From the CMWG: Members' Forum: A new model of membership for auDA

Posted by Consultation Model Working Group on 25 June 2018

MEMBERS’ FORUM: A new model of membership for auDA
Time: 4pm, Monday 2 July 2018
Location: LaTrobe University City Campus, Room 2.15, Level 2, 360 Collins St, Melbourne
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Online participation

If you can’t make it to the event in-person you’ll be able to participate in the consultation online via a Zoom webinar.

Register in advance for the webinar here:   


I am writing to you on behalf of auDA’s Consultation Model Working Group (CMWG). The CMWG is comprised of auDA members and stakeholders from the Australian community who were convened in May to define and oversee the process of consultation with the auDA membership and wider Australian community.

The reason we have been convened is simple: auDA’s future is at stake.

In April, the Australian Government handed down a review of auDA. It contained a broad range of recommendations, but the central finding was this:

“The current management and governance framework for auDA is no longer fit-for-purpose… In particular, the current membership model, and its relationship to corporate governance, is impeding auDA’s decision making and is contributing to ongoing organisational instability… The current process where the majority of directors are appointed from the membership does not support effective governance outcomes."

The Government made clear that if the membership model did not change in line with the review’s recommendation, auDA would be wound up.

“The review recommends that auDA be given the opportunity to conduct the necessary reforms. However, the Government is committed to implementation of timely reform and will take action to ensure that Australia’s domain name is administered effectively and in the interest of all Australians. This includes transitioning the delegation for management of .au to another provider if auDA is unable to achieve necessary outcomes."

While the imperative for urgent change stems from the Government’s review, the CMWG also sees this moment as a positive opportunity for auDA members.

Members have been presented with a unique chance to determine how a modern auDA should be structured and run from this point forward.

How can auDA’s constitution change?

Under auDA’s constitution, a proposed change to the membership model requires 75 per cent of voting members in each member class to endorse it. The opportunity for such a vote is auDA’s 2018 AGM, to be held later in the year (date TBC).

If the 75 per cent mark of each member class cannot be reached, the Government has indicated it intends to issue an expression of interest to assess whether an alternate provider could be found to manage .au.

The question is therefore whether auDA members change the membership model themselves, or whether the Government steps in and acts unilaterally.

So the CMWG is now focused on ensuring all auDA members have the opportunity to participate in creating a new membership model.

A members’ forum: Monday, 2 July 2018

The CMWG has arranged a forum that will take place at LaTrobe University’s City Campus in Melbourne at 4PM on 2 July. You are cordially invited to attend either in person or online (details to come.)

The forum will be facilitated by the independent strategic design consultancy ThinkPlace.

After considerable consideration and discussion the CMWG believes two potential membership model options should be the focus of discussion at this forum, namely:

  • A Functional Constituency Model, through which professional bodies, corporates, or other specific legal persons – each representing many individuals – form auDA’s membership.
  • A Single Member Class Model, through which any individual, corporate, or institution could join with equal weighting.

The CMWG will be sending you further detail about these models in the days ahead so you can consider their merits and drawbacks before the forum.

All members are encouraged to share their feedback, and participate in the discussion, through the auDA Members Portal.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Very best,

Kevin Clark
Ben Carroll
Ian Halson
Peter Tonoli
Dr. Madeleine Roberts
Steve de Mamiel
P R Khangure
Sean Fogarty
Debbie Monahan
Chris Joseph
Desiree Lyall
Sally Rodgers
Nikki Scholes
Anne Hurley
Marty Drill
Keith Besgrove