Sustainable growth was the main theme of the Australian Caravan Club’s inaugural Futures Forum held during the Club’s 10th Anniversary National Muster at the Shepparton Showgrounds last week.
“Over the past 10 years the growth of the Club has been well guided by the Board and a wonderful band of committed officials”, said incoming Club Chairman Craig Humphrey. “However the Board felt it important to harness ideas from members on achievable development options for the Club for the next two years."
72 members representing branches from around Australia were encouraged to put on their thinking caps and place on the record, input in five topic areas –
• Future National Musters
• Role of branch officials
• Web Development and
• Communications and Marketing
“Members were encouraged to think well beyond two years, with a possible five and ten year timeframe,” said Mr Humphrey.
“I am happy to report the workshop has produced some great ideas,” Mr Humphrey said in his address to Club members at the Club’s AGM. “We will now develop a Club Strategy to analyse the feasibility of each suggestion and where practical, develop and implement these suggestions.”
“Suggestions included establishing educational videos on the Club’s website, emphasising to members the need to collect expenditure data to demonstrate the economic benefits to local communities that RVers provide, improvements to the membership renewal process, and investigating ways of communicating better to members who are not computer literate.”
“Our Club highly values the views of its members and branches. The Board is looking forward to working with members to bring the outcomes from the Futures Forum to fruition.” Mr Humphrey said.
For further information, contact Craig Humphrey on 0409 605 890
‘Value for money, clean amenities, well maintained sites, and friendly staff are the criteria Kui Parks aim to deliver to caravanners, Bert Van Spronsen from Kui Parks said today when addressing members of the Australian Caravan Club (‘ACC’) at their Shepparton National Muster.
ACC members were offered a $10 gift voucher for use at Kui Parks if they signed up today. A large number of ACC members attending the national muster took up the offer.
Mr Van Spronsen also urges ACC members to ‘Like’ Kui Parks on Facebook and check out Kui Park offers available at Kui Parks on their way home.
Kui Parks offer a 20% discount off the cost of a 2 year Loyalty Membership for ACC members.
Loyalty Members receive a 10% discount off published rates to a maximum of $30 per stay.’
Long term Chairman of the Australian Caravan Club Tom Smith, today announced that he would be surrendering the Chairman’s role at the end of the Club’s Annual General meeting on Saturday 22 October 2016.
The announcement was made during Mr Smith’s address to Club members at the opening ceremony of the Club’s 10th Anniversary Annual Muster being held at the Shepparton Showgrounds this week.
“Following this my main concern has been for an orderly and seamless transfer over the year. The Board indicated to members that succession was in the wind by naming then Secretary, Craig Humphrey as Deputy Chairman,” Mr Smith said.
“Over the past year Craig and I have worked incredibly closely on all issues to ensure that there was an understanding between us on the direction of the Club. I am very glad to say that this has worked very well and the workings of the Club will be well championed.”
Mr Humphrey has been on the Board for seven years, and Club Secretary for the past five years. The Board has also undergone change with 2 new Directors – Graham Christie and Lynne Friis joining during the year.
“I wanted to ensure that the Board was stable and with the appointment of two new Directors I have spent the year working with all to ensure smooth and active pursuit of the Club’s activities. I am very pleased with the workings of the Board and it is timely for the change in the Chair.”
“I am also pleased to announce that we have today allocated portfolio responsibility to Lynne Friis for Marketing and Communication. Graham Christie will continue in the role of Membership Support. Maria Minchin will assume the Secretary role from the AGM.”
“I would also like to place on record my personal thanks and the Board’s appreciation for the great work given to the Club by Deb Cohen over four years and more recently Bruce Beausang, both of whom left the Board during the year,” said Mr Smith.
With the announcement, Craig Humphrey noted “I am very honoured to become Chairman and have a great role model to move forward in Tom’s way of guiding the Club. I am also grateful that he has agreed to remain with us as Deputy Chair.”
