Good day to all NMRA AR members.
As you are aware I took over as President of the Australasia region (AR) on 1st, March 2022. The following information is a summation of activities of the NMRA AR for March, April, and May 2022.
I’m not sure if other presidents have had reports issued directly to the membership previously, however I see communications as a significantly important part of our AR process. So effective from this point you as members will get a quarterly report.
There has been a bit of NOISE coming out of our divisions around the Digital magazine (E magazine) availability, or should I say lack thereof for the NMRA AR region. This I suspect is driven by the recent advertising by National of the going live of the E magazine. I have personally fielded some correspondence and had verbal conversations with a few of our members. I’m also aware that our committee members and division superintendents have also fielded some questions around this subject.
Please understand that this issue was raised last year. The ARC had significant robust conversations around this subject and the decision was made that we would not force a significant financial increase on our membership especially as the magazine is assumed to only interest some of the membership due to its North American content.
This was communicated to the membership by email correspondence on 19th December last year and whilst I was not president at that time, I supported the decision and stand by it as the current president.
However, this does not mean we will sit on our hands with this subject. We will continue to actively hold discussions with national around this subject matter, and we will explore alternate solutions. This will take time to do, and I do not want anybody being under any illusion that we will get access to the National E magazine anytime soon. I would also like to bring to your attention that the hardcopy magazine which has the same content as the emagazine will still be available to AR members and this is as per the existing user pay system.
The ARC has formed 2 subcommittees.
- Long term strategy development committee
- AR Mainline E magazine as a revenue source
The strategy committee will look at strategy for the Australasian region to, align, promote and grow the value add of being a NMRA member and how we can better service our NMRA AR community. This subcommittee will deliver to the ARC, strategy to be ratified and implemented across the Region. Again, these things are not achieved overnight, and this will be a work in progress for the rest of this year.
The 2nd subcommittee will look at the potential to utilise the NMRA AR Mainline e magazine as a revenue source for the NMRA AR. This committee will submit their recommendations to the ARC for discussion and possible implementation.
A small team of key stakeholders are planning the roll out of the Microsoft 365 platform. This is a suite of packages that will enable the divisions and ARC to collaborate using the cloud and shared tools. This will be a first for the AR and will give each division access to an environment to run virtual meetings, share information, work on shared platforms as well as many other advantages. As this is rolled out how to use documentation will be supplied to your division Superintendents.
The target is to have this program rolled out to each division by the end of July.
New Web Site
The months of March & April saw significant flooding going on in SE QLD and NSW, our heart goes out to those members affected by this event x 3.
This has caused a disruption to planned NMRA AR scheduled activities. In particular, the setup of the new NMRA AR WebSite. Brad Anderson our Web Site setup coordinator and Webmaster has been affected directly by the flooding and unfortunately progress on the new WebSite had been at a standstill for a few weeks as a consequence. In May, Brad tendered his resignation as the Webmaster as a consequence of the flooding which has led to a career path change for Brad and he no longer can give the role the time he believes it needs.
Wayne Eagle has been nominated as the new Webmaster and he will be underpinned by a few Web Editor positions yet to be appointed.
We are anticipating going live with the new website in June.
NMRA AR Divisional promotions tables are a significant way of us meeting with the public and developing interest in the association.
Both Division 1 and Division 7 held promotions tables individually at recent events in both Brisbane and Sydney. Well done to the Division 1 and 7 teams in particular those members who stepped up to the plate to run the promotions activity. This is a great effort and I encourage all Divisions to follow suit and try and do a similar exercise at some stage (PS not saying that you don’t already).
Around the start of March, Paul Rollason replaced me as Division 1 superintendent. This involved the handover of electronic information as well as hardware that goes to the Division Super. The information was transferred to Paul’s care as we had a solid transition plan in place for when the day came to handover. I encourage all Division Supers to consider this as part of their role scopes for the future.
Division 5 Superintendent Kel Shearson has tendered his resignation as division Super. Kell has been in this role for a very lengthy time, and we all wish Kel the best for his retirement from the NMRA ARC. Kel will not be lost to the NMRA AR and will provide plenty of support for the incoming Division 5 Superintendent Phillip Sharp. Congratulations to both Kel and Phil and the NZ team.
I sat in on the virtual NMRA AR Div 5 gathering (NZ) to which Division 1 provided the zoom and Kel Shearson, Division 5 Superintendent hosted. This was a great evening, and I had the chance to chat with some of our Division 5 members. I believe that this virtual gathering went down well and I look forward to doing this again soon.
All Divisions have been tracking well with divisional events for the membership with most divisions coming up with unique ways to make a difference at each monthly gathering.
Division Superintendents have been requested to develop plans for the division and share these with the ARC
I’ve often heard it said that the 100% clubs are only in it for the insurance. Whilst I acknowledge that the insurance is likely a major reason, I see many 100% clubs that have quite a few members that are actively involved in NMRA AR activities so I would beg to differ on occasions.
Saying all of this I would love to get feedback from the 100% club executives on what you think the NMRA AR can do as additional value add to your club?
Conversely, I would be interested in feedback as to what you think that your club can do to value add to the AR.
Here are some Australasian region membership statistics: