by George Nott

AISA to hold extraordinary general meeting