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‘It’s about principles, democracy and ethics;’ Roy Aldrich – Printing Industry Elections update

Thursday, 02 October 2014
By Print 21 Online Article

Interstate rivalry is playing out in the increasingly bitter election campaign for the National Board of the Printing Industries with Roy Aldrich firing off a volley of criticism of the current board and especially its president, David Leach.

“The way things stand now Victoria is left out on a bloody limb. We’re very disappointed that the president is making it so political. He should be impartial, not trying to select his own board,” said veteran, Roy Aldrich, Eastern studios Melbourne.

In an impassioned open letter to the industry and the members of Printing Industries, he lays out his concerns and criticism of the way the current election is being run. What follows is the un-expurgated version of his statement.

The Battle for PIAA Board Seats is a Battle for Principle, Democracy and Ethics

 Never in the history of my 20-year membership of the PIAA has a fellow member, who happens to be the current President, launched an attack on his own members only because they have nominated for a seat on the PIAA Board.

What drives the vitriolic attitude of David Leach? He publicly announces, not only to PIAA members but to non-members as well, that the three board nominees, namely, Bob Yeates, Tom Eckersley and Roy Aldrich, are not to be supported, openly backing his own choices?  Quoting his own words “whether the Board is stacked with his choices”, or whether the members choose “head in sand”.

Are these the words of a desperate person declaring the need for change can only happen if David Leach hand picks his board representatives regardless of the democratic election process? Is the Association that vulnerable? [Is] the board that fragile and the CEO that insecure that to have new people on the board, with open minds, to question why PIAA do things are treated to such attack, even though we are members who pay membership fees?

I find his attitude demeaning, disrespectful and lacking integrity. David Leach has never met me and has never enquired about our vision, goals and aspirations for the Association and the industry. It is purely a figment of his imagination that we want to take the industry backwards. He is also not supporting a sitting Board member, Bob Yeates, who is a great asset to his region of Tasmania and is the current National President of Country Press Australia. Bob Yeates is the Managing Director of a country newspaper group and printing company that publishes 10 newspaper titles in Victoria and Tasmania.

The combined experience of the three nominees as successful printing industry companies is well known, as all have previous experience at PIAA Board and Regional Council level over many years, representing Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania, bringing knowledge, experience, integrity and enthusiasm to contribute to this great industry and the peak industry association.

I question the integrity and credibility of David Leach who lives in Sydney, operates a printing company in Sydney but choses to be nominated as the authorized representative of Paperlinx Merchanting Australia in Queanbeyan to represent the PIAA members in the ACT region.

As an active and PIAA member, I felt compelled to nominate for the Board position and I am supported by many PIAA members who want to see a greater representation in Victoria.

Over recent years the Association has lost its regional contact. Therefore my goal, if elected, would be to help reshape our Association as an inclusive, valued and sustainable member organization across all regions. I will work to;

  • Establish regular member participation and networking opportunities at State level.
  • Provide local members with a strong voice in the strategic direction of PIAA that ensures the Association operates effectively and efficiently, provides financial stability, maintains its relevancy and enhances member value
  • Provide a representative structure and inclusive Association that companies want to join and not resign in large numbers as current statistics confirm
  • Provide Victoria and other states with a strong industry voice to government, other employer associations and the community about the sustainability of paper products as the most environmentally and effective communication media
  • Maintain dialogue with the Victorian government to establish a comprehensive Apprentice Training Facility in Victoria

As the fourth largest manufacturing sector in Australia, today’s modern printing technology techniques, products and services require recognition as an Advanced Manufacturing sector with a sustainable future, by all levels of government

[When I nominated ] I did not expect to be pilloried by the incumbent President, David Leach or to read of his blatant support for his selected or stacked process rather than have a transparent election of Board members, which only brings the association into disrepute by his printed attitude.

The members will decide the outcome for the new Board.

As a reminder the postal vote closes in Sydney on Wednesday, October 8 and with Monday being a public holiday in some states, the reply paid envelope would need to be posted by this Friday.

Roy Aldrich,  PIAA member and Board Nominee




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