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Thread: The Report on the viability of an Australian Vaper's Association.

  1. #1
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    The Report on the viability of an Australian Vaper's Association.

    “Let’s Create an Association” Working Group

    Preliminary Report


    Several months ago a small group of Aussievapers Forum members formed a Working Group with a view to developing the foundations for the formation of an association of Personal Vaporiser (PV) users in Australia.

    Current Working Group members are:

    Mrsgruffy (ably supported by Mrgruffy of course)
    Keyboardmama
    Tally-ho
    Genecigs
    Megan
    BigKev

    In approaching its endeavours the Working Group recognised the challenges involved with forming an association that could effectively cover the whole of Australia particularly given that legislation covering the formation of community organisations and a number of issues of interest to its ultimate membership is primarily state based.

    Notwithstanding the Working Group is of the view that given sufficient interest and sound leadership those challenges are not insurmountable. Succinctly the proposed approach is to keep things simple from the outset and allow the association to evolve as it grows and matures.

    The Working Group has almost finalised its work with only one task remaining, the development of a draft Constitution that would provide the formal rules for an association. Given that this task will involve a substantial amount of work we feel it is appropriate at this point to gauge the actual level of interest in proceeding to form an association and the following proposals are now presented to that end.


    NAME OF ASSOCIATION

    Australian Vapers Association.


    OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSOCIATION

    • To promote the use of refillable PV’s as a viable and acceptable alternative to smoking.

    • To input to the outcome of any proposed change to regulations and/or taxes impacting the use of refillable PV’s, nicotine and/or juice containing nicotine.

    Whilst the identification of specific tasks designed to achieve these objectives is a matter appropriate for the association’s committee of management to address it is suggested that consideration be given to embracing the following activities:

    • Monitoring, reviewing and communicating relevant research and media reports.
    • Developing and implementing an effective internal and external communication strategy.
    • Developing and implementing an effective strategy to input to government decision making.
    • The development/maintenance of an association website.
    • Identifying and reviewing new PV products.
    • Advertising and fundraising.

    FORM OF ASSOCIATION

    Legal Status

    In the first instance it is proposed that an unincorporated, not-for-profit, community service association be formed to avoid a number of more complex regulatory requirements and facilitate tax exempt status at the outset.

    It is envisaged that the association could move toward “incorporation” and registered charity status at some point in the future should it be considered advantageous.

    Administrative Structure

    It is proposed that the associations committee of management be comprised as follows:

    President
    Vice-President
    Secretary
    Treasurer
    Committee Members (at least 4) who would each have responsibility for a particular function such as Research, Communications/Marketing, IT, Members, Government Regulations, etc.

    Whilst 4 other committee members has been stipulated as a minimum it is suggested that in the first instance 8 be sought due to the level of work that will be required to set up the association.

    There should be a portfolio structure within the Committee of Management of the new association and each portfolio should have responsibility for a specific type task or tasks. Potential committee members may indicate a preference for one of those roles, based on their interests, however the Committee of Management should ultimately determine the nature and allocation of portfolios.
    Last edited by mrsgruffy; 28-10-13 at 07:40 PM.
    GirlyPantz, spawn_8, marty and 5 others like this.

  2. #2
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    FINANCIALS

    It is quite clear that the proposed association will require funding to operate effectively, if only to develop and maintain an appropriate website.

    The Working Group has not endeavoured to establish the level of funding that would be required as that will depend largely upon the activities the association proposes to undertake. Notwithstanding an appropriate level of accountability in dealing with the proposed associations finances was considered an important issue by the Working Group particularly given the likely geographic isolation of Committee of Management members who would normally meet face to face to jointly sign documents related to expenditure (usually at least two are required to sign).

    It has been established that internet based bank accounts with sufficient safe-guards are available to provide for an appropriate level of accountability in the circumstances that will confront the proposed association. Accordingly it is proposed that an appropriate internet based bank account requiring transaction authorisation by at least two Committee of Management members be utilised by the proposed association.

    Whilst no attempt has been made to quantify the level of funding the proposed association would require or the quantum of membership fees which will need to be determined by the association it is proposed that in the first instance an inaugural annual membership fee of $50 be implemented to provide the association with immediate “seed funding” to commence operation.


    MEMBERS

    Membership of the association will be subject to application, payment of the prescribed Membership Fee (as determined by members at a General Meeting) and acceptance by the Committee of Management.

    Membership of the association will be restricted to individuals who are real people. (ie Members will be required to identify themselves by real full name and address and there will be no group or corporate members.)

    The Working Group recognises that the requirement for members of the association to identify themselves may be confronting to some however we would urge those concerned at this requirement to endeavour to consider it in context.

