I don’t want auDA to tell people that I made this up. 😉

      6 people like this.
  • May 1, 2017 at 11:16 am

    But what bearing did/does this have on anything?

    • May 1, 2017 at 11:40 am

      @Ishmail – as you will see in another article that I am preparing, auDA was at great pains at the AGM to talk about the need for the membership list to be thoroughly audited. They believed there were some suspicious activities i.e. attempts to stack the membership for voting purposes.

      So there are three issues I have highlighted:

      1. You can’t be an Independent Director if you are a Demand Class or Supply Class Member.

      2. Did Stuart Benjamin actually (and properly) resign as a Demand Class Member and Director?

      3. If he did; given the spotlight on memberships generally; I have to wonder why auDA couldn’t do something as simple as keep their own house in order and update the list? They updated it for other members.

      4 people like this.
  • May 1, 2017 at 11:49 am

    auDA,  the auDA Board, their expenses, methods for hiring staff and allocating Board membership roles, contractors, tenders, policy changes, censorship of meeting minutes and previously public auDA website material, stacking of demand membership by Supply related entities, processes around surveys, conflicts of interest, past audit’s all need to be investigated and action taken.

    When people at auDA themselves have said someone previously at auDA “should be in jail /gaol” you know there must be even more wrong at auDA than we all now, including government oversight who obviously have not been doing their job over the years.

    Also noteworthy is how a supply auDA board member representing Crazy Domains received only 3 votes when they ran themselves for the auDA Board yet they now find themselves in a power role on the auDA “Supply run” Board. auDA had taken action against Crazy Domains and published vast issues on the website previously.. Let’s see how long that stays up before it is also deleted off by auDA.

    When people have made over $100 million from auDA Policy and related contracts and have had representation on the auDA Board lot’s of questions arise.

    What action was taken bv auDA when an auDA Board member sent out vast yes only vote campaign materials to push through and “stack” voting for their proposed additional competing .au extension? Did auDA themselves stand up to the auDA board who said this was all ok and was not a conflict of interest when clearly it was?

    Time is overdue for the Government to really take action. They may be better off taking over the Domain Name Administration and wholesale registry themselves and taking the $10+ million off auDA it has still in the bank it has made in profits ( after all taxes and expenses!)

    This is now beyond a joke It is very serious. Even past board members and staff are finally speaking out… where they can.

    5 people like this.
  • May 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you for your article and continued concern and dilegence regarding auDA Ned, I for one was certainly not either impressed or convinced by the answering of my question raised at the last AGM, as your readers may explore for themselves with the record you have kindly supplied.

    5 people like this.
  • May 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    It makes you question the ethics of the independent directors and the intelligence of the others.

    Anonymous likes this.
  • May 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Optics are not good. Schoolboy error. CEO, Benjamin and Karabardak should have been all over this.

    “Did Stuart Benjamin actually (and properly) resign as a Demand Class Member and Director?”

    This is a good point. Were the resignation documents tabled at the board meeting; who prepared them? If they weren’t tabled, then the efficacy of Benjamin’s election is in severe doubt. If they were, then the CEO should admonish himself. Buck stops with him.

    3 people like this.
      • May 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm

        @Josh – agreed!

        2 people like this.
      • May 1, 2017 at 3:31 pm

        Josh and Cheryl,

        You and others have a lot of knowledge about the auDA issues.

        Get everyone including past staff and past directors you know engaged and posting what they know on and twitter.

        It appears only by domain name industry experienced people speaking up will anything improve….auDA is deleting the important public info off their website as fast as they can…Thank goodness a lot of people are know keeping records and we have the wayback machine and other backups. I am sure some people are seeing how they can even delete that?*/

        Everyone was promised and assured the new auDA ( Staff, Board, processes) would be far better…it appears things have not only gotten worse but to the point of auDA not longer being even remotely qualified to continue performing it’s role to the Government.

        Now everyone including the new auDA Ceo calls it “Australian Critical Infrastructure” The government can’t just wipe their own hands of this joke of a ” self regulatory” body.   If it was Australian Critical Infrastructure the questions expand into why was a foreign company allowed to completely take over the “Australian Critical Infrastructure” Wholesale Registry at all… $$$$ seem to be answer? It went through the auDA board quickly for the tick of approval.

        Wouldn’t Australia Taxpayers have been better to reap the $118 million+ windfall + those 16 years of  yearly $millions in wholesale registry profits than some related parties on the auDA Board others and media wrote about?