The Directors will now have the following portfolio responsibilities-
- Craig Humphrey – Chairman
- Tom Smith – Deputy Chairman and Policy, Town Assistance and Advocacy
- Maria Minchin – Secretary
- Rob Tudor – Treasurer and Webmaster
- Graham Christie – Membership Support
- Lynne Friis - Marketing and Communication
For further information:
Lionel Mussell – 0414 893 320
|MAJOR RAFFLE PRIZE REGISTER & VALUES|
|NUMBER||Qty||Donated by||Prize||Unit Value $|
|2||1||R.J.Batteries||105 amp hour battery||$462.30|
|3||1||Wayne Ritchies||Knee board||$390.00|
|4||1||Stone the Crows||Free Nights||$350.00|
|5||1||Land Base||6 months prescription||$230.00|
|6||1||Award RV||Airosonic Bladeless Fan 12 volt||$199.00|
|7||1||Dream Pot||Dream pot||$189.00|
|8||1||B.E.S.T. Water Filters||Water Filter||$110.00|
|9||1||Clark Rubber||Chriopractic pillow||$100.00|
|11||1||Suncoast Caravan||Milenco grand aero mirrors||$80.00|
|12||1||Avon||Plush Fleece Jacket||$80.00|
|14||1||Big 4||2 years membership||$50.00|
|15||1||Clark Rubber||Inflatable Chair||$50.00|
|16||1||Games World||Backgammon Set||$50.00|
|17||1||Cover me jules||Hooded towel||$40.00|
|18||1||Cover me jules||Hooded towel||$40.00|
|19||!||Family Parks||1 year membership||$40.00|
|20||1||Top Tourist||1 year membership||$40.00|
|21||1||Top Tourist||1 year membership||$40.00|
|22||1||Top Tourist||1 year membership||$40.00|
|23||1||Top Tourist||1 year membership||$40.00|
|24||1||Tathra caravan park||1 free night||$40.00|
|25||1||Tathra caravan park||1 free night||$40.00|
|26||1||Tathra caravan park||1 free night||$40.00|
|27||1||Tathra caravan park||1 free night||$40.00|
|29||1||Safety Dave||First aid kit||$30.00|
|34||1||The Hose Bag||Hose Bag||$30.00|
|35||1||The Hose Bag||Hose Bag||$30.00|
|36||1||The Hose Bag||Cable Bag||$30.00|
|37||1||Avon||Colour changing clock||$25.00|
|38||1||Avon||Memory foam flip flops||$25.00|
|41||1||Avon||Floating tea light||$25.00|
|42||1||Kui parks||2 year membership||$24.00|
|43||1||Kui parks||2 year membership||$24.00|
|44||1||Kui parks||2 year membership||$24.00|
|45||1||Kui parks||2 year membership||$24.00|
|46||1||Goldstar trading||Miracle Shammies||$20.00|
ACC Stand at the Echuca Great Outdoor & 4x4 Expo by Kaye Hocking
The ACC Murray River Ramblers Branch held a muster at Tongala so we could attend the Expo and man the ACC stand. Six vans pulled into Tongala in very inclement weather. With rain falling, Kaye, Ian, Vince & Cathy ventured to the Expo site to set up the stand. Amid the mud and slush, it was with much amusement we watched caravans being towed in through the mud with tractors.
We had a corner site with two walls undercover “thank goodness”. We set our stand up on Thursday afternoon then went back to our vans for happy hour. Friday morning Kaye & Ian set off to man the stand and park their car in 4 inches of water. Gloria & Phil came in after lunch, luckily they had gumboots. Saturday the sun came out for a while and Kaye & Stan looked after our stand. Vince & Cathy did the afternoon shift and we all met at the Falcon Hotel for tea.
Sunday dawned overcast and gloomy with rain pelting down. Peter, Chris & Kaye headed to Echuca to do the morning shift. Heather & Rob relieved us for lunch, then Gloria, Phil, Ian & Kaye packed up the site and waded out to their cars with the show kit, tables and chairs. The organisers of the Great Outdoor Expo at Echuca are to be congratulated for their tireless efforts to make the Expo go ahead, spreading heaps of wood chips and straw to make walkways through the mud, and checking on stallholders to see if all was well with them. After a cold wet & muddy 3 days, we signed up seven new ACC members.
Chairman's Update - Tom Smith
RV Warranty Issues
Over recent times members have approached me about various RV warranty issues as well as concerns with the rated weights applied to their RV and in particular their caravan. When these issues are raised, the members invariably ask what ACC can do to assist. Some suggest that ACC simply raise this with our industry contacts.
Raising issues with industry is not quite as simple as calling them up and saying that one of our members has had this issue! As a club representing the interests of our members we can certainly make representation to the industry, However it is not appropriate to simply raise issues or matters on a here say basis. To have any chance of being heard and acted upon by the industry the club must present unbiased facts about the problem. It also needs to clearly document the course of action taken by the member and the response of the dealer concerned.
