BOCA-Birds Australia Merger Approval

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: BOCA-Birds Australia Merger Approval
From: "Robert Inglis" <>
Date: Sat, 21 May 2011 20:17:17 +1000
The announcement by David Torr that the amalgamation of BA and BOCA has been 
solidly approved has prompted me to make this posting.

I can easily accept that what I am about to say could be considered controversial but I hope that BA and BOCA members can extend themselves to at least reading and considering what I say with an open mind.

I am quite prepared to declare that I voted against the amalgamation. I did so on a number of grounds, most of which I don't think it is necessary to go into now that the action has been approved. Incidentaly, I did make formal submissions on the matter.

What I do want to say is that I am disappointed and I am seriously considering not renewing my membership of the new BA when that time comes later this year.

Whether I renew my membership of BA or not now depends on whether or not I can actually decline membership of the 'regional' group which BA decides I 'belong to'.

In correspondence with Birds Australia/BOCA representatives involved in organising the vote for or against amalgamation I have been given guarded assurance that I can be a member of the 'national' body while not being listed as a member of a 'local/regional' group.

I relinquished my membership of the local group of BOCA on ethical grounds some time ago and I do not wish to be now listed as a member of a 'regional/local' group which might include members of that previous group.

I firmly believe that each member of BA should have the facility to be a member of the national organisation but not be a member of an arbitrarily designated 'local/regional' group if that group is not acceptable to the member. I have been advised that what I want will be allowable according to the 'rules' of the organization but it will be interesting to see if this is actually the case after the amalgamation actually takes affect.

I believe it should be possible for a member to reject membership of a 'local/regional' group which does not meet the standards of operation and conduct which that member feels is appropriate without having to completely resign membership of the national body. There should be no ability of a 'local/regional' group which does not perform to a high standard ethically and/or physically to be able to get funding from the national body simply on the basis of claiming membership of members of the national body who may reside in an arbitrarily declared area.
Members should be asked if they wish to be counted as members of the 
'local'/regional' group.

In the past I have been declared a member of a 'local' group with which I had no affinity and which was impractical for me to relate to. In the present that still is the case. That seems unlikely to change in the future.

For the record, I have been a member of RAOU/BA for approximately 25 years and I was a member of BOCA for a slightly shorter time (my personal records have been lost so I can't be precise). I have also at some time been a member of Birds Queensland, Australian Wader Studies Group, Queensland Wader Studies Group and several other associated birding groups. Over the years I have relinquished membership of all of those groups for various reasons including financial and ethical. At the moment I am only a member of Birds Australia. It will be a sad event for me if I do discontinue my membership of BA but I have the comfort of knowing that I can continue my enjoyment of the world's most fascinating creatures even if I am not a member of some birding club.

Thank you for reading this.

Bob Inglis
Sandstone Point


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