Last night, the Annual General Meetings of the Hanoi and HCMC Chapters were held in both cities. For the previous week, online voting was open for eligible members to vote on a proposal “that the amended draft charter dated 26 March, 2014, which included the key proposal to form a single National Board to be elected jointly by the membership, be approved”.

To successfully change the Charter, both Chapters needed a quorum of 25 per cent and both Chapters needed to approve the proposal with a two thirds majority.

·         Hanoi: 32 of 51 eligible voters (63 per cent) cast their vote. 31 of the 32 voters agreed with the proposal.

·         HCMC: 112 of 194 eligible voters (58 per cent) cast their vote. 111 of the 112 voters agreed with the proposal.

In both Chapters, it was an emphatic result for a National Board.

The Chapters’ approval to form a National Board then made an election necessary for the 12 vacant positions. The National Board of Voting Members comprises four representatives from Hanoi and 8 from HCMC. The 12 successful candidates arranged in alphabetical order by surname, are:

1.       Chris Butler (HCMC)

2.       Giles Cooper (HN)

3.       Shane Dillon (HCMC)

4.       Carl Gay (HCMC)

5.       Tran Thi Thuy Ha (HCMC)

6.       Adam McDonald (HN)

7.       Tareq Muhmood (HCMC)

8.       Greg Ohan (HCMC)

9.       Brian O’Reilly (HCMC)

10.     Jamie Rossall (HCMC)

11.     Chris Vella (HN)

12.     David Whitehead (HN)

Three Ex Officio (Non Voting) Members will also sit on the National Board:

1.       Elodie Journet (Austrade, HN)

2.       Angela Picket (Embassy, HN)

3.       Sean Riley (Austrade HCMC)

The first National Board meeting will be held in Austrade’s offices in Hanoi and HCMC (where we can use their video conferencing facilities) on 8 April. At this meeting, the Board Members will elect a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. It is an open vote with the one restriction being that the President and Vice President must be from different Chapters.

The National Board is about bringing people together and creating closer networks which facilitate business. This year we were in the healthy position where we had more candidates than vacancies which required an election. The one downside is that four excellent candidates, who have given amazing service to AusCham, were not reelected. AusCham does not want to lose any of these high quality people; rather, we would very much like to use them in a different capacity.

Last year, Chau Ta organised the exceptional Real Estate Symposium and she is keen to do so again this year. Khoa Pham remains keen to be involved with AusCham’s series of legal updates with Allens and AusCham’s Corporate Golf Scramble in HCMC on 24 October. Stephanie Ralainarivo is with our Gold Sponsor, Santa Fe and is helping with the Logistics and Relocations Fair at Sundowners in Hanoi next week. And Michael Johnston, based in Hoi An, is ideally placed as AusCham gains some momentum in that city and Danang.

AusCham is about growing and developing to support the business interests of our members. Retaining the involvement of these four people, who all supported the proposal to form a National Board, will stand AusCham in good stead.

Thank you to all members who took the time to vote.