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A Message from Tony Cockram (QAA Past President)
Hi to all QAA Members,
The New Year is well under way and a busy 2012 has flown by for our arboricultural industry in Queensland. I hope this finds all of our members and industry partners well during another major storm and wet season in Queensland. As most of you would be aware, I have now finished my two-year tenure as President and I am writing this newsletter as the QAA Past President member of the Executive Committee.
We can be very proud of the achievements of the QAA Executive Committee, office staff and sub-committee volunteers over the past two years. Many major events, workshops, new partnerships and professional relationships have been completed and formalised. Along with ArborCamp and our biggest ever Queensland Tree Climbing Competition in 2012 on the Gold Coast (which had record attendance) many milestones have been completed and signed off. These include the following:
• Change of Constitution to implement a new Qualified Member category and implementation of a Qualified Member Category (2010)
• Secured three-year funding for employment of a Technical Officer (2010)
• Assisted State Government with implementation and roll out of the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act (2010)
• Signed letter of agreement with State Government Department of Justice and Attorney Generals – Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal QCAT (2010)
• Introduction of two Industry Support Partner sponsorship packages (2010)
• Employment of a Technical Officer (2011)
• Implementation of a Register of Qualified Contractors (2011)
• Implementation of a Register of Qualified Consultants (2011)
• World ArborCamp (2011)
• Updated and improved QAA Website (2010/11/12)
• Taken ownership of QAA first sponsored 4WD vehicle (2012)
• Purchased the Education and Events Trailer with full 3 year sponsorship for storage and transportation of gear to QAA events around the state. (2012)
• Re-engaged Far North Queensland and formalised an FNQ sub-committee (2012)
• Twenty Year Anniversary Dinner (2012)
• Trade marking of QAA events and brands (2012)
• QAA Facebook page. (2012)
• New Online Membership Bookstore (2012)
• Secured industry representation and the Arboricultural Symposium for the 2014 Brisbane International Horticultural Congress (2012)
• Initiated and signed Memorandum of Understanding with Arboriculture Australia (2012)
• Signed Memorandum of Understanding with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) for Associate Organisation status (2012/2013).
As always, there is a great deal happening behind the scenes in planning our next twelve months to two years of events and workshops. Our current QAA Executive Committee Board has gained new members (check out the website for details) who bring a full and diverse skill set to the 2012/2013 Committee.
This Executive Committee Board is being led into the next two years by our incoming President Glenn Walton. I am excited and very confident with the leadership qualities and business sense Glenn brings to the forum. I will be working closely with the team over the next year in my role as Past President.
As discussed in my last correspondence to the membership, we have put together an extensively detailed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for QAA and Arboriculture Australia (AA). This MoU was signed off by both (QAA/AA) Presidents at our Twenty Year Anniversary Dinner (2012) with the intention to foster and maintain a good working rapport with the national body, whilst maintaining our strong QAA identity and brand. This working rapport and MoU also identifies and defines the roles and responsibilities of State and National Associations.
The QAA/AA Memorandum of Understanding has been a resounding success. Although Rob Sutton (AA President) had to stand down due to health issues and I have finished my two year tenure in the QAA driver’s seat, a good working relationship has been well established by this initiative and is continuing with QAA President Glenn Walton and the current Acting AA President Craig Hallam.
Which brings me to the subject of Arboriculture Australia’s relationship and ongoing negotiations with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) along with the QAA /ISA Memorandum of Understanding.
Many of you have probably read the well documented Arboriculture Australia explanation of events between AA and the ISA as they unfolded. This is available on the AA website so I will not go into the details.
It should be made quite clear that during this period, QAA was approached by ISA to become an ISA Chapter in 2012.
This proposal was discussed in great detail with Arboriculture Australia from the start. While QAA have many MoU’s with other State and International Arboricultural Associations, The QAA Executive Committee and Board of Trustees had concerns with taking on the full ISA Chapter status on offer, as it may have created a divide between the two associations and our industry at a time when we are trying to form long-term working partnerships. However QAA also needed to provide an avenue for our State Climbing Champions to get through to the National and International Tree Climbing Championships. This required an agreed format for our National Climbing Championship in the event that AA and ISA negotiations failed in the short or long term. It was decided that an ISA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the designation of a Professional Affiliation would be the best solution.
After lengthy phone conferences and face-to-face meetings with both ISA and AA over several months to adopt a best fit arrangement, QAA has been given assurances from ISA that by taking on a higher designation as an ISA Associate Organisation (AO), we would in no way impede Arboriculture Australia’s ability to apply for or receive ISA Chapter Status now or in the future. This ISA Associate Organisation (AO) status is for the geographical area of Queensland and allows QAA to send representatives to the International Tree Climbing Championships. Both Arboriculture Australia and QAA want to maintain our existing State representation through to National Climbing competition format, with the Champion climbers able to gain access to the ISA International Tree Climbing Championships through QAA.
In summarising this agreement, there should be no interruption or change in the formatted process to allow our climbing champions to gain access to the State, National and International Tree Climbing Championships as a result.
In closing I would like to thank all of those Members, Industry Partners, Sponsors and Volunteers who have supported QAA in our endeavours over my term as President, and we look forward to your continued patronage at our future events.
Queensland Arboricultural Association Inc.