Direction of AEFS Peter Pine email
Hadn't previously subscribed to this forum ,, I'm in now...
Rececieved an email from Peter Pine looking for input on the direction of AEFS..
Bill Hamilton is proceeding with the Swan Hill Rally and Steve Mutch has started organising an Easter Rally because no-one else is doing it, which has prompted me to ask "What is happening with the AEFA?" I have included you in this discussion because of your previous interest and involvement in the AEFA and its events (and I have tried to include all states) - if you want me to remove you from this discussion, just let me know. I have included all the addresses in the address bar so you can see who is included - to respond to this message and enter the discussion, click on "Reply to All". Let me know of anyone else you think should be included.
FIRST THE HISTORY
Let me first sketch the background from my point of view - correct my details if you think I have it wrong.
In the early 1980s Jack Black campaigned for the development of electric flight in Australia. From 1982 until he died suddenly of a brain tumour, Jack regularly attended the Sailplane Expo in Armidale, ran an electric competition at that event (in 1982 it was a State Association Point Score event) and delivered seminars on electric flight. His proteges at the time were people like Ian Avery, Peter Cranfield, Wayne Hadkins, Phil Stevenson, Richard Solomon, John Adams, etc. In those days Ian Avery published an electric flight newsletter under the title of the "Australian Electric Flight Society" - anyone who gave Ian $2 received a copy!
The Aussie team for the first Electric Flight World Championships was selected at the Wangaratta Nationals in 1986 - it was Wayne Hadkins, John Adams and myself (all from NSW). At this event in Belgium we witnessed the First Electric Flight games masterminded by Peter Blomaart - we brought back the idea of fun electric flight events. Inspired, I started an electric rally in Armidale in 1987. The next year the idea had grown to a National Electric Flight Rally as a jamboree of electric events and the NEFR was born - I still have the brochures. In 1989, Ian Avery suggested Nowra as a venue because it would be more central - despite nearly being rained out, a goodly number of electric fliers attended Nowra and had a ball. Then Ray Pike suggested Wangaratta to encourage southern electric fliers to attend, and the Wangaratta venue became locked in for some time. Even so, the 1990 Wangaratta event was run under the auspices of the AEFS and Phil Stevenson from Sydney collected the entries.
I do not have hard data on the beginnings of the Melbourne electric group. I do know that I conducted seminars and a trade display at Glen Waverley school hall in the early 90s (followed by a day of electric flying at VARMS field), and this grew out of the Wangaratta rally. I also believe that the Melbourne group started in Phil Connolly's garage. I do know that the 1996 NEFR brochure is the first one that I have that mentions that the rally was run by the Melbourne based special interest group (but unnamed).
There was a gap in my involvement with the rally over subsequent years as my business failed and my marriage fell apart - Ray & Erica Pike continued the event with years of hard work. In 2000 the NEFR was conducted at the Wollongong field in conjunction with an Easter Nats. The 2001 NEFR brochure is the first one I have that bears the AEFA logo and I continued sponsoring (along with many others) through my on-going involvement with Multiplex. The rally started to move around after that with an event in Wagga, and in 2004 it was held in the Barossa Valley, SA (the Barossa Club have asked for the NEFR at their field again in 2009). It was held once in Sydney. By 2005 the NEFR was being held in Cootamundra run by the Macquarie Club from Sydney.
I have taken pains with these details because I want to demonstrate clearly that the AEFA is a NATIONAL organisation and not restricted to Victoria.
I have analysed the AEFA membership on the latest spreadsheet that Peter Stapleton has given me - it was current at Easter this year. The list shows three groups - those who are current financial members, those who were members in 2006, and those who were members before that. The figures go like this:
CURRENT: Victoria 62, Other states 51
LAST YEAR: Victoria 31, Other states 46
BEFORE THAT: Victoria 47, Other states 56
You can see that it is pretty evenly divided - out of 293 possible AEFA members, 140 are from Victoria and 153 from other states.
WHERE IS THIS LEADING?
There has been strong indications from those who accepted leadership of the AEFA this year that the organisation is Victorian based. I hope I have demonstrated that this is not so. It should be a national body. In fact, I think it is not acceptable for a Victorian-centric organisation to hold funds collected from members all over the country, and not give the members what they paid for.
WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF THE AEFA?
I think it is:
1. A newsletter - this is what most people joined for, and it is not happening.
2. A web site - that is not being maintained.
3. The NEFR - which is being neglected.
4. The National Swan Hill Rally - which is falling to one person to run.
5. A 7-cell glider postal competition - which is still being run by Ray Pike, but is not promoted by the AEFA.
7. An OT postal competition - which is being run by Geoff Burling, but is not promoted by the AEFA.
8. A 7-cell Pilot Grading scheme - which has been run by Mel Gillot, but is falling by the wayside because of lack of support.
9. A peak interest group that should be liaising with the MAAA and the Electric sub-committee, but nothing is happening. Tied up with this is team selection trials for the World Champs and raising funds and support for out teams.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
I will make some radical suggestions and look forward to your response:
• The Victorian body identifies itself as a state interests group - the VEFA if you like - call it anything but the AEFA.
• A new executive is formed to lead a national organisation to address the above issues.
• The funds held by the Victorian body are split according to the numbers - a proportion, roughly half, is given to the new national executive to manage, the Victorian association retains half.
• If Victorian members choose to join the new AEFA, they join for a reduced fee. Alternatively, the Victorian body could affiliate with the national body - for a contribution, all Victorian members become members of the new AEFA.
I predict that, unless we can negotiate something along these lines (please make your alternative suggestions), there will be a split and a new body will be formed anyway - best to do it without hard feelings. I take it that the Victorian association does not want to manage any of the things that I have listed that a national body should do - if I am wrong, tell me!
Congratulations if you have stuck with me this far! I would be pleased to hear from you. I have the best interests of electric flight at heart, and I hope we can work something out.
Regards Peter Pine
Joined Jan 2006
Hey jeff. Ive been member for about 2 years. Its a bit disappointing that the newsletter isnt running. I have alot of experience with making newsletters so i would love to help!
I want to go to swan hill this year and i really hope its still running.
Thanks mate. PS, i didnt get that email...