A few brief and hurried thoughts:
It appears to me that the AFA started life as a (legally) simple association in South Australia. Quite some time ago. It also appears that over the years, there have been (and still are) several similar groups elsewhere around in Australia. Those in the AFA who were responsible long ago saw a space in the national “ecosystem” of atheist/secularist organisations and, with foresight, positioned the AFA to occupy it.
Those were wise decisions, and all of the people responsible for them are to be commended.
The two GACs, IMO, were beacon-calls to Australian atheists and secularists; and crowning achievements of the AFA of the first order. I understand that many people in the former management -both present and departed- contributed significantly to the success of those extraordinary events. Large teams of volunteers were involved. I am not in a position, from my own personal knowledge, to do other than say the obvious: That they were wonderful, and a testament to all of the people who made them happen.
The creation, growth and thriving of this forum is also one of its crowning achievements of the AFA to date. Despite the fact that I have firmly disagreed with the deletion of the posts, and expressed that view to those concerned, it should be acknowledged that our departed Admin, Protium, and some of our departed colleagues, including especially Mr Black, played a substantial role in the achievement of that success. (I say that as a statement of the obvious without intending to diminish the contributions of others, including both past contributions of which I do not have personal knowledge and more recent contributions.)
Without both the GACs and this forum, I -for one- would be poorer. Perhaps even our polity more generally, would be poorer – if in a modest way, so far.
Those things said, in my opinion it is obvious that there were, and there remain, important aspects of the AFA’s structures which need to change substantially, if the AFA is to grow beyond its origins and be appropriately suited to the space in the ecosystem which it seeks to occupy.
All of you are free to look at the AFA’s Constitution – It is on the AFA’s website, here*. It displays, throughout the text, the deep, “evolutionary” heritage of its simple origins.
It is, in my opinion, a constitution which is seriously structurally flawed. It is structurally directed towards to running a small, locally-based association. Such as where the committee is not very substantially larger than the membership, and where almost everyone knows everyone else intimately and can meet reasonably regularly.
It is a constitution which, in my opinion, is fundamentally unsuited to an organisation which occupies the national role to which the AFA has aspired.
The new management is to be commended for taking a basic, and necessary, first step towards the next stage of development of our association.
(*. All of you are also free to look at the South Australian legislation and regulations which regulate the AFA. They, also, make for interesting reading.)
Thank you, Blue Lightning, for recognising and acknowledging Protium’s work.
I wish the AFA all the best outcomes in its process of self-improvement.