Natcon BM

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This article is a catch-all for informaiton about the Natcon Business Meeting.

2006 Minutes


Attending: Rose Mitchell, Patricia Anderson, Kate Eltham, David Cake, Julian Warner, Justin Ackroyd, Richard Pitchforth John Samuel, Jon Swaby. Russell Farr (last three late) Damian Warman (very late)

Meeting started 10.04 am.

1. Confirmation of the minutes from the last meeting. David pointed out that the text of one of the motions from the last meeting is missing. This motion was regarding the timing of nominations and eligibility periods. This was to clarify problems which might occur if a Natcon is held in the very early part of a new year (particularly if the last Natcon was late in the year). Accepted: Mitchell/Anderson

Business Arising: Voting on the proposed appendices did not occur - to be done in 2006.

Site Selection: We have one bid for site selection - Swancon 2008. Convenor Anna Hepworth, also Grant Watson, Lee Battersby, Sue Ann Barber, David Cake. Date: Easter 2008, No venue as yet. No memberships available as yet. David advised they are planning on a hard science fiction theme. To be held somewhere in Perth - probably in the CBD.


Richard Pitchforth provided a report on the running of the 2006 Ditmar awards. It would be useful if there was more passing on of expertise on how to run the awards. Each year the business meeting should solicit comments on what could be useful for further running. Nominations had problems where it was not clear whether the nomination should be for the work or for the work or publication. We discussed the fact that it should be made clear to nominators that they are nominating for a work or a person. Also discussed information resources for finding first publication date for some works. Such info - or pointers to resources should be available on a web-site. Work needs to be done on checking editions between nomination and voting. Richard: timing - problems with engraving plates to be attached to awards. Because people only join late then they tend to vote late as well. Richard felt you are always going to have late closing dates for voting. David pointed out that we have had discussion on including past convention members as eligible voters. Richard felt that voting forms should be exclusively electronic. Kate asked whether a standard computerised method of soliciting nominations and votes could be created. David felt that this will probably be done by an individual convention and then possibly could be passed on. Richard pointed out that confusion still arises from the 'no award' option. He thought that it should be pointed out more clearly that people may not understand the significance of 'no award' - i.e. that they are saying that no-one should get an award in that category. We discussed the fact that some people make the mistake of putting 'no award' in front of votes for a work/individual.

David suggested that the problems Richard pointed to are not really for rule changes but do raise a need for guidelines to be created for future committees. Kate felt that even a brief set of guidelines would be useful.

Rose moved that the Natcon standing committee should develop procdural guidelines for the administration of the Ditmar process by the end of the year. Seconded Ackroyd. carried.

David thanked Richard for his report.

Site Selection vote: Swancon 2008 bid accepted.

Report of Standing Committee: there were two flurries of activity during the year. We did not actually decide the broadening of ditmar voting but did discuss. No 'discussion paper' was issued within three months as originally requested at last year's meeting. Kate advised Rose that she would check with her membership as to whether they mind information being passed on to the next concom. This would allow rolling over of eligibility to vote. The standing committee did take on an advisory role for this year's ditmars but were probably not active enough.

David: any reports from Standing Conventions?

Kate for Conjure: Welcome. Chair has changed since start of bid. Kate started as chair in April last year. Just over 250 members for convention which is pleasing given the lack of a strong historical fanbase. Any questions? John Samuel - Vision writers group and Fantastic Queensland are not an established fanbase? Kate: no - they are support systems. Congratulations from those present for what Conjure has achieved.

Rose: Convergence - trundling along slowly. We have made a conscious decision not to try to do too much too early. We will be ramping up activitiy shortly. We are now taking memberships. We will not have a series of stepped prices. There will be only one price rise - just before the convention. It will be $153 up until at least December this year. Our guests will be Margaret Mahy and Isobelle Carmody. Mahy has just won the Hans Christian Andersen award and Carmody has won the Aurealis Award. The hotel will be Rydges on Exhibition St in Melbourne. Russell: will you be charging for book launches? Rose: no decision made yet. David - thanks to Kate and Rose for their reports.

Membership of Standing Committee:

(Thylacon drops off) For Conjure: Kate Eltham For Convergence: Perry Middlemiss For Swancon: to be nominated. (Anna Hepworth currently convenor) David Cake Julian Warner Zara Baxter Nicole Murphy (last four all nominated and accepted).

Motions on notice:

Outstanding motions: meeting declined to venture any opinions on the outstanding motions from the last business meeting. First lapsed. Standing Committee to continue to explore the issues.

Motion to append to rule 6.2 of the Ditmar rules ' or those eligible to vote as members of the previous years national convention. Any individual is only eligible to vote once.' Moved Cake. Seconded Farr. Motion carried.

David: Any further general business? None raised.

David - meeting closed 11.13.