Our members would be aware that over the past six months our association has faced a range of challenges that has made the production of our traditional print-magazine difficult, due to rising print-production, distribution, editorial and design layout costs. These challenges are not unique to AOPA Australia and have been felt by all organisations who produce hard-copy magazines. A further complication has been the sale of our members’ magazine in newsagents across Australia. For many years, our association has printed and distributed some 3,600 magazines to retailers, of which on average just 700 of these sell per edition each year with the balance going into land-fill. After newsagent fees are deducted (51% of the sale price), our association incurs a significant loss.
A review of the entire magazine situation was undertaken during the final quarter of 2018, and we have been unable in the current market to achieve a suitable reduction in costs that would make the continued print production sustainable alongside our other important functions and initiatives.
For many years, the AOPA Australia members’ bulletin and then later our magazine was the only method of communicating with members, however we now have the versatility and accessibility of the internet and email across a broad cross section of mobile phones, tablets and computers with which we can efficiently communicate. During the past 10 years the AOPA Australia magazine was the principal focus and primary organisation objective of the association, consuming the vast majority of member funds, leaving little to no spare resources to develop and drive direct sustained advocacy on the issues that are so important to our collective future.
Over the past threeyears AOPA Australia has sought to transform its objectives and goals, seeking to be more than just a magazine provider for our members. Today, your association is actively involved in local grass roots issues where we are powerfully advocating for your rights and assisting individual members on a broad variety of concerns, we are spearheading and driving key industry reforms to benefit the aircraft owner and pilot community, whilst standing up as a champion for the future of our general aviation industry providing a voice to thousands. We are taking a strong leadership role with youth engagement, along with supporting aeroclubs and flying events nationwide.
These critical and important changes have led a resurgence in AOPA Australia membership numbers, and once again our association is growing year on year.
To help drive awareness and education of our advocacy andindicatives, we have developed and delivered a powerful range of digital communications tools via our social media channels, our website and our new monthly AOPA PILOT AUSTRALIA members newsletters that covers a broad range of advocacy and aviation interest – all exclusively available to AOPA Australia members.
By transitioning your associationto a full digital communications platform, we will also be saving considerable financial resources that were previously being consumed by rising print and distribution costs. These resources will now be tasked to help advance our member services, including our website, digital editorial team, members classifieds, members events, member benefits and more.
To assist our members, the administration has been calling on each and every individual member to discuss these important changes, providing website assistance and guided tours of the site infrastructure. If you at any time need assistance in accessing the AOPA Australia website, your membership account, the AOPA PILOT AUSTRALIA digital services, please call (02) 9791 9099 during normal business hours.