2019 Natcon BM minutes

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This article includes the minutes of the Business Meeting of the 58th National Australian SF Convention (the Natcon in 2019), which took place at Continuum 15 in Melbourne, in The Japser Hotel, 489 Elizabeth St, Melbourne, 3000, at 8pm, Sunday, 09 June, 2019.

These minutes should be considered unofficial, having yet to be approved by the 2020 NatCon Business Meeting.


An agenda was produced, circulated to various email lists and made available to attendees.


Chair: Peter Lyons Minute Taker: Edie-Brie Hawthorne

Attendance: Belle McQuattie, Samara, Thomas Bull, Peter Lyons, Edie-Brie Hawthorne, Blake Jenkins

Apologies: Jack Bridges, Sarah, PRK, Dave Cake

0. Welcome

1. Confirmation of Minutes of the Previous Meeting

Confirmation of the Minutes of 2018 Natcon BM Minutes 2018 Business Meeting Minutes

Lay on the table for next meeting as not enough people in attendance from previous meeting in attendance

2. Business arising from previous meeting

Peter made a quick summary of the minutes and no one wanted to pick anything from it.

3. Natcon Standing Committee Report

The standing committee started with a great deal of energy post the previous convention and meeting. PRK and Zara Baxter participated in some discussions. Zara – marketing and plans around marketing as a Natcon. Input around marketing and what could be done better for the promotion of convention. After sometime the enthusiasm has dropped and hoping that in the subsequent year the committee can come back. PRK was working on clarifying some of the Australian requirements for Ditmars and PRK has had some thoughts on the Ditmar changes around this.

Chair apologises for not having a formal written report.

Chair asked if there were any questions on the standing committee report.

4. Ditmar Subcommittee Report

This years Ditmar subcommittee was Peter Lyons.

Peter Lyons provided a report on numbers for Ditmar voting etc 2019 Ditmar Report.

The chair opened up to questions

Belle McQuattie (C15 Chair) discussed that an email to the Continuum membership list did not result in an uptick in memberships. Not sure if this resulted in an uptick in Ditmar votes. Discussed that it is hard to tell which memberships come from Ditmar/Natcon related things for the convention.

Discussion around numbers of voters and what could be done to increase this. Peter Lyons discussed that an increase in profile of advertising for the NatCon and the Ditmars themselves might get better engagement. Belle McQuattie discussed timelines for when the cons can advertise for Ditmars.

Discussed the Tin Ducks having voting open all year. Discussed if this would be possible to do for the Ditmars. Discussed how long the voting period could be open for and how this would effect voting.

Some further discussion around the importance of clarifying the definition of Australian.

Action Items: Action: The NatCon committee to see about publicizing the Ditmars year around. Action: Committee to provide further clarification around fannish activities for eligibility for nominating. Specific request for a list of examples of what is or is not fannish activity so that people will know better what to give as evidence when nominating.

Motion: Accept both Action Items above. Motioned: Belle McQuattie Second: Samara Passed unanimously

5. Site Selection for 2021 NatCon

Chair asked for any nominations for site selection for the 2021 NatCon?

No immediate bids.

Belle McQuattie asked if it was possible to put in a bid for a not yet formed convention committee. Some discussion on whether or not this would be possible. Other options suggested are to redirect to the NatCon Committee to find a convention.

Motion: That the NatCon Standing Committee liase with Continuum and other convention committees to find a bid for the NatCon in 2021 to be submitted at the next business meeting.

Motioned: Samara Seconded: Thomas Bull

Call for discussion

Vote: Passed unanimously

6. Convention Report

In absentia Convention Report provided from Jack Bridges Co-Convenor of Swancon 2018

Swancon 2018 ran. The convention had 316 attendees. Of note, we received a Department of Arts grant to fund the Saturday writer stream. We gifted memberships to Con or Bust, and were delighted that attendees were able to take advantage of this. We held a natcon business meeting and the Ditmar award ceremony.

We have closed off the financial books and returned a moderate surplus, and have met all of our reporting obligations to WASFF, ASFF and to the Department of Arts.

In absentia Convention Report provided from Sarah Parker SwanCon 2020 Co-convenor

Swancon 2020 has launched at Swancon 2019 over the Easter weekend, and we're pleased to advise we have already sold over 70 memberships. Swancon2020 is not running on Easter, but will be running on Amzac Day long weekend, April 25,26 and 27th. We have launched with International Guest of Honour Nalini Singh, who is a very popular paranormal romance author, and John Robertson as Professional Guest of Honour, who has been a long time attendee to Swancons and now a successful comedian in England. We are delighted to announce the Duxton as our hotel of choice, and look forward to hosting the NatConBus Meeting.

Report from Belle McQuattie, Continuum 15 Chair

We had a convention. It is going well. Numbers not yet available. Guests have had a good time. Feedback has been overly positive.

Chair of NatCon meeting had positive feedback.

Motion: Move to accept convention reports. Motioned: Belle McQuattie Seconded: Samara

Vote: 1 abstention, the rest for.

7. Selection of the NatCon Standing Committee

Discussed how the Committee is set up and everyone is re-elected. Committee is 4 members and 3 convention convenors.

Formation for the to be formed NatCon Standing Committee

Jack Bridges and Belle McQuattie automatically remain on committee.

Peter Lyons would like to renominate for the to be formed NatCon Standing Committee.

PRK has verbally said yes for the to be formed NatCon Standing Committee.

Samara would like to nominate for the to be formed NatCon Standing Committee.

Edie-Brie Hawthorne would like to nominate for the to be formed NatCon Standing Committee

Dave Cake submitted a provisional nomination to the Chair in the event of not enough volunteer nominations. Subsequently withdrawn due to sufficient other nominations.

Motion: To accept the above written nominations in full. Motioned: Belle McQuattie Seconded: Thomas Bull

Vote: 4 votes for, 2 abstain

8. Any other business.

None raised.

Meeting closed at 9:03PM