APF Newsletter 31 October 2013

Chair’s Report of 31 October 2013

This AGM sees the retirement of two of APF’s longest-standing Board-members, to whom we extend our thanks on behalf of ourselves and all Australians:

  • Julie Cameron
    • APCC Founder and Coordinator 1992-1996
    • APF Board-Member 1990-2003 and 2009-13
    • Secretary 2002-2003
    • BBA Committee 2003, 2009, 2011
  • Nigel Waters
    • APCC Coordinator 1997-2002
    • APF Board-Member 1997-2013
    • Policy Coordinator 2002-2013
    • Web-Site Committee 2002-2013
    • Public Officer 2002-
    • Telecommunications then Telecomms & Internet Committee, 2010-
    • International Committee, 2013-
    • APF Lifetime Achievement Award, 2011

We’ve continued our rolling-refresh of Board members, with new members Steve Roddis and Kat Lane. Kat was previously a winner of an APF Award for the Best Privacy Guardian for her longstanding role for the NSW Consumer Credit Legal Service.

We’ve sustained our substantial commitment on privacy issues, with just over 50 policy contributions indexed during the last 12 months, including 6 new proactive Policy Statements and 2 Public Advisory Statements.

We’ve also provided large numbers of media backgrounders, and been quoted in the media on many occasions.

A new initiative is currently running, with entries for the Sir Zelman Cowen Essay Competition closing in early December.

Newsletters were sent to members on 19 February, 14 March and 11 August 2013.

… Roger Clarke, Chair

To ensure that the APF remains fresh and adaptive, my intention is to hand over to a new Chair at the earliest opportunity.

I accordingly provide the following brief summary of my perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation’s performance during my 7-year term as Chair.

Members are invited to contribute to maintaining the Strengths and addressing the Weaknesses.


  • Policy Work:
    • very large output of policy analyses
    • very high quality of policy analyses
    • substantial respect from policy-makers, and frequent invitations to contribute
    • reasonable levels of interaction and coordination with other civil society organisations
    • consistency in policy positions through a well-managed archive of publications
    • greatly increased emphasis on proactive Policy Statements
  • Governance:
    • maintenance of a strong and active Board
    • establishment of multiple Committees, with strong membership above and beyond the Board members
    • attraction of support from outstanding Patrons and Advisory Panel members
    • effective and efficient maintenance of organisational hygiene, through AGMs and Board meetings


  • inadequate Outcomes, with Senate Committees and policy agencies frequently ignoring carefully-reasoned submissions
  • inability to overcome the Dismal Regulatory Context of weak and under-performing privacy oversight agencies
  • inadequate Funding, without which the professionalisation of the organisation has been held back
  • lack of a vehicle for achieving close Coordination of Effort among civil society organisations
  • inadequate Access to Students and Retirees, who could assist with:
    • maintenance of APF’s research resources
    • running of the Big Brother Awards more frequently than every 2-to-3 years
  • a Web-Site whose functional value is high, but whose Appearance is subject to (unfortunately often vague) criticism
  • a late start to adaptation to the Social Media Era, but now with Twitter and Facebook presence
  • insufficient spare energy to conduct Membership Campaigns