MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT 

Welcome everyone to the last FTA eXchange newsletter for 2016!

 FTA 2016 Conference presidents

Once again I’d like to thank all FTA stakeholders for what I believe was a very successful conference at the Gold Coast in mid-November. This view isn’t based on my own experience but on feedback we’ve received in person and writing from many attendees.

We’ve also had a great deal of interest from our sponsors and members wishing to be involved with the planning and participation in next years’ conference. This is very encouraging. We hope to formalise these expressions of interest as soon as possible to provide certainty and to allow preparations to commence.

So far we’ve received a tremendous response from our net promoter score (NPS) survey. Thank you to those who have completed the survey. There’s still time if you have not yet responded. Your feedback and insights are incredibly valuable to us, and help us improve your experience.

 FTA’s direction – 2017 and beyond

At the AGM I presented a number of strategic focuses, both from the board and from our CEO, Peter Chapman. These focuses have shaped the activity of the board and management over the past year and will continue to do so in 2017. They were formulated using a combination of past lessons learnt, a desire to be more customer centric and the desire for a strong operating and governance rhythm. We like to think of these focuses as a strong foundation for our thriving Association.

In summary, they are:

Financial Security

The challenge: Manage the Association so member reserves are at sufficient levels to withstand business disruption, particularly in the case of an economic downturn.

 The board’s response: Our capital policy and newly approved risk appetite statement helps manage the Association’s equity capital at a level that safeguards the Associations financial health. This policy and principal is also embedded in our 3 year financial planning which aims to secure and strengthen the Association’s financial health for the long term.

 Member Investment

The challenge: Maintain the fine balance between increasing member reserves, and investing this retained capital back into the Association to improve the member value proposition. Any investments must be member-needs based.

The board’s response: Late in 2015 we engaged a customer experience consultancy to provide recommendations on how the Association can become more member-centric. In 2016 we’ve been implementing many of these recommendations. We have funded these initiatives with surplus reserves built up over the last 5 years.

Operational excellence

The challenge: Being a small and relatively specialised Association, we need to carefully consider our partnerships as well as the sustainability and flexibility of our operating model.

The board’s response: We’ve undertaken a strategic and operational review that includes our approach to strategic partnering and the way the Associate operates. We’re extremely focussed on creating a lean model and a smooth running operation that allows us to put more energy and funds into you, our members.

Governance

The challenge: The board should be structured to add value, including having a strong focus on risk. Governance matters.

The board’s response: We’ve used guiding principles and frameworks as suggested by the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the ASX to move the Association’s governance structure closer to best practice. We’ve invested in director education and continuous improvement practices like board performance evaluation. The board has met face to face on several occasions because we find meeting in person clarifies our purpose and helps us achieve our objectives. We have also refreshed the Constitution in line with best practice.

We will aim to provide more detail on what was covered in the AGM (“annual review” style) in the next eXchange magazine, out in February 2017.

Also, in the next few editions of the eXchange newsletter, I’ll provide some insight into the next areas of focus for the Association as we look to build on our foundational layer.

Resolutions

For those not present at the AGM the following resolutions proposed were approved:

  • Approval of the minutes of the 2015 AGM
  • Re-appointment of Matthew Hung from Renshaw Dawson Lang as the FTA auditor
  • Re-appointment of myself as director (and NSW rep) of the FTA for a further 3 years
  • Re-appointment of Nell Bingham as director (and Tasmanian rep) of the FTA for a further 3 years
  • Approval of the proposed changes to the FTA constitution

I am also pleased to announce that the board voted to approve my and Nell’s reappointment as President and Vice President (respectively) for another year.

We are humbled by your and our fellow directors’ support and endorsement and pledge to continue working hard to strengthen and provide leadership to the Association.

And finally, I’d like to wish all FTA stakeholders a very happy festive season. I hope you get some well-deserved time to relax and spend with your family and friends. Looking forward to seeing you in 2017.

Mike Christensen FFTP
FTA President