21st July 2016. WIA Reform Group – News Letter Number 12

Hello everyone,

We’ve a fair bit to report this week, so the newsletter is a little longer than normal. Since last week we’ve received a response from the WIA to our questions about the Financial Report and the Annual General Meeting.

You will recall we wrote to the board following the Annual General Meeting and their appalling lack of details with relation to many of the questions we asked. We highlighted a multitude of errors, which, on their own, may not sound too alarming, but when considered in totality lead to one simple conclusion:

 This board is exposing the WIA to unnecessary financial risk, particularly in relation to its agreement with the ACMA (Exam and Callsign Management Services).

Unsurprisingly, the Board accepted no responsibility for their errors and oversights. The one big take-away from this exercise is that the Board had no idea of these errors and would have continued on unwittingly had we not brought them to their attention.

Since Trainsafe took over the operation of the WIA National Office it seems that a multitude of business processes have failed. The Board has taken no effort to identify or remedy those issues even though a number of people have warned them. As equally concerning is that all Directors approved the Financial Report. Asleep at the wheel.

The watery answers confirm our suspicions that this Board has no real control over the financial management of WIA funds. The Board advised that it was not aware of any additional “misallocations”. Given they were unaware of the “misallocations”, (let’s call them what they are, financial reporting failures) we pointed out, we are not surprised that they remain unaware of additional problems. All this is following a statement from the President in February that the Institute’s accounts were in good order. Asleep at the wheel.

The other point the President made in his response is that contractor expenses had increased as the WIA is now using paid staff to perform work previously performed by volunteers.

You can all draw your own conclusions from that, but it’s our informed viewpoint that this is a direct result of a breakdown between volunteers and the National Office and certain Board members over the past 12 months. And it’s no coincidence that Trainsafe was playing an influential role during this period. A number of volunteers have contacted us and confirmed our concerns about this matter.

WIA members should want to volunteer; they should be encouraged and nurtured by the board. Sadly, too often the opposite is true. If you know any volunteers (current or retired) ask them for an “off the record” chat about their experiences.

What is the WIA Treasurer and Board doing to assure members that they have financial control over our funds?

The WIA Website no longer informs members of the Treasurer’s name. Who is the WIA Treasurer and does that person have the required skills and knowledge to manage the business appropriately? Does this mean this Board will be on its 5th Treasurer in 12 months?

The President advised us that the WIA would be releasing its half-yearly financial position shortly and its plans for increasing income. We will inspect this statement closely, and we encourage you to do the same.

The WIA Reform Group has studied the financial statements in detail and has considered the ongoing issue of profitability in the broader context of our hobby. It is our view that the following initiatives should be structured into a strategic plan and implemented immediately:

  • Implement a proper financial management function, a part of which would be to review monthly P&L results to identify profit leakage, unnecessary expenditure and opportunities for efficiency improvement. The Board must understand that they can’t wait another year to learn they have lost another $60,000.
  • Perform a robust and professional review of office costs and requirements. A review of the “Where does your $95 go?” highlights this as representing about 50% of all costs.
  • Initiate a strategy to progressively move Amateur Radio Magazine to a true digital magazine format. This would create massive cost savings and increased opportunity for advertising revenue.
  • Develop and implement a plan to address falling amateur and membership numbers; Every 100 new members represents about $10,000 in additional revenue.

The above points require an entirely new way of thinking about WIA’s business model. The incumbent board members (excluding the newer members) are clearly out-of-date with their skills and business acumen.

They continue to run our Institute with a 1980’s mindset. It is our informed opinion that Trainsafe created a multitude of problems since its appointment in August 2015, and until the WIA distances itself completely from that company and its directors it will be very difficult to address these issues.

We will continue lobbying for change. We will continue to call for an end to the arrogant, incompetent culture that has beset the board of the WIA.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Every week we get emails of support and we’ll continue to call this Board to account as well as making positive, consultative contributions to the future of the hobby. However, there are still many people who are unaware of the WIA Reform Group.

Forward this email to your local club and friends. Take a copy when you meet local amateurs for a coffee. If they contact Feedback@wiarg.org we can send them a newsletter direct.

Stay up-to-date with news and progress; – visit www.wiarg.org .
We’ll continue to challenge this Board and demand better results. A strong WIA is critical to protect our hobby. We encourage every radio amateur in Australia to be a member.

Until next week,
G.C. Dunstan VK4DU, C. Chapman VK3QB, R. Dollar VK8RD

PS. We don’t want to spam you. Send us an email if you’d prefer we remove you from our mailing list.

12th July 2016. WIA Reform Group – News Letter Number 11

Hello everyone,

WIA Directors Andrew Smith VK6AS and Paul Simmonds VK5PAS have the support of the WIA Reform Group.

These two directors have made it clear publicly that the WIA needs to:

  • improve communications and engagement with members and affiliated clubs;
  • manage members’ funds with far greater professionalism and transparency – and fix the ongoing issue of financial losses;
  • issue a budget and regular financial updates for members;
  • ensure documented policies are in place and that all requests are handled consistently and fairly by the WIA (eg. Callsign requests, beacons, repeaters);
  • greatly improve Governance;
  • strengthen working groups (committees) to take a far greater role in the operation of the WIA;
  • ensure the board has a healthy and constructive culture – this requires significant change; and
  • encourage participation and growth in our hobby.