With the increasing number of issues being raised by members the Club is happy to collectively present these cases to the industry controlling body however to do this we need members with concerns to document in writing:
1. The issue they have
2. The course of action the member has taken and with whom.
3. The response from the dealer or other supplier regarding the outcome.
Once we have member’s responses we will be in a position to place these concerns before the industry. Without members factual input we as a club cannot take this matter forward.
To have any chance of the industry listening to us we need hard factual irrefutable evidence.
ACC Facebook Page
Recently a story contributed by a member appeared on the ACC Facebook page noting a constant danger to caravans using a bypass under a low bridge. The result is a caravan less roof air conditioner and other roof mounted equipment. The picture below highlights the damage.
A suggestion from Tom, if possible change the settings on your GPS to truck or caravan this may help avoid problems with low bridges.
As well as a great note for warning members the story set a record for visitation to the ACC Facebook page. The attached report highlights the impact that the story had on visits. An amazing increase and record for the ACC Facebook page.
The Board is seeking to increase awareness of the Club making much more active use of the ACC Facebook page. We have a ready army of reporters in our 4000 members. To assist members prepare material for ACC Facebook page the Board has appointed Margie Smith as Online Editor. This role is to source, style and arrange publishing of stories for both the ACC Facebook page and website.
This is an exciting new initiative and the Board encourages members to contact Margie who is available to stylize your story for the ACC Facebook page and website.
Membership Renewal Notices
Membership Renewal Notices, issued from the first of July this year, have an extra item that should be filled in, should you wish to receive your issues of the Nomad in hard (i.e. paper) copy.
The delivery of a printed version of the Nomad is conditional on members paying an additional fee to cover the postage and handling costs involved. Currently this fee amounts to $20 p.a. - so for a one year renewal you need to pay an additional $20 on top of your membership renewal fee. For three year renewals an additional $60 is required.
The Board is sending a reminder to all Branches it is necessary to comply with the Branch Operational Procedures (BOP) in the following areas of Branch administration. A copy of the BOP is held in the documents section on the Club website. For detailed information please refer to section 6 Branch Management [ii] and [iii] and section 9 Club Clothing & Signage [a] [b] and [c] for the following:
Musters and Events - PRIOR Board approval is required for all events held. This is essential as club insurance requires that all events are sanctioned by club management prior to being held.
Event Attendance Sheets - Each person attending the event must complete their details and SIGN the form. This is required for insurance purposes. Following the event a copy of the attendance form is to be forwarded by the Branch Secretary to the ACC Secretary.
Financial Reports - Prepare financial statement for the branch as at 30 June each year. The financial statement is to be signed by two Branch committee members and forwarded to ACC Secretary by 31 July each year.
If your Branch hasn’t forwarded an end of financial year statement to the ACC Secretary please do so as soon as possible.
Club Clothing and Signage - Board approval is required for Branch banners, logos, flags, clothing for special occasions and all promotional material prior to use or sale of items.
2017 Australian Caravan Club Safari
Ron McGrice Safari Coordinator would like members to seriously think about going on the Safari.
Twenty caravans are needed on the first Safari, to travel the complete route, Sydney, Snowy Mountains, Melbourne, along the coast to Mt Gambier, then Adelaide, Wilpena Pound, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, Darwin, back to the Three Ways, across to Townsville, down to Brisbane then Sydney via Armidale, 63 days in total.
Membership Support Committee Update - Graham Christie
Our Committee has had a change of name from Branch to Membership Support. The new name reflects the work the current State Reps do by welcoming new members to the club, working in recruitment as well as helping members who wish to form a new branch or who want general advice on their membership. Kim Gladman from the Sunshine Coast has also joined the committee as the Show Coordinator.
The club has a new Special Interest Group (SIG) in the English Van Owners. If you have an English Van or Motorhome go to the SIG section on the Web page and join the group who were formed to share tips and advice on their vans. Members can contact their State Membership Rep if they would like to form a SIG.
Advocacy and Policy Team Update – Graeme Tree
The expanded role of incorporating the Town Support roles into the policy team seems to be working very well particularly through the appointment of Sate Reps who in effect are becoming the face of ACC advocacy within their state. Coordination of these roles at a club wide level provides the necessary support and consistency of our voice.
