Author: Tim Nolan

Dear MAAA Members,

I am writing to you with a report on the recent Annual MAAA Conference, which took place from 19 – 21 May in Melbourne.
This annual conference serves as a platform for discussing various important matters, addressing challenges related to insurance, showcasing significant improvements made to the Club Assistance Scheme as well as discussing much needed re-writes of our existing MOPs.
Here are the key highlights:

Insurance Challenges: During the conference, the MAAA leadership acknowledged the challenges faced in obtaining appropriate, affordable insurance coverage for our clubs and activities. It was recognized that rising costs, limited options and evolving regulatory requirements continue to pose obstacles for renewals. A new policy through the diligence of the Executive and VInsurance will see us with Public Liability coverage from May 31, albeit at an increase of some $100 000. 
We must also work to reduce our public liability risk.

Insurance excess change: At the Council Conference the following was agreed: Individual members lodging a public liability claim will be required to contribute $500 towards the excess payment. The financial co-payment of $500 is not applicable to junior members or instructors and students during instruction. The Executive may also consider applications under financial hardship.
Asking members to contribute to claims is one step towards mitigating risk. 
The MAAA Executive and Council will be detailing further mitigation strategies over the next few months.

MAAA Membership costs will remain the same: Despite the rise in insurance costs the MAAA Executive and Council agreed that MAAA membership will remain the same for the 23-24 year. Senior membership will remain at $90 for a full year, $45 for a half year.  Junior membership will be $45 and $25 respectively.

Executive Appointments: Following a Council ballot, the current MAAA Vice President, Mr. Michael Hobson, was re-elected to his role for another three years.

Club Assistance Program: The MAAA Council recognises the importance of supporting our clubs and has made significant improvements to the Club Assistance Program, increasing the funding from 70,000 to $100,000. The program focuses on financial assistance for club capital improvement.

New Club Activity Grants: $50 000 has been allocated to sit under a new Club Activity Grant scheme. These grants will range between $250 and $1000 for clubs to run eligible events.  The goal is to increase participation, retention, camaraderie, public profile and growth. These applications will be a simple process, totally separate from the Club Assistance Scheme and be processed initially by the Member Services Officer. The criteria will be available shortly and access to funding will then begin.

MAAA Hall of Fame: There have been several new nominees to the MAAA Hall of Fame which provides acknowledgment of international competitors as well as service to the aeromodelling community.  

Promotion: The MAAA has allocated $45,000 for marketing, promotion and development of our sport.

I would like to extend my gratitude to all attendees, presenters and volunteers who contributed to the success of the 2023 MAAA Conference.

Together, we will continue to strengthen and advocate for the model aviation community.  The MAAA remains dedicated to improving the overall experience for our clubs and our members.

Warm regards,

Tim Nolan
MAAA President