We hear from members every week, and it’s clear to us that Andrew and Paul are sticking to their election promises and attempting to achieve change at the WIA.  We have no doubt that they are working exceptionally hard.

We do hope that, with their influence, the conflict, incompetence and arrogance which was the hallmark of the Board during the latter part of 2015 and into 2016 will change for the good of the membership and the hobby.

If you want to see positive change and you believe the above priorities are important, please show your support by doing these three things:

  1. Contact Andrew and Paul to let them know they have your support.
  2. Phone the President, Phil Wait on 0418 161 733 and send him an email philwait@bigpond.net.au asking that he support Andrew and Paul.
  3. Visit our web site wiarg.org – and drop us an email asking to be put on our email list for weekly updates.

We will continue lobbying for change.  We will continue to support Paul and Andrew.

We call for your backing to strengthen their position.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Every week we get emails of support and we’ll continue to call this Board to account as well as making positive, consultative contributions to the future of the hobby.  However, there are still many people who are unaware of the WIA Reform Group.

Forward this email to your local club and friends.  Take a copy when you meet local amateurs for a coffee. If they contact Feedback@wiarg.org we can send them a newsletter direct.

Please continue to contact the National Office and Board Members and ask for your questions to be answered.  Ask them to publish a budget for 2016 and issue monthly P&L statements.  It only takes the push of a button in the MYOB package by the Treasurer.  No effort or cost at all.  Then we can all be informed.  Is WIA going to make another loss in 2016?

Email us if you have questions or concerns.

Stay up-to-date with news and progress; – visit  www.wiarg.org .

We’ll continue to challenge this Board and demand better results.  A strong WIA is critical to protect our hobby.  We encourage every radio amateur in Australia to be a member.

Until next week,

G.C. Dunstan VK4DU,   C. Chapman VK3QB,   R. Dollar VK8RD

Ps. We don’t want to spam you.  Send us an email if you’d prefer we remove you from our mailing list.

8th July 2016. WIA Reform Group – News Letter Number 10

Hello everyone,

As advised in our last newsletter, we have written to the Board asking that they follow through by addressing unanswered questions at the AGM.  To date we have not even received acknowledgement of our letter, let alone any answers to the questions.

The President made a commitment to refer questions back to the Treasurer and we will keep asking until that commitment is honoured.

Last week we issued our report based on the “Your Licence Conditions survey” conducted earlier in the year.  Follow this link  if you’ve not seen it yet:   http://wiarg.org/licence-conditions-survey-results-june-2016/

 

Is Amateur Radio dying?

We don’t believe it needs to, however, data provided by ACMA shows an alarming trend.  Our numbers are decreasing by about 50 per month (600 per year).

That’s a 4.3% decline in the 6 months to July 2016.

Given the ageing demographic of the amateur radio population, we believe all amateurs should be alarmed.  If no proactive action is taken by all of us, this rate of decline is likely to accelerate.  Even it is remains steady at 4.3% we’ll have fewer than 10,000 radio amateurs in Australia by 2024.

graph

 

As The Wireless Institute of Australia appears to be doing very little to address this issue, we thought it would be in everyone’s interest if the WIA Reform Group developed a documented strategy to grow our hobby.

To assist us, and to ensure we capture every idea that has merit and substance, we invite all interested radio amateurs to submit ideas.  We will consolidate the ideas most likely to succeed and publish a Strategy Document.  We’ll ask the Editor of Amateur Radio Magazine to publish the document, and we’ll also provide it to the Board for their consideration.

Please get your submission to us by the end of July.  Your document must include the following sections:

The Idea

A summary of your idea (no more than one paragraph)

A Brief

Provide as much detail as you would like about your idea

Target audience

To whom would your idea be targeted

Method to market the idea

How would you suggest your idea be marketed to yield the best result?

Support required

What logistical/technical/administrative support may be required to implement your idea?

Budget

If possible, provide some ideas of what your idea may cost to implement

 

We have a few ideas of our own, and we’ll get a final report together in August for release via the web, Amateur Radio Magazine and direct to the Board.

Every week we get emails of support and we’ll continue to call this Board to account as well as making positive, consultative contributions to the future of the hobby.  However, there are still many people who are unaware of the WIA Reform Group.

Forward this email to your local club and friends.  Take a copy when you meet local amateurs for a coffee. If they contact our feedback email email we can send them a newsletter direct.

Please continue to contact the National Office and Board Members and ask for your questions to be answered.  Ask them to publish a budget for 2016 and issue monthly P&L statements.

It only takes the push of a button in the MYOB package by the Treasurer.  No effort or cost at all.  Then we can all be informed.  Is WIA going to make another loss in 2016?

Email us if you have questions or concerns.

Stay up-to-date with news and progress; – visit  www.wiarg.org .

We’ll continue to challenge this Board and demand better results.  A strong WIA is critical to protect our hobby.  We encourage every radio amateur in Australia to be a member.

Until next week,

G.C. Dunstan VK4DU,   C. Chapman VK3QB,   R. Dollar VK8RD

Ps. We don’t want to spam you.  Send us an email if you’d prefer we remove you from our mailing list.