AURA COMMITTEE 2017
I have developed this webpage to clarify for AURA members my standing for the position of AURA President at the Annual General Meeting to be held on 11 April 2017.
I was appointed to the position of Vice president to AURA by the AURA Committee in May 2016, and took over the role of President when Robert Boyce resigned in January 2017.
I never sought an office bearer role of our Association, and it was out of necessity for AURA that I took on the VP role last year. In the last year, however I have recognised the need for change, something that was started with the implementation of our new constitution. There is a lot more work to do, not just in terms of process and transparency, but also in addressing our future direction and strategy for the development of our amazing sport, something I am passionate about pursuing.
For this change to occur it requires the energy and input from more than just one person, and I am dedicated to a very inclusive approach, starting with working with a very strong active Committee. I am fortunate three other AURA members have agreed to stand with me for roles on the 2017 Committee.
Jodie Oborne: Vice President
Jodie is a passionate advocate for women’s ultra running and a 4 time Australian Representative who will captain the Australian Women’s 24 hour team travelling to Belfast in July this year. Jodie has participated in many of Australia’s iconic ultra events and a number of International Events enjoying many amazing experiences as an ultra runner and Australian Representative. Having competed competitively and achieved success in events from 50km to 24 hours with ambitions to go longer, Jodie is equally at home on the track, trails and road. She likes nothing better than connecting with the running community and runners of all abilities.
Elizabeth Bennett: Secretary
Liz is a long time member of AURA and both an accomplished marathon runner (PB: 2.59) and ultra marathon runner (100km PB: 9.47). She has been actively involved in Australia’s leading ultra running events over many years either as a runner or as a leading crew hand. She has crewed Coast to Kosciusko no less than six times! Liz is the current editor of AURA’s Ultramag, a position she has held for the last 2+ years. Professionally, Liz works as a clinical exercise physiologist, rehabilitation case manager and workplace mediator. She has a BA (Hons) and a Master of Exercise Science (MExSci), and is currently completing her third degree, a Bachelor of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
Alexis Oosterhoff: Treasurer
Alexis has travelled far and wide both in his pursuit of ultra running and as an IT professional at a global multinational. With a keen eye for detail, and a strong financial acumen, Alexis has been a keen participant (and volunteer) within the West Australian ultra-running scene for the past several years (and has crewed WA runners at C2K on two occasions). Alexis brings both a mid-pack runner & a keen volunteer’s perspective to the AURA Committee if elected.
Rob Donkersloot: President
Rob is a keen ultra runner, as well as a frequent crew, having crewed at races such as Badwater, and run races throughout Australia including Coast to Koscziusko . He was the founder and race director of the Kep Ultra, Western Australia’s first 100km ultra running event and is the team manager of the Australian Team participating at the World 24 Hour Championships in July. He is a marketing strategist working for one of Australia’s leading health cosmetics companies, as well as managing his own online marketing consultancy, specialising in running related projects. When not running or crewing, you will often find him at ultra events shooting video for one of his regular film projects. He is currently working on a documentary on fastest known time attempts on the Bibbulmun Track.
“Here I have outlined key areas I have identified to date that I feel need addressing by AURA. I think these are vital for a strong, successful organisation, one that will hopefully prosper well into the future.”
STAKEHOLDER GROUPS ENGAGEMENT
I want to engage with out three key stakeholder groups: ultra runners, elite athletes and race directors to find out what AURA can do better. One of the first things to roll out after the election will be an online survey to all members. Your opinion is important, we need to set bench marks against we can be measured.
DEVELOPMENT OF 3 YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN
What are AURA’s objectives? Where do we want to be in three year’s time? With input from all stakeholder groups I want our Association to formalise a strategy document that will guide our progress and growth.
EVENT APPROVAL PROCESSES AND RUNNER SAFETY
One issue I felt could not wait until after the AGM was to address the area of AURA processes regarding event approvals. A sub committee headed by Andy Hewat is already formed and looking at this area and will report in April with its recommendations so the new committee can implement the changes it feels appropriate.
A NEW LOOK AT BUDGETS
Coming off the back off the stakeholder engagement and strategy development will be a new look at our finances and budgets. Are we spending money in the right places? Is the significant funding pushed to Ultra Mag worthwhile, or is a much cheaper but more accessible online version a better alternative? Is the points competition providing value for the majority of AURA members? Just a few of the questions I feel need to be addressed.
EXTERNAL ENGAGEMENT AND FUNDING
To my knowledge AURA has not been actively engaging with Government sporting instrumentalities such as the Australian Sports Commission, there well may be benefits for us to to do so. Likewise we have no engagement with other sporting bodies such as Athletics Australia. Let’s investigate what liaising with these organisations can bring to AURA.
ELITE PERFORMANCE BY AUSTRALIAN RUNNERS
The last two years were exceptional when it comes to Australian ultra running on the world stage. A gold medal at the 100km World Championships, a team silver medal at the world 24 Hour Championships plus the best distances run in the world over 48 Hours by both male and female athletes. What other support can AURA provide to our elite athletes? A key area of our strategic plan will be addressing this .
PROMOTING OUR SPORT
I think ultra running is one of sport’s best kept secrets. We had a world champion in the 100km last year, however mainstream media coverage was missing in action. I feel the promotion of our sport is imperative… we have members doing incredible things, we just need to let the rest of Australia know so they can get excited too.
SPONSORSHIP PARTNERSHIPS TO BENEFIT OUR MEMBERS
Our members and followers would spend well over $2 million a year to support their ultra running habit. let’s explore how we can make this an attractive partnership opportunity to commercial organisations. The more funding we attract, the more we can invest in programs to improve our sport for all members, as well as our elite athletes.
MORE SUPPORT FOR EVERYDAY ULTRA RUNNERS
Only ten percent of our membership base would be vying for elite international representation. The great majority of our members just love the sport, and for many just participating and completing events is all they are striving for. How can we assist these members enjoy their ultra running sport even more than they do now? It’s another area the strategic plan will look at.
- I would welcome others to please stand for the President’s position, so an alternative to myself is available to the AURA membership base if they feel this is preferable. I do not want a situation where I am the only candidate and am elected unopposed.
- Some of the areas I have outlined above will require a level of investment. For example I don’t think the strategic plan can be developed remotely, rather it deserves to have key stakeholders in the same room for a day or two.
- If elected at each AGM, I commit to holding the President’s role for three years. I believe it will take this time period to see the initiatives I have outlined come to fruition, however I believe it is unhealthy for someone to hold the role for too long.
- If you need to contact me please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0457 149 169.
WHETHER YOU SUPPORT ME OR SOMEONE ELSE, WE NEED YOU AT THE AGM, YOU CAN ATTEND IN PERSON, ELECTRONICALLY OR VIA PROXY
WE CANNOT DO THIS ALONE, WE NEED YOUR HELP
There is so much to do, far more than just four people can manage. We need input and help from other passionate driven members who want to see our association thrive. If you are interested in being involved please either phone me on 0457 149 169 or fill in this form.