Just my quick bullet point overview of yesterday. I’ll write a more detailed version over the next couple of days – in fact, I might even do an audio summary.
♦ The Directors and CEO all met behind closed doors for at least an hour before meeting started. Team and tactics talk obviously – to be expected.
♦ The webinar side of the meeting was a total stuff up. Outside parties couldn’t initially hear; and they certainly couldn’t type in questions as was promised. A new link was sent out to members, but they missed the first 30 minutes, and still had no ability to ask questions. As I later quipped, the only thing they missed was listening to the CEO Cameron Boardman!
♦ Our S249 Members was effectively hijacked by auDA – we had to listen to the “same old, same old” mantra from the CEO for the first 45 minutes. Unbelievable. In my opinion, that was rude and disrespectful of members. If Mr Boardman was expecting applause from the audience, he didn’t get a ripple!
♦ Erhan Karabardak was in “charm and contrition mode” – “we’re here to listen to members concerns”.
♦ Stuart Benjamin was effectively airbrushed from history – and questions about statements he had recently made were deflected.
♦ Erhan was firmly in control, and he shut down any awkward questions about past governance by trotting out the standard line about Board confidentiality. Advice received about ongoing actions was subject to legal and professional privilege. So in other words, members are no further enlightened about some of the rumours and innuendo that have been leaked from auDA over the past year. Disappointing to say the least.
♦ Individual Directors did not comment – except at the end when Erhan let Simon Johnson speak (in answer to a question from me about our Demand Class representatives not being “allowed” to comment on any platform about anything to do with auDA). He stated “that he was not muzzled by the auDA Board”, and was always available to talk to members. Unfortunately, Tim Connell didn’t speak.
♦ Unfortunately, I did not get to ask the first question. That honour went to Adrian Kinderis from AusRegistry. He took the CEO to task over his initial presentation – particularly some of the “facts” outlined. As an astute student of human interaction, there is no love lost between them. I think Adrian had some very valid points, but the CEO effectively “ducked and dived” with his answers (in my opinion).
♦ Josh Rowe (former Director) then asked three good questions, and made an excellent statement at the end about how each and every Director would be held accountable moving forward if change was not made.
♦ My initial comment reflected my disappointment that our members meeting was effectively hijacked. I reiterated the three resolutions (that auDA invalidated) were the real concerns of members, and that we wanted to discuss those today regardless. I ended my first question to Cameron Boardman with this:
“Cameron, how can we ever trust anything you tell members?”
♦ Brett Fenton asked some telling questions. He is someone that is so respected in the industry. I’ll wait until the audio cast is ready and then link to that (so you can hear for yourself).
♦ Snoopy asked some ripper questions – particularly about the Code of Conduct. He was in fine form. Wait for the audio!
♦ And as for the very shy “Lemon”, he started slowly – but finished strongly. He had some great questions which really put the pressure on.
♦ A major highlight was the discussion around the appointment of Dr Michaella Richards as a replacement Demand Class Director for Miguel Wood. I think there will be a lot more to be said about this – particularly the process. I believe her position is untenable. Let’s hope I don’t get accused of being “sexist” or “bullying” by expressing that opinion!
We’ll get some superficial changes out of this S249 process, but overall, I don’t think much is going to change until we get some significant replacements on the Board.
Sorry I haven’t covered everything and everyone as yet. More to follow …
Ned O’Meara – 1st August 2017