I'm starting this forum topic for anyone who is interested in talking about the new Aquaponics Association. While nothing will be set in stone when we officially adopt the Charter at the Conference on Sept 16, we'd like to get it as close to representative of what the aquaponics community is hoping for by that time.
If you go to the page that we've set up on the Association site (click here) you can download the Charter and Organizational structure, and answer some questions about your constructive feedback and how can we give you value for your membership dues. Please take the survey!
Feel free to ask any questions about what we are doing here - the Organizing Committee (myself, Gina Cavaliero, Murray Hallam and Wayne Hall) is an open book, and everyone is a member in this community site. We are 100% committed to creating an organization that will serve aquaponics well...although we obviously won't be able to do everything right out of the gate, nor will we be able to make everyone happy.
I'd like to start the discussion rolling by asking a question that I asked on Murray's forum this morning - how can we bring value to both Individual Members and Commercial members for their dues? We've listed several things we could do on the survey linked above. What are we missing? What sounds great?
Murray Hallam said:
Rupert old mate....the idea/news/proposal was released as soon as we felt it was ready enough and had some meat on it. I just cannot get my head around just when you think I should have announced things on my forum? It would appear that no time would have been the right time.
And as to who is being slighted....I am the one being slighted big time by certian little Aussies. (and you have copped a bit as well)
.. come on Murray... you've taken the time to announce your participation at the Orlando conference as a keynote speaker...on your forum for months... and regularly updated the time left for registration, numbers attending etc...
Both yourself, Sylvia and Gina have openly remarked as to the length of time the participants have spent over the last couple of months developing the charter....
But you didn't/couldn't get around to posting a single word that you had been "invited" to help develope a charter for an international association... effectively as the "Australian" representative.. because as Sylvia says... "she couldn't imagine an association without Australian involvement"...
You're astute enough to know that there are those which would see that as more than just an "over-sight"... and either as deliberately secretive, or deceptive..or motivated by ulterior motives etc... depending on their level of "suspicion"...
I don't think anyone would have expected you to release a charter that was still being developed... but I think most people, even those totally disinterested in joining... would have expected an open and tansparent indication that you had been approached to help develope the charter for an international association...
Heck, you could of even asked for comments or suggestions from members of your forum, and Australain AP'ers.... it might even have helped the process...
No matter... the association is "here" so to speak... now it's a matter of getting it as right as possible from the start...
Ok here are my thoughts on the charter. The charter and association are both needed. I don’t have time for the debate. But as I have heard: you have to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run. So the association is in the crawling stage without constructive input, it will never walk or run. I for one whole heartedly want to see it run.
Rupert, Murray is 100% correct in that this was a collaboration among four of us and he cannot and should not single handedly take the blame.
Now, in general, at the risk of being yet again shredded for sharing how this whole concept "morphed" into a international one, that is the absolute truth. As more and more individuals from around the world expressed interest, it became apparent that we would need to develop a structure that could be an overarching organization with enough breadth to have "chapters" representative of countries and/or regions beneath it. No conspiracy or covert, sinister plan was at play, just people with good intentions, challenging schedules and apparently no idea how one country would react with such horrific disdain. Good grief! Had Sylvia and I known that a simple post a few weeks ago could have averted all this, do you not think we would have done that?
We invited Wayne. We invited Murray and we considered long and hard if we should pull in more people at that stage. However, being we had every intention of getting the charter out as quick as we could to ask for feedback and suggestions and then go back into it and start re-disecting it and rephrasing it, we thought we had a pretty good game plan. Apparently however, that is not good enough for some.
After the pissing and moaning I have seen and the downright nastiness, I don't think if we had satisfied the time issue or the announcement issue or any other issue really would have made a difference. Surely fault would have been found elsewhere. The sad and terribly disappointing thing is that of all those that have been the most vocal about their displeasure and claim to not have time to respond to the website via the form, they sure have had plenty of time to grumble on forums. Kind of makes it seem like all they want to do is complain and not be proactive and part of constructing the solution or the association.
Last, regarding all the comments about what value there will be for members, again we want your feedback and suggestions! Tell us what you think would make that $45 worth spending. I know I have pissed away far more than $45 on things of much less value countless times. Just going out to dinner is one!
Ultimately, this association is going to happen. I think there are enough forward thinking, positive people in aquaponics to insure that, despite the shortsightedness and negativity that has been so prevalent. The vast majority of those that have taken the time to comment as we have repeatedly asked, have been positive and supportive. Thank you for that!
Rupert when you say, No matter... the association is "here" so to speak... now it's a matter of getting it as right as possible from the start...
Amen to that brother! Your knowledge of HAACP and food safety concerns alone would bring a wealth of knowledge and I hope you decide to be involved. Despite someone telling me that there are no food safety concerns in Australia and that work done here to that effect couldn't possibly benefit Australia, at least you could help the rest of the world that struggles with it as it relates to aquaponics and I sincerely hope you do.
As Murray said, "Let's get on with it!"
Well that's decided then. (Now you folks know how easy the noisy Australian trouble makers can bought off!)
Any further business before we call Nicole?
You do know Rupe will keep you to that promise!