RAA members re-elect ‘unapproved’ board director


RAA members re-elected highway safety and security expert Martin Small to the state’s top highway defense and insurance board, ignoring the organization’s advice that he did not endorse his re-election.

The RAA board recently told its roughly 775,000 eligible voting members to drop Small in a four-way battle that had emerged for three vacant seats, despite its road safety expertise.

However, in announcing the election results today, RAA Board Chairman Peter Siebels announced that Small had regained his place on the Board.

“Thank you to all RAA members who voted for their favorite candidates in this year’s board elections,” he said.

“These results will be officially announced at the upcoming RAA Future Expo and AGA on November 28, when the new terms of the successful applicants will officially begin.

“Based on member votes, we are delighted to welcome Victoria Angove, David Osborn and Martin Small for another three-year term on the RAA Board.”

In election materials, the RAA asked members to vote for its board’s road transport and safety expert, saying he lacked the skills and experience for its “criteria for approval 2022”.

Small, a former motor vehicle registrar and traffic safety consultant, was the only candidate not endorsed by the council.

“The Board does not approve Mr. Small as he has not demonstrated that he meets the 2022 criteria for approval as he does not have sufficient skills or experience in any of the categories of highly desired or desired skills,” reads election materials sent to members.

At the time, Small acknowledged that the organization had diversified from the Royal Automobile Association’s initial focus on motor vehicles to areas such as home insurance.

“I had a few questions raised by people who are members,” he said.

“As a former Registrar of Motor Vehicles with 25 years experience in transportation leadership positions, I am passionate about road safety and want to see published star ratings for our regional highways.

“In the 1990s the RAA and other clubs started testing cars and publishing the results with safety ratings…. Applying this to roads would provide our members with more information about the roads they drive .

It was John Van Ruth, chief executive of Lutheran Disability Services, trustee of Hambs, Wyatt Trust and Eldercare, who missed out on a board seat.

Before casting his vote, he told members he was passionate about helping South African businesses through financial acumen, effective governance and innovation.

“I have a strong sense of social justice and giving back to the community,” he said.

RAA President and Board Chairman Peter Siebels said members voted at a meeting in March last year to introduce constitutional changes where board members are assessed for certain skills, knowledge and experiences to fill identified skills gaps.

In the run-up to this board election, information technology, digital, consumer, legal and regulatory, and cybersecurity have been identified as critical skills in the criteria for approval.

Siebels is a manager and professional advisor. He is currently a director of 4D Advisory Pty Ltd, chairman of Fox Creek Wines, Robern Menz, Hood Sweeney and the Electricity Industry Superannuation Scheme, a director of RAA Insurance and ECH, and a member of the finance committee of the University of Adelaide.

David Osborn said in his nomination statement that he would bring skills and experience in technology and digital marketing, as a business leader with Kimberly Clark and DelTech and “my perspective as a motorist and parent of young drivers”.

“Technological change is a key part of our strategic growth program. With a multi-million dollar technology investment committed over the next three years, the RAA should be well positioned to transform our members’ digital experience.

Board Member Victoria Angove is Co-Chief Executive of Angove’s, Director of Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated and Independent Winemakers Group with a strong background in sales and marketing.

“As co-CEO of our family business, Angove Family Winemakers, I bring to the board my experience in running a large, successful and consumer-focused company,” said Angove.

“This is a multi-generational endeavor that contributes to my understanding of decision-making for the long-term well-being of all stakeholders.”

“As a current member of the RAA’s Governance, Nominations and Compensation Committee and Investment Committee, I actively drive governance best practices and oversee significant investments in innovation and technology. “

Voting ended on October 14.

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