President's Report - 30 November, 2020

Posted on : Monday, 30 November 2020

Dear members,


The elections are over for 2020 and a new Board is now in place.  


This year 259 members voted, a turnout of 15.4%, electing Rob Broadhead, Patrick Conway, and Bob Grieve.   I thank all of those who stood for election and welcome the new Directors to the Board.   They join the existing Directors - Elissa Fazio, Russ Porteous, and me. 


I'd like to thank outgoing Vice President Rhondel Johannessen, who resigned at the AGM, for her service on the Board and I wish her well for the future.   Rhondel has been a Director since 2012 and has helped significantly to guide the Association through many challenges. 


At the first Board meeting, I was privileged to have been re-elected as President for another year - my last.  Russ Porteous was elected Vice President and the Board again co-opted John Lynch and Stuart Yarnall to join us.   We are currently working with the Executive on plans for the coming year, with a specific focus on member engagement.  


FPA Australia is your Association and members should be able to have a voice about issues that concern them and the industry.  While this year the number of members voting was relatively consistent with other associations, the Board was not satisfied with it. 


We are keen to increase engagement at a local level to make the Association more  relevant for its members.  Issues can be brought to the attention of the Board using our e-mail:   


As indicated at the AGM, the team is currently working on new rules for the State and Territory Membership Groups (STMGs) and the Local Coordinating Committees (LCCs) that lead them.  Their goal is to ensure that the LCCs are  reflective of the membership and roles of the industry, so that there is not any bias towards one segment or another. 


Our LCCs are having varied success in different jurisdictions, not helped by the Coronavirus pandemic.  We believe that the new structure will assist with getting more local input into our activities and advocacy efforts.  


The rules will be completed and released for review early in the New Year, and we plan to hold formal elections towards the end of 2021.   In the meantime, if you are interested in taking part in a LCC, contact the relevant state e-mail address (e.g., and we will notify you of the opportunities that are available.  


The Executive is currently developing ideas for a program of possible local events, which will be delivered by the LCCs, and we hope that these will provide ample opportunity for members to connect with peers in their state or territory. 


Finally, this edition of FireSignals advises that a member survey will be going out later this week, which will help with our planning for the next year.  Please complete the survey so that we know to what degree we are addressing your needs. 


Despite the challenges of the last year, and because of decisive action by the Board and Executive, FPA Australia is now in a strong financial and operational position.  We have a positive future.  


It has been a great privilege to serve on the Board and to be the Association's President.  I look forward to a very successful 2021. 


Stay safe!   


William (Bill) Lea, AFSM