AFTA approves new constitution, voting structure and welcomes directors

AFTA approves new constitution, voting structure and welcomes directors
Edited by Travel Weekly

    AFTA’s members have approved a significant milestone by giving the green light to a new constitution.

    A comprehensive “yes” vote of 100 per cent in favour of adopting the new constitution as unanimously recommended by AFTA’s board of directors was achieved at AFTA’s AGM in Sydney. This is AFTA’s 46th AGM.

    There has been a significant review and public consultation to establish the new constitution which reflects the changes in the travel sector and embeds the principle of fairness in AFTA’s governance.

    The association received 6 eligible nominations to be a director of AFTA. Those formally re-elected to the board are:

    • Christian Hunter
    • Graham Turner
    • Laura Ruffles
    • Danielle Russom
    • Shelley Beasley
    • Cinzia Burnes

    Tom Manwaring was re-elected chair and Christian Hunter and Graham Turner, vice chairs.

    Other highlights of the year include:

    • The formation of the Workforce Taskforce to focus on Travel’s workforce and skills shortage. Detailed policy positions and several submissions were developed with multiple ministerial and departmental briefings achieving change for members including the addition of “travel consultants” to the Government’s Skills Priority List;
    • Submissions to the ACCC, Austrade, and various Parliamentarty Committees and Reviews;
    • 143 political and 123 public sector briefings;
    • Ongoing Advocacy work including through investment in the LNP and Labor policy forums and corporate programs as well as National Press Club
    • Member Services and Support including the return of NTIA in October and the very first Women in Travel Summit in March.

    The AFTA board also met today with deliberations including the ongoing comprehensive review of the organisation’s strategic direction.

    “It’s been a busy year hallmarked by extensive consultation across AFTA, the Travel Sector and more widely as we reshape the organisation to deliver for all members,” said AFTA chair Tom Manwaring.

    “One of the cornerstone commitments that shapes all our decisions is a focus on fairness and this is embedded in our new Constitution. The reforms are many including at voting level with Member votes now aligned in a more balanced and fairer structure.

    The adoption of the new Constitution is one of the most significant milestones in this organisation’s existence and cements the Board’s focus on renewal and growth over the past 12 months.

    “We made a commitment to Government 10 years ago when we de-regulated that we would have an accreditation program that is meaningful and that consumers can have confidence in. This is why so many of our resources go to ensuring ATAS is robust including through managing complaints from consumers and supporting members in resolution of issues, checking financials and delivering a robust compliance regime.

    “We are finalising the ATAS Advisory Committee which will have dedicated positions for Agents, Tour Operators, Wholesalers and Consumer Groups with details to be released in the next quarter.

    “We reject suggestions that IATA membership alone can or should be the answer to accreditation as that approach is not in the interests of consumers or members. It ignores the reality that air is not the majority component of leisure travel and falls short of the expectations of Government, consumers and the market that robust financial criteria are in place.

    “We are currently finalising the strategic plan for the next 4 years which will drive the greatest change and improvements to our membership in many decades.”

    Featured Image: L-R: Richard Taylor, Dean Long with Directors James Kavanagh, Shelley Beasley, Chair Tom Manwaring, Roy Merricks, Christian Hunter, Danielle Russom, David Greenland (directors attending in Sydney)

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