The National Muster at Shepparton will also provide us with the opportunity to meet face to face as a group (all team members apart from one will be attending) enabling us as team to review and reconsider what has been achieved and work through what works and what doesn’t as well as how we can improve what we are doing to better meet the needs of ACC membership.
Our Queensland State Rep Ray Cornall is developing and expanding the club’s advocacy profile in that state by maintaining ongoing contact with the Fraser Coast Council meeting with the Mayor and assisting council with its deliberations regarding RV parking and provision of overnight camp stops.
He has also made contact with Gympie Regional council and has commenced dialogue with the possible objective of gaining an RV camp stop at the Gympie showgrounds.
Ray’s profile has developed to such an extent that he was contacted by a lady in Kuranda seeking to re-establish the Chamber of Commerce with the objective of increasing RV tourism through Kuranda. It has subsequently transpired that the lady thought she was talking to the CMCA however seizing the opportunity Ray was able to provide her details of the ACC Town Support programme.
Eric Cumming our State Rep continues to monitor developments within the state and in particular the WA governments re rite of camping legislation and regulations, however as with all matters political they take time for anything to eventuate.
Darrell Phillips our state rep delivered an ACC submission to the District Council of Grant
(Mount Gambier) It is pleasing to report that the council has now developed a “free Camping Policy” and is planning opening of a number of camps in the council area.
Publicity Update – Lionel Mussell
With the National Muster fast approaching I’ll be sending invitations to the RV media inviting them to cover the event. I have already given my editor at Caravan World an invitation to send someone and she has noted it in her diary. I’ll also send information to the Shepparton news media.
The next edition of Caravan World (November - out in October) will have two ACC stories - one general one by freelance writer, Claudia Bouma helped by me, Rob Tudor, Tom Smith and Alan Lazarus, and one personal one about my involvement with our club since day one at Golden Beach.
Meet Your Club Official
Each edition we will introduce the Membership to Club Officials who undertake work on behalf of the club.
In the spotlight this edition are Allan & Heather Hermann.
How and why did you come to join the ACC?
We owned a Motorhome and we were asked to join the club by a friend.
What do you do within the ACC?
We are the Club Shop Coordinators.
Where do you live and why?
We live on the Sunshine Coast – it is the best spot to live
What is your favourite holiday destination in Australia?
Do you have a special camp spot?
Yes, Kenilworth in Qld
What is your rig?
Our vehicle is a Jeep and we tow a Coromal Caravan.
What tips do you have for those new to caravanning?
The best tip we can give is to get out and enjoy yourself.
What is next on your bucket list to do?
We want to travel around Australia again.
What is the most incredible view you have ever seen?
The Horizontal Falls in Western Australia.
If you could close your eyes and be anywhere on earth when they opened, where would it be?
We would be in Canada.
Notes from the Board will be produced every 8 weeks.
All over Australia there are obstacles waiting to wreck our travelling. It is up to every one of us to stay alert and protect ourselves.
Here is some information sent in to us by a very concerned member (this is one of many bridges in Australia).
Nearly every week a caravanner loses their airconditioner by trying to go under the low level railway bridge on Garroorigang St which is between Goulburn and Braidwood NSW.
Here is a picture of the sign on the southern side of the entrance to the bride but the bridge entrance is around the corner (see 2nd photo) so you don’t see how low it is until you turn the corner at the bridge. I assume many people who keep going past the 2.7 m sign are hoping they will fit under the bridge rather than face trying to back up around an uphill bend.
This low level bride is on the route the GPS will take you if you are leaving the Hume Highway at Goulburn to go towards the coast or vice-versa.
Here is also a picture taken 2 weeks ago of a brand new van that did not make it and the evidence on the ground from yesterday that yet another van did not make it!
My partner, David House is a member of your club. He helped the owners of the caravan by storing and tarping their van until it could be patched up for safe return to their home in Sydney.
It was their first trip in it! They have told us it will take 6 months to be repaired. The roof was caved in so we expect the damage will exceed $25k so they are fortunate the van was insured.
I have found it useful to measure the height of my caravan (including air con) and put a small label on the top driver side of the windscreen as a reminder. When approaching a low bridge, check label against sign.
Remember, when going under a bridge the caravan is not level and will be higher then it is when on a flat surface,
If it is close, get your passenger (if you have one) to stand outside whilst you drive SLOWLY under the bridge.
If you are on your own, you may want to jump out for a quick check as you are about to enter the bridge.