        Neustar said they bought Ausregistry for the profits.. this says a lot… That is clearly not thinking in terms of the rights of Australian Domain Name Supply ( registrars & resellers) or Australian Demand Consumers ( Domain name owners).

        Who is auDA thinking of and really acting for? It surely appears to not be for the 3 million+ existing paying domain name registrants who financially have been feeding it. 99% of people who own Australian domain names do not even know who auDA is…. maybe auDA & the Board likes it this way?


        2 people like this.
      • May 2, 2017 at 12:11 am

        Hi Josh,
        I clicked on your twitter snap and saw auDA response, Ongoing Governance Reform. He mentioned the Cameron Ralph report 2016 is to be the standard for best practice at auDA – Strange, I can’t find that report on the auDA website; I would have thought it would be under the link “Reviews of auDA”?
        Geee…at this rate, the auDA website will be a blank screen.

        4 people like this.
    • May 1, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      @Legal Eagle – agree with you on the optics. As Jeff says, CEO should make a statement to clarify.

      Anonymous likes this.
  • May 1, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    The CEO should make a statement to give members confidence and set the record straight. Let’s hope there’s no sudden backdating of documents.


    2 people like this.
    • May 1, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      @Jeff – agreed on both counts!

      2 people like this.
  • May 1, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Surely it only takes one current director to eyeball the minutes to confirm this.

    If only we had a director on our side.

    Anonymous likes this.
    • May 1, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      I know the events were “minuted”, but what many now want to know is was it properly documented at the time (Stuart’s resignations). And if so, were these documents filed with the minutes? If they were, why wasn’t the membership list updated? They’ve had nearly six months to do this – and they’ve certainly updated other members comings and goings in this time.

      It’s a fair question to ask – the Chair and the CEO should be held to a higher standard than anyone else.

      2 people like this.
  • May 1, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Ausregistry Group PTY LTD is a “Demand Class Member”? But wait, it has always been a “supply class” entity.

    Let’s do a simple search:
    Ausregistry Group PTY LTD is not found in a ASIC search because; its name changed to BOMBORA TECHNOLOGIES PTY LTD

    Neustar Inc.
    Neustar Inc. acquired Bombora Technologies and its subsidiaries, which includes ARI Registry Services.
    Who is Neustar Inc?
    An American technology company that provides domain name registry for .biz, .us .co, and .nyc top-level domains.

    Wait, this can’t be happening? Ausregistry is the Registry Operator and is listed as a “demand class” member on the auDA – with a privilege to vote to or for a demand class director whilst also, voting on the supply class side as Ausregistry PTY LTD?

    I don’t think they qualify for “demand status” do you?

    AusReg auDA

    auDA Membership rules:
    9.4 Qualification for Supply Class Membership
    Any Legal Person that is a Registry Operator, an auDA accredited Registrar, or a reseller appointed by an auDA accredited Registrar, in the .au name space, qualifies to be a Supply Class Member.

    If a group of related entities (as defined in the Corporations Law) consists of more than one Legal Person who qualifies for Supply Class membership, then only one such Legal Person within the group may apply to be a Supply Class Member.

    Here’s the definition as per the Corporations Law:

    “related entity “in relation to a body corporate, means any of the following:

    (a) a promoter of the body;
    (b) a relative of such a promoter;
    (c) a relative of a spouse of such a promoter;
    (d) a director or member of the body or of a related body corporate;
    (e) a relative of such a director or member;
    (f) a relative of a spouse of such a director or member;
    (g) a body corporate that is related to the first-mentioned body;
    (h) a beneficiary under a trust of which the first-mentioned body is or has at any time been a trustee;
    (i) a relative of such a beneficiary;
    (j) a relative of a spouse of such a beneficiary;
    (k) a body corporate one of whose directors is also a director of the first-mentioned body;
    (l) a trustee of a trust under which a person is a beneficiary, where the person is a related entity
    of the first-mentioned body because of any other application or applications of this definition.

    5 people like this.
  • May 1, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    And George Pongas (General Manager) AusRegistry Pty Ltd is a demand class member too. Conflicts nah. Stacking nah. Smells yep.

    5 people like this.
  • May 1, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Simon Delzoppo, founder of Ausregistry. Hmm seems like a bonafide demand class type.

    3 people like this.
    • May 4, 2017 at 12:15 am

      A sizeable % of demand members have links to supply organisations.. what has auDA done about it? Nothing… Yes they know.

      Anonymous likes this.

Comments are closed.