I apologies to my readers if this post is not of global interest but I have an issue that I believe needs to made public in the best interest of my fellow paddlers.
After my first year of sea kayaking I wanted to further my skills and meet like minded people.
I sought to join a group or club that would offer me camaraderie and some new knowledge/skills.
In 2005 I joined the Queensland Sea Kayak Club.
I still remember the welcoming feel from the members and the down to earth approach to sea kayaking that the Club had at this time.
After a few years of general membership I thought that it would be fair to “give back” to the members that made me a better paddler.
I advanced my skills and undertook training to become a trip leader of sanctioned Club paddles (QSKC advocates for structured safe paddling pods).
I lead numerous trips from single day ones to several week expeditions.
I further involved myself with QSKC by serving on the Committee first as Events Coordinator and later as Vice President.
Unfortunately as it happens in most Clubs of independent thinkers sometimes there is a clash of personalities.
Opinions and agendas might differ and occasionally they results in conflict.
Recent events at my Club have escalated to the point that I have been publicly accused of wanting to ruin the Club (1).
It puzzles me how some members who have only been in the club for such a short period of time (including committee members whom I have supported personally) have suddenly started to spread rumours and/or unfounded gossip against me.
As such I feel, members of the Committee have not been acting fairly and in my humble opinion not in the best interest of the Club.
Moreover, official communication amongst members started to become censored (2) and records of communication deleted (3).
The record of minutes of Committee meetings also have became incomplete and bias.
The Committee meetings became secret with Club members no longer being permitted to attend (4).
Not entirely happy with the developments and accusations towards me I had to take drastic measures to ensure that in later days, I could not be accused of wrong doing.
I decided to voice record the Committee meetings that I was present at.
I was faced with opposition and was denied the ability to record meetings because this right was apparently deemed illegal by the Committee (despite it being a statutory right, see below).
It was revealing when at the recent meeting I was met with total disdain from the Committee when I voice recorded the event.
While accusations of illegal activity was again mentioned I reminded them that my doings were actually supported by Qld Law (5) and was to keep accountability in play whilst ending unfounded bias slurs against fellow members.
My question however remains: if the Committee did not want other members to attend the meeting and did not want me to record the meeting, what really was going on?
Why the secrets? It makes me suspicious as there is little transparency and a souring lack of accountability from elected members.
Surely the Club members would be interested to know why the current Committee is acting in this manner.
Censoring communication, deleting records and refusing a voice record of their meetings seems suspicious to me. I believe Club members deserve better.
I am aware that many new members have been the recipients of gossip and the smear campaign against me.
Club members that have been around as long as I have will probably know that my intentions are to make the Club thrive.
A Club that has offered me so much is worthy of my contribution.
I want to maintain a Club where paddlers have a choice of activities, a choice of varied skill level outings, and a choice of instructors.
I want the Club to remain the hub of activity for all levels where novices and more experienced paddlers are catered for.
So while some newcomers are accusing me of trying to ruin the Club for two years in the row, my involvement in the Club and my ethically based leadership of trips speaks volumes.
It’s up to the reader to form his/her opinion now.
And next time you hear rumors, with a healthy level of scepticism, ask for some facts instead of just mud!
(1) public accusation on Club's Google Group on 07DEC:
>>… Tess, Dom and your dwindling band of supporters you need to bury youregos and your personal dislikes and realise you had the opportunity todo something with the QSKC when you were the committee but didnothing… The QSKC is all butdestroyed again because of you actions. I hope you are proud ofyourselves, wrecking a club twice in as many years is no mean feat.<<
however Mark Priestley on 18NOV asked:>>…. For the long term good of the organisation and the sport and recreation of canoeing, it is also about a decision for all to cease and never to discuss publicly or in writing the types of matters everyone is buying into… <<
(2) records of the above public email were deleted at a later date after they were publicly posted. Any reply from the accused (Tess Dodd) was refused to be posted making it appear that the accused was acting guilty.
(3) Some records of trip write ups are missing from the QSKC website.
(4) Club Member Ken Doy received this email on 07DEC:
>> Hi Ken,We have had advice from Mark Priestley at Queensland Canoeing that given the situation at hand regarding the electing of an Interim President it is recommended to only have current committee members present at our meeting this Thursday…<<
(5) legislation that the Committee is aware of and denies: Invasion of Privacy Act 9171 http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/I/InvasOfPrivA71.pdf granting the right to record conversations whilst you are a participant in that conversation.
"I think there is a good reason why the propaganda system works. It recognises that the public will not support the actual policies, therefore it is important to prevent any knowledge or understanding of them by redirecting their interest'.
Avram Noam Chomsky