Last Monday night the members of Craft Victoria (including myself) voted to adopt a new constitution. The major changes to the Board composition include:
- a minimum of two craft industry professionals (previously it was five professional members)
- members no longer nominate board members from their ranks
- President does not need to be a craftsperson
It’s a significant change for the organisation and it did not pass without heated debate. Some felt it was a diminution of member’s power which could lead to a more corporate direction for the organisation (a focus on avoiding risk rather than advancing the field). The Board presented the change as a responsibility of governance in the face of increasing legal responsibilities.
In the end, it is hoped that the Board will be able to use this power to help the organisation keep on track. Craft Victoria has a great reputation for not only putting new ideas into the cultural mix, but also maintaining a long-term commitment to the enduring value of craft. While credit for this is partly due to people at the top, it is very much due to those dedicated members whose belief and commitment have inspired future possibilities.
While we wait with interest to see what how Board engages with future challenges, members should stay actively involved in the organisation. The possibility was noted that there might be an annual forum where the direction of Craft Victoria could be discussed with members. Let’s ensure that something like this happens.