Hello to all members, volunteers and friends of the ACA!
I’ve been with the ACA now for just over four months and have been able to meet with many of you in person, on the phone or via email.

I have travelled to a number of branches already, and was in the role in time to help organise and participate in a very well-attended annual general meeting that was hosted by our South Australian colleagues in May. The annual report was presented to the membership who duly agreed to accept the document as a true and accurate reflection of the finances and achievements of the ACA Inc for the year ended 31 December 2017.

I want to pay tribute and thanks to Wez Fawaz, who did a tremendous job running the daily operations of the ACA for a number of years as its executive officer, having started with the organisation in a marketing role. I know Wez was instrumental in getting the ACA back on a sustainable path; his policy development work is a great legacy for the organisation and I wish him well for the future.

As the Chairman has stated in his message, we are building a new team to better service our membership base, and to provide a service that delivers high quality, timely support. Our training and conference/events arms have been strengthened, giving us the tools to grow the organisation, provide additional training options for our membership and seek new demand for the courses we offer.

We have recently welcomed new staff and introduced new positions to the ACA, with Annalee Gielb stepping up and taking the position of Conference and Events Manager, which was vacated by the departure from the ACA by Lucy Krelle. Annalee will be assisted by recent appointee, Nicholas Ferrari, who will now be responsible for assisting our branches in delivering their events.

We also welcomed Rob Slater, our IT Contractor, to a more permanent part time position in the ACA team. Our training capacity has been further strengthened by the addition of Jak Mills, who will work part time with Skye delivering training services to our members.

Members are the lifeblood of any industry association. We need your help to identify new, potential members; we’ll act on your recommendations and will contact people and companies and speak to them about the value proposition of the ACA. But you, our existing members, are our entrée to developing new relationships which might lead to signing up new members.

The branches play a crucial role in new member identification and I’m really pleased and pleasantly surprised at the activities the branches undertake and how they’re so very well attended. More power to you all. We’re here to assist and want to continually improve our communication to the branches and our technical groups.

The ACA’s strategic plan is the foundation document that we as an organisation will be assessed on, by the membership and ultimately, the Board. There is more to be done and I’m working with the Board and colleagues to get some runs on the board in relation to achieving the Board’s clearly delineated expectations.

The ACA Council met for the first time mid-year when it had a telephone conference in early August. Members will be aware that the principal governance role of the Council is to elect the Board. The Council provides a sounding board for discussion on strategic issues that impact the Association. You’d know that usually the Council meets once a year, traditionally during the November conference. President Huw Dent was keen to engage with his Council mid-year to ensure all views were heard in a timely matter and that the Branches’ priorities and thoughts are well communicated to the ACA Board and management.

I look forward to meeting with more of you in the coming months.

Richard Reilly

ACA chief executive


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