Lots of news this month. Our new Bats and Greyhounds campaigns, some updates on our old campaigns, updates to our working group and LOTS of volunteer positions. Read on!
Next regular member's meeting - this Thursday
Our next monthly meeting is Thursday, 26 February at 6:30pm, Ross House at 247 Flinders Lane in the CBD.
There will be a number of things on the agenda, including a discussion and vote on our recommendations on structure of the party (see section below). We will also be taking a photo of us in support of the Animal Welfare Party of the UK, and their upcoming tilt in the UK general elections.
New Campaign - Greyhounds
This month, ahead of the 4 Corner expose of some of the awful cruelty in the Greyhound racing industry, we launched the AJP campaign to ban this so-called "sport". The campaign is national but being led from Victoria by our own (ex Candidate for Prahran) Dr. Eleonora Gullone. We have released many media statements covering a range of concerns (including but not limited to "live baiting") and attempted to work in conjunction with as many different concerned NGOs as possible, including Animals Australia. Both Eleonora and some of our candidates in NSW for the upcoming state election have done a range of media interviews as well.
This campaign is out of the gates quickly, but still has a long way to run. If you want to be involved, you can contact Eleonora at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Campaign - Bats
Photo by Vivien Jones
Yes, bats! The Grey-headed flying fox that we live with in Melbourne has a terrible time with wide-mesh nets being used on backyard fruit trees. If we could change the law to prevent it, we could prevent hundreds of needless deaths each year. Assisted by our local "Bat Man", Lawrence Pope, AJP are going in to bat for our aerial neighbours. Sorry.
More details of this campaign will come in the next month, along with details of our campaign launch at the end of March in Fed Square. Rosemary Lavin is our campaign manager, and if she wasn't already, this will definitely send her batty. OK, I am really stopping the bat references now. Contact Rosemary on email@example.com if you want to help.
Yes, we are still working hard on a range of campaigns that you already know about. We have got fantastic traction on some of these, and will be updating all members as we close them out, and providing interim updates at the member's meetings each month.
Working Group Meeting Schedule
As discussed in the last newsletter, we are planning on holding meetings of the AJP most Thursday's throughout the year.
- First Thursday of the month: Working Group (focus on campaigns)
- Second Thursday of the month: Committee Meeting
- Third Thursday of the month: Working Group (focus on regional groups and progress)
- Fourth Thursday of the month: Member's Meeting
In addition to this, some areas are holding regional group meetings every month as well, at a variety of times. The committee are also in pretty-much constant communication with each other, managing the day to day business of the party. Some of these meetings might be in-person, by Skype (or similar) or teleconference. Please try and reserve the appropriate times in your diary, and we will provide more specific meeting details shortly. But what do they do...(read on!)
So who are all these people on the Working Group? Well, you, if you want to be!
As well as the existing folk doing roles within the party, we would love to have people to help in the following roles:
Media Coordinator / Manager:
Reports to: Convenor
Task description: Establish relationships with print, radio, television and online media journalists and representatives, keeping them informed of all AJP newsworthy events and media releases. Draft and edit press releases ensuring messages are consistent with AJP policies and AJP charter. Maintain knowledge and relationships with key internal work areas, such as campaigns.
Skill set: Creative thinking; Good writing and research skills; Ability to analyse information and evaluate results; Establishing and maintaining relationships in the media
Estimated time: Approximately 10-20 hours a week
Reports to: Secretary
Task description: Promote the AJP through media and events. Create marketing campaigns. Work with Graphic Artists to produce materials for publication. Photography and Film.
Skill set: Good writing, editing and interviewing skills; Understanding social media; Good understanding of media and analytics.
Estimated time: Approximately 10-20 hours a week
RCC Manager:* (title to change)
Reports to: Convenor
Task description: Manage and assume responsibility for all RCCs by directing and monitoring their activities. Set goals and expectations and ensure they are met. Performance management.
Skill set: Excellent organisational skills; Motivator; Ability to provide constructive guidance; Good social skills.
Estimated time: Approximately 5-10 hours a week.
Reports to: Convenor
Task description: Oversee all aspects of all campaigns; Research and implement campaign strategies; Delegate tasks to achieve successful campaigns; support candidates at public appearances; manage campaign’s fundraising and spending. Oversee planning, branding, marketing, communications and PR.
Skill set: Excellent organisational skills; level headed; good interpersonal skills; animal campaign experience.
Estimated time: Approximately 10 hours a week
Reports to: Treasurer
Task description: Oversee all fundraising; manage volunteers required for fundraising events; organise events; develop donors and create effective strategies for maximising donations.
