by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Journeys : Oct Nov 2011
“Based upon its ‘mutual’ ethos, the RACT has a deep commitment to sharing the surplus it makes with its members and the wider community, where benefits are identified both for the community and for the RACT brand.” This was a challenging year for many businesses and organisations. Natural disasters at home and abroad, coupled with continuing economic uncertainty, shook consumer confidence. Devastating floods in Queensland, a deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan and an earthquake in New Zealand’s city of Christchurch were just some of the events to mark the year. Combined with ongoing economic uncertainty, this resulted in falling levels of consumer confidence. Yet despite these external conditions, I am pleased to note that the RACT enjoyed a very successful year and continued to grow. Membership increased, a new service – RACT Health Insurance – was introduced and our own confidence in the future was asserted by the opening of RACT House, the Club’s new headquarters in Hobart. The positions of both the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the RACT passed into new hands during the course of the year. I want to thank my predecessor, Roger Locke, for his chairmanship of this great organisation. Roger remains a Director of the RACT and his tenure as Chairman was a time of sustained growth for the organisation. For much of the year, the Board undertook the task of recruiting a new CEO after the decision of Greg Goodman to stand down from that role after nearly 12 years. The Board engaged in a national search which resulted in more than 40 senior applications for the position of CEO. The selection process the Board undertook was detailed and painstaking and it was with considerable pleasure that we were able to sign off on the appointment of an executive from within the RACT, Harvey Lennon, who at the time was our Chief Operating Officer. Those applying for the position of CEO almost without exception referred to the RACT’s high standing within the community and the trust which surrounds our brand as reasons they applied for the position. I believe these are attributes that assisted the RACT to perform so buoyantly this financial year when others, such as retailers, found trading conditions quite adverse. During the year, our four standing Board committees rotated their membership to promote renewal and succession planning. I had, for instance, been a long-time Chair of our Road and Traffic committee and the Board recognised that members should switch among committees to broaden their knowledge base and infuse new thinking and ideas into the committees. We also undertook a strategic workshop during the year which covered a wide range of important matters, from governance of the RACT to infrastructure issues, employee engagement and brand protection. Amongst a series of actions to emanate from this workshop was a decision to invest in the development of our internet presence so as to better serve our members. The Board spent much of the year closely examining the case for a new product: health insurance. RACT Health Insurance was launched at the end of the financial year after considerable Board deliberation and consultation with our membership. In ticking off on this new initiative the Board felt it was a natural fit for our members and would be well received in the community. The Board also agreed to a proposal to lease 62 Patrick St in Hobart to the State Government to become a Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources centre for licensing and traffic inspector functions. This facility is located behind RACT House and includes a car park. During the building of RACT House, the Patrick Street property served as our Hobart branch and when the branch moved into the new building the Club decided it would lease out these valuable and centrally located premises, providing a new income stream for the RACT. In October 2010 we moved into our new purpose-built headquarters at 179-191 Murray Street, Hobart. RACT House re-establishes a link with the site that goes back 40 years to when RACT originally purchased the Dunlop building on the corner of Murray and Patrick Streets. Chairman’s Report 2010/11 During the year, the Board decided to take steps to become paperless. The decision was taken in recognition of the environmental benefits and in keeping with the RACT headquarters in Hobart which was designed as an environmentally friendly building. In these days of iPads and other modern communications technology, the Board also recognised that efficiencies could be gained by being paperless. I became the Chairman of the RACT just hours after the official opening of our new R ACT headquarters in Hobart by our Patron and State Governor, His Excellency the Honourable Peter Underwood AC. As my predecessor Roger Locke said at the opening ceremony, the new building represented “a very important milestone in the long history of the RACT.” Many dignitaries and representatives of our sister motoring clubs interstate attended the official opening. The new R ACT House stands on the corner of Patrick and Murray Streets, on a site which the RACT has occupied since 1970. I am pleased to note in this annual report that the $17 million building was completed on time and on budget. It is a modern, energy-efficient headquarters for the RACT which gives the Club a new source of income from tenancies and provides room for the Club to grow in the future. In 2011, it stands testament to the Club’s strength, its rich heritage and its confidence in the future of both Tasmania and the RACT’s role in Tasmania. During the year, the RACT’s Board met in all three regions of the state. In fact, every region of the state is represented on our Board. We never lose sight of the fact that we are a Tasmanian organisation operating on a statewide basis in support of our members wherever they live. Our Board meetings in the regions are also an opportunity to honour Tasmanians in those areas who have maintained their RACT membership for 50 years or more. This year, the 50-year members we honoured joined the RACT in 1961 or earlier. This was a time of great expansion in our Club as Tasmanians became more prosperous and grasped the mobility opportunities offered by cars. More women were driving and more people were able to consider two cars in their household, especially with increasing job prospects in different parts of the state. Such developments, all those years ago, mean that our 50 year members are a younger age than those fewer numbers who attended our 50-year functions only five or six years ago. For their generation, a car was more expensive and fewer women were driving. In recent years Australia’s motoring clubs have been working much more closely together, and this year was no exception. At Board and officer level the clubs regularly share ideas, exchange views and form joint working groups. As part of this collaboration, I was honoured to represent the RACT, along with our CEO, at Parliament House in Canberra for the launch of the United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, which aims to reduce road deaths and injuries across the world. The Decade for Action is an opportunity for motoring clubs to continue pressing for a fair share of governments’ budgets to be used to further improve our road networks and road safety overall. The Australian motoring clubs have committed to this Decade of Action and will be using it as their inspiration to work at federal and state government level to focus on the crucial issue of safe mobility. Roads must be made locally and globally safer if we are to save lives over the next decade. In our own efforts to achieve safer roads, the RACT is indebted to our three regional advisory committees for the important role they bring to our efforts. In recent years the advisory committees have become more active in their local communities to the extent that this year, members of the advisory committees officially represented the RACT at local council meetings. Again this year, I am pleased to note that the RACT has been very active in its community engagement. In large events and smaller events and activities, the RACT has contributed through its group activities, its branches and its Community Fund. From the Colebrook Volunteer Fire Brigade to South Burnie Bowls Club, the RACT is a major sponsor in this state. Based upon its ‘mutual’ ethos, rather than a company with shareholders, the RACT has a deep commitment to sharing the surplus it makes with its members and the wider community where benefits are identified both for the community and for the RACT brand. This philosophy can be seen at work in initiatives large and small. The new RACT Health Insurance service is designed to assist members through a cost-effective and comprehensive health insurance program, while an initiative such as the supply of a defibrillator by the RACT to the Rossarden Progress Association is also an important contribution to the community. Finally, this year’s result could not have been achieved without the diligent oversight of the RACT by my fellow Board members or the hard work of the RACT’s executive officers and staff. There is also a wider family which should be acknowledged in a successful year for the RACT: the network of agents, contractors, business stakeholders and others who work with the RACT to achieve its aims. Stuart Slade Vivien Stagg of Launceston was one of the 50-year RACT members acknowledged and honoured at functions around the state. This year, a total of 246 members achieved that remarkable milestone, having first joined the Club back in 1960/61. October / November 2011 59
MNJ Aug Sep 2011