Recently the ASRF Head Office and the State Directors have been receiving an increasing amount of correspondence regarding the membership structure of the ASRF, and how members can have a “say” in what we, as an organisation, are doing.
In response to these enquiries, at the 2006 AGM the NCC decided to use the SRN and website to answer some of the most common questions on the membership and voting structure:
Who can become a member of the ASRF?
Why does the ASRF have two types of membership?
Why is individual membership more expensive than club membership?
How does the club voting structure work in the ASRF?
Why don’t Individual members have a vote in how the ASRF is run.
Why aren’t all decisions made by a national referendum.
How can Individual members have greater visibility of what is happening within the federation?
ASRF membership is open to anyone who has an interest in Street Rods or Customs. Ownership of a finished Rod or Custom is definitely not a prerequisite, in fact we believe that joining before you purchase or commence building an ASRF class vehicle will provide you access to information and support that will be vital in the process of getting a Rod or Custom on the road.
To cater for the variety of rod and Custom enthusiasts in Australia the ASRF structure supports two types of membership, CLUB and INDIVIDUAL.
Club membership is aimed at rodders who want to join one of the many CHARTER CLUBS throughout Australia and participate in the ASRF via the State based Divisional Councils (DC).
Individual membership is aimed at rodders who don’t want to join a charter club, or who are members of non-affiliated clubs.
The fee for club membership has been reduced because collecting the membership fees for club members is the responsibility of the club secretaries, therefore there is significantly less work for the ASRF national secretary compared to processing renewal paperwork for individual members. These savings are passed on to club members in the form of a lower bi-annual fee.
The ASRF is run by a board of directors, known as the National Control Council (NCC). The NCC consists of one representative, known as a State Director, from each State, or District, who is elected by a majority vote of their District Council (DC). Each State Director has one vote at the NCC, regardless of the size of their DC.
The DC in turn consists of one representative, known as a Club Delegate, from each Charter Club within that DC, who each have one vote, again regardless of the size of their club.
The Club Delegate is elected by a majority vote of the ASRF members in each Charter Club.
This system allows each club in a District to have an equal say in how things are run in their DC, whilst ensuring larger DC’s can’t dominate voting at the NCC.
Individual members of the federation DO have a vote in how things are run.
Whenever the NCC decide an issue is too important to be decided via the club voting system, or when a DC calls for such a vote, a national referendum is called.
In a national referendum, one or more question is forwarded to EVERY member of the Federation via mail and EVERY member has the opportunity to vote via return mail.
The ASRF adopted the club based representative voting system 40 years ago because it was impractical for an organisation of our size to use a one man one vote system for every decision that needs to be made.
Unfortunately the size of our country makes it difficult, expensive and slow to organise a full membership referendum, therefore they are conducted via the SRN mail distribution whenever the NCC decide one is required.
The NCC regularly discuss alternative ways in which a full voting system could be implemented, but although SMS, email or web polls show promise, until EVERY member in the country is actively using such technologies we will continue to rely on the postal services as a medium that all rodders can use.
The NCC recognise that communications with individual members is problematic. We are currently focussing on improving all of our communications mechanisms, with a particular emphasis on making more information available outside the DC and club delegate process.
All minutes of DC meetings are now published in the members area of the web site. Early next year a new web site will be launched which will include significantly more information about the things that matter to members, including insurance, registration, engineering and events.
Individual members can also attend DC meetings or ring their State Director if they have concerns or if they want to know what is happening. As an individual you won’t have a vote at DC meetings, but you will always be given an opportunity to voice an opinion, and therefore influence any vote.