Skill set: Good communication and research skills; Excellent organisational and relationship building skills; ability to budget carefully and spot or create opportunities
Estimated time: Approximately 5-15 hours a week
Reports to: Secretary
Task description: Plan and oversee events, work in conjunction and closely with the Fundraising manager, receptions and conventions; be responsible for the logistics and coordination of events; work within budget; locate venues and negotiate rental costs. Maintain stalls equipment and materials.
Skill set: Good communication, people skills and problem solving; a positive attitude and determination. Excellent time management; resourceful; passionate; attention to detail; ability to remain calm under difficult circumstances
Estimated time: Approximately 5-10 hours a week
Reports to: Committee
Task description: Manage election calendar, coordinate election strategy state wide, proof and print “How to Vote” cards, manage early booths, train volunteers, prepare and distribute supplies, canvass votes, certify the election, collect and interpret statistical data, organise certain aspects of campaigns. This would not necessarily extend to the detailed campaign management of major elections (such as the next Federal election), which would require greater effort closer to the date of the election.
Skill set: Excellent organisational and time management skills; excellent interactive skills; creative thinker; ability to research and implement strategies and administrative tasks
Estimated time: Approximately 5-10 hours a week, but peaky, depending on what by-elections occur. Can escalate significantly during major elections.
In addition to some smaller roles:
- Membership Coordinator - to manage our membership database (an upcoming role, with new systems to manage being developed now)
- Campaign Managers and Campaign members - to run or help with some of our existing and new animal campaigns
- Regional Group Managers - We have some in place, but we also have some vacancies
- Store Manager - to run our merchandising arm
- Disputes Resolution Officer - to liaise and assist with internal disputes, mediating between members and seeking best outcomes for the party
- Legal Coordinator - Coordinating our legal advice on a range of campaigns and organisational issues
- Election Campaign Managers - For various by-elections as they occur
- Returning Officers - For internal elections
- Statewide Pre-Selection Committee - To decide on who our best candidates are for upcoming elections. There will also be the need for regional pre-selection mechanisms.
- Training officer - To develop, conduct and maintain a set of key training courses for the party. Possible examples are "Introduction to the party", "How to win votes on election day", "How to handle the media", etc.
- Management Systems Manager - To oversee the progress of our overall IT systems and infrastructure to run the party.
- Writers - To write up our party structure, support campaigns, put together documentation and procedures.
Note that there are also a number of other positions which we have already filled. We are busy trying to put this structure together and publish an org chart, showing who is who in the zoo. Also, each one of these positions might end up being filled by multiple people, or they might be the leader of a small team.
What if you have other skills, but these positions don't quite work for you? Talk to us, there might well be ways of using your skills or passion in other ways. Ultimately, the more people we can have pursuing the work, the more we can get done as a party.
If you are interested in helping us with one of these roles, or some other way, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come along to our next Working Group meeting. If you can't come, but still want to get involved, remember to contact us at email@example.com or get involved through one of the regional groups. If there isn't a regional group in your area, that must mean we are short a volunteer to organise it!
Voting Systems and Governance
We had a very constructive and productive first Working Group meeting of the year on the 12th of February. The key topic of the night was how should we vote in a leadership team for the party in Victoria (or, by extension, each state)?
There were a range of different models and options discussed. The result of which is a motion to the next member's meeting along the following lines:
AJP Victoria recommend the following model for election of the committee:
- Direct Election of 7 Committee Positions, including Convenor, Treasurer, Secretary and 4 'ordinary' committee members
- Inclusion of a rule that would allow someone to stand both for a named position and an 'ordinary' position (in case they do not succeed at the first)
- Optional or Fully Preferential voting shall be used
- Where attendance based, proxies should be permitted
- Out of cycle changes to the committee would need to be referred back to the members and the National Committee advised
- Ordinary decisions of the party that are voted on by the members or the committee will be decided by majority vote, where consensus cannot be reached
- The Committee will be voted on before May 1 each year. Delays of up to 3 months beyond this (which might be required from time to time depending on the status of Federal elections) would need to be explained to the members and National Committee"
It was noted that this year we were aiming for a vote at the state / national conference, in the middle of the year. There is some investigation ongoing of electronic voting systems, which may be suitable to replace the traditional paper based / attendance systems.
This will be further discussed at this month's member's meeting, and voted on. If you can suggest improvements, come with your best arguments for change, and appropriate wording for the motion.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
On Sunday the 15th of February, the party's national AGM was held in the historic Customs House Library, Circular Quay in Sydney. The President reported and summed up the year (the text of which will be coming out in another newsletter shortly), and we also got reports from the other office bearers. One very good bit of news is that we now have three Victorian members of the National Committee of Management, being Magda Wozny, Brenton Edgecombe and Bruce Poon. There is also a representative from South Australia on NatCom now (Geoff Russell), which will help the National Committee coordinate with the active and developing SA committee.
For the animals...