    Whilst anonymity is acceptable and appropriate in relation to participation in Forums such as AussieVapers, it is not in relation to membership of associations, which are setup for an entirely different purpose, for two primary reasons. Credibility and accountability.

    The simple fact of the matter is that if an individual transgress on AussieVapers the ultimate repercussions would be relatively minor. At the end of the day the worst that could happen is that the individual could get kicked off the Forum.

    If an individual were to transgress as the member of an association the repercussions could be far more serious for both the individual and the association as a whole. The worst case scenario could see both the association and the individual being subject to litigation involving penalty at law. In the case of an unincorporated association as proposed any litigation would involve the individual/s concerned together with every other member of the association as an individual as the association would not be a legal entity.

    The bottom line is that associations cannot operate anonymously and as a consequence association members must be identifiable. Indeed in the case of incorporated associations it is a legal requirement that a register of members’ names and addresses be maintained at all times.

    It should be recognised however that the identity of association members is privileged information which is confidential to the association. Accordingly it is a matter for individual members as to whether they wish to identify themselves as members of an association outside of that association.

    MEETINGS

    Due to members being scattered across Australia Committee of Management meetings should be conducted online. For the time being google chat, supported by the use of email, seems a simple and easily accessible venue while an association is being established.

    Other meeting options are available and can be explored for suitability as the association develops.

    It is envisaged that the inaugural General Meeting of the proposed association will be conducted by email with the assistance of the AussieVapers Forum (subject to agreement) for the purposes of general information distribution.


    ATACA

    Given the current status of ATACA the Working Group felt it appropriate to explore whether the ATACA website could be of value to the proposed association.

    The association has the possibility of negotiating adopting the switch.org.au website as it’s official website.
    Last edited by mrsgruffy; 28-10-13 at 07:40 PM.

  3. #3
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    NEXT STEPS

    As indicated previously, it is now time to determine if the formation of an association is viable and that is really only something that you can determine by indicating your interest in either being a member or being a member and part of the team that will form, develop and lead the association.

    So now please step up and be counted.

    As a guide the Working Group is of a view that to be viable the proposed association must have an initial membership base of at least 200 members. Clearly we must also be able to fill all the positions on the Committee of Management also.

    If you are seriously interested in becoming a member of the proposed Australian Vapers Association then please indicate your interest by briefly replying to this post.

    Once it is established that there is sufficient interest in forming the proposed association you will be contacted by PM with further information.

    If you are interested in nominating to be part of the Committee of Management (either as an office bearer or other committee member) then please forward a PM to mrsgruffy indicating your interest and the position you are interested in nominating for.

    Again once it is established that there is sufficient interest in forming the proposed association you will be contacted by PM with further information.

    The Working Group will proceed to development of a Constitution which can be used to facilitate the formation and operation of the association as soon as the viability of the proposed association becomes evident.

    Once this final task has been completed an election of office bearers and committee members will be arranged to formally constitute the association. Following the election the Working Party will cease to exist and the association will evolve in its own right from that point.
    Last edited by mrsgruffy; 28-10-13 at 07:39 PM.

  4. #4
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    well done guys, this post will be altered when I have some time to think and settle, but for now, kudos is due and great timing. I dont know that I could or should ever be a leader here, but dogs body, general troublemaker, media promotions and real world memes, war footing and shouting from the rooftops I can do

    member? shit yeah
    Last edited by Cumulonimbus; 28-10-13 at 07:44 PM.

  5. #5
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    I dnt understand a lot of it but I do know this can b a positive in the right direction. im in for being a member and paying a yearly fee.
    GirlyPantz, Cumulonimbus and Donna like this.
    Cigarette Addiction: 12 years Quit Smoking: 22.11.2011 Started Vaping: 22.11.2011
    ProVari V2, SmokTech 1.5 ohm dc carto, OCD Tank at 4.3 volts
    Vaping and Loving it

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cumulonimbus View Post
    well done guys, this post will be altered when I have some time to think and settle, but for now, kudos is due and great timing. I dont know that I could or should ever be a leader here, but dogs body, general troublemaker, media promotions and real world memes, war footing and shouting from the rooftops I can do

    member? shit yeah
    Amen to all that!



    I'm not fat, I just ate somebody who was.

  7. #7
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    I wish to become a financial member and to help out as directed, but not as a committee member at this stage.

  8. #8
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    As this thread is calling for specific action from members, should it perhaps be stickied or highlighted somehow?



    I'm not fat, I just ate somebody who was.

  9. #9
    Doc
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    Count me in.
    If its got tits or tyres, you got problems.

  10. #10
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    I'm all for it too!

 

 
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