• RAAus Chair Michael Monck. (Steve Hitchen)
    RAAus Chair Michael Monck. (Steve Hitchen)

Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) has called for members to approve changes to the constitution after issues arose last year surrounding the rules for director nominations.

RAAus has had rules governing the eligibility of people seeking a place on the board, but in 2021 those rules were challenged by one particular nominee, which sparked a battle over the legality of the rules.

The nominee is thought to have not complied with the rule pack for directors because not all the requirements were submitted before the deadline, but was permitted to continue with the nomination when it was discovered the rule pack and the RAAus constitution were not consistent.

The challenge became a distraction at a time when RAAus was working to get the new 760-kg MTOW limit approved and required independent legal advice to resolve, prompting RAAus chair Michael Monck to describe the claims as "frivolous".

"For the past ten years or so, and perhaps even longer, RAAus has published a nominations pack outlining the requirements to be met in order to nominate for a role on the board," Monck said in a statement to members.

"This includes dates to submit, the requirement to submit an election statement, declarations of items that relate to material interests in the activities of RAAus and so forth.

"In the 2021 election, one candidate did not comply with these requirements and challenged the validity of them despite it being the status quo for a number of years prior.

"The fallout of this was that RAAus expended considerable amounts of time and member funds exploring the legal issues around this which diverted attention away from our core activities.

"The changes to clause 34.3 in our constitution are designed to remove any ambiguity about the validity of these requirements and alleviate the risks associated with spending more member funds on frivolous claims."

Members are being asked to approve the changes at a general meeting scheduled for 12 May, either in person at RAAus HQ in Canberra or online via the Vero Voting platform.

At the same time, RAAus will also ask members to approve changes that will compel directors to review the election process every year rather than allowing it to be optional. RAAus has also made a third resolution that will highlight the existing rights of members to remove a director given that the Corporations Act prevents the board from doing so without referring to members.

"As our organisation continues to mature, and the landscape in which we operate changes or when gaps are identified in the way we govern, your board will continue to review and update our internal policies, procedures and processes accordingly," Monck says.

"These constitutional amendments are just one thing in this space that have arisen out of the things that we have learned over the past year or so. Just like pilots like to improve the way they fly, we like to improve the way the organisation is run so that our ability to fly is protected."

More information on the resolutions and the general meeting are on the RAAus website Members Portal.

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