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From the EO and The GFA Annual General Meeting

Terry Cubley

AGM 2020

We ran our first ‘Virtual AGM’ on Friday evening 28th August, using Zoom webinar software, and feedback has been very positive. 123 people attended the meeting from the comfort of their homes – although it was loudly obvious that the Beverley crowd were watching from their clubhouse following a day’s flying. It was good to hear you guys! Another 59 registered who were not able to attend. We also had 75 members who submitted proxies, which means just under 200 members participated in the process.

This is the biggest participation at an AGM that I can remember, although there was one in the early 2000s when we changed the management structure of GFA. Quite a few members turned up to the physical meeting plus a large number of proxies.

The format of the meeting was mainly a presentation of information, but it also enabled people to raise their hands via a button on the Zoom interface and to type in questions to the meeting. Sarah Thompson was the Conductor of this interaction with members and was able to un-mute microphones for those who wanted to speak and to read out the typed questions in appropriate gaps. The demand was slow initially but members quickly developed confidence and the number of questions grew as the meeting progressed.

Voting was conducted via a Polling option in Zoom, and as each vote was raised, a voting form appeared on each screen and members were able to vote quite quickly. The results were then flashed up onto the screen within a few seconds of closing the poll – very efficient.

The first few votes concerned routine reports and then approval of Officers for the next 12 months.

The people elected by the Regions to become Board members changed significantly, with only Greg Beecroft returning to the Board.

Appointment of Regional Board Members

8.1. Board Member & alternate – NSW: Ian Caldwell and Aaron Stroop

8.2. Board Member & alternate – QLD: Lisa Turner and Mike Codling.

8.3. Board Member & alternate - SA/NT: Peter Brooks and Alison Swart

8.4. Board Member & alternate - VIC/TAS: Duncan Robertson – Alternate to be advised

8.5. Board Member & alternate – WA: Greg Beecroft and Owen Jones

Department heads, who are the members of the Executive, remain unchanged.

President, Vice President and Treasurer were elected by the Board at the Board meeting on the Saturday, and again, all three positions changed.

President Steve Pegler

Vice President Lindsay Mitchell

Treasurer Chris Bowman

Thanks go to the previous office holders for all of these positions. We really appreciate your large contribution.

Changes to the GFA Articles

Any proposals for changes to Articles are required to pass three hurdles in order to be approved.

  1. A minimum of 100 votes

  2. 75% voting in favour

  3. Majority of members from a majority of regions.

eO TABLE

The GFA Articles (rules) will be updated accordingly.

Members Forum - Members were invited to ask questions after the AGM was closed and we had quite a few who took advantage of this with questions about our relationship with CASA and other topics.

Topics considered by the GFA board

The Board had a series of short meetings on the two Wednesdays before the AGM and on the Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon following.

Main topics for consideration were

  1. GFA Policies in relation to Integrity, Member Protection, Child protection etc

  2. Part 149 proposal – we have been granted an extension of time in order to initiate this process with CASA.

  3. Rollout of the new Gliding Australia website

  4. Progress in developing the new Training handbook for Solo and GPC training

  5. Strategic Plan update – surviving COVID-19

  6. Biennial Flight Review feedback

Gliding Australia Magazine

The magazine will continue only in electronic format for the next 12 months. This is a significant cost saving at a time when GFA’s income has been impacted by the 6 month free membership and low flying activity. This has saved us close to $50,000. The Board has agreed to offer a subscription to a small print run of a hard copy magazine to members who subscribe for 12 months (4 editions). We offered this opportunity in June and sold approx 40 copies, which means that the price needs to be set quite high. Members can subscribe for $88 ($22 per edition) and this is available in the GFA Shop – Go Membership Events. If we don’t get enough subscriptions we will cancel the offer and refund the subscription payments.

Go Membership

As mentioned in some recent Launch Points emails, if you are looking to buy anything from the GFA Shop or anything that was on MyGFA, you need to start from Go Membership (GM).

If you need help in accessing GM there are instructions available via the web page – see Docs/Forms – Administration – Go Membership.

A green tile labelled ‘MyGFA’ will take you to the MyGFA area – SOAR reports, GFA Met, etc.

The other starting point is the green tile ‘Events & Courses’. The title of this section is not quite comprehensive but we are unable to change that at the moment. While it does show some upcoming events (NSW Coaching Week, for example), you will also see Form 2 kits, the GFA Shop, Courses, Webinars and so on.

Click on the GFA Shop and you will see all the items that we have been selling for some time – Classified adverts, Badges, Badge claims, Tost release products, AEF Forms and others. We have streamlined many of the costs, which means that many of them are now cheaper.

Another useful tile is the light green ‘Documents’ tile. This has many useful documents to help you use Go Membership, and also forms to apply for your GPC, Medical certificates, Online Exam menu, etc.

AEF – Introductory Membership forms

We have been trying to make this process as simple as possible and feedback suggests we might be getting there.

There are only a couple of ways to legally take someone for a passenger flight in GFA. If you are taking someone you know and you don’t want to let them handle the controls or pay more than half the cost of the flight, your Private passenger rating will cover this. I still suggest that you get them to read the terms and conditions of their risk and liability.

An AEI or higher rated instructor can take a passenger and give them a go on the controls, but they have to join GFA. The introductory Membership is designed for this situation. It costs $35, makes the flight legal and protects the pilot conducting the flight. Our Insurances apply. When you purchase these memberships (usually done by a club) the forms are emailed to you to be printed. You have to provide a copy of the terms and conditions that apply regarding the passenger’s acceptance that gliding is a dangerous activity and that they forgo their access to liability claims.

GPC Training

Our member surveys show that a lot of members claim that there is a lack of standardisation in what they are taught and how they are taught. Operations and Soaring Development have been working on the training materials to be used by instructors and coaches, and are making good progress. It should provide a lot more guidance for the Trainer and for the student pilot, and improve the support material available to assist with consistency.

Training panels will be asked to review this material and to trial its use towards the end of 2020. Operations and Soaring Development will supply updates as the new Training Manual nears completion.

GFA Office

As the GFA office is located in one of the main hotspots of corona virus infection in Melbourne, strongly impacting all of our office staff – Tanya, Fiona and Carol. All are working from home, which places some strain on their day to day activity. They can no longer collect mail or visit the office, so we have had to provide extra phones and printers etc, and the staff are using a lot of their own equipment to help us out. We certainly appreciate their hard work and commitment to GFA members.

They have developed quite a few process improvements to make sure that members are well supported.

We have reduced hours of work for Tanya, which means that the GFA office is not staffed every second Friday, and it is certainly not staffed on the weekend. We appreciate members not trying to phone them on weekends. The best way to contact them is to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They all see these emails and the person who is best to respond can do so, by phoning you or via email.

We all look forward to the end of this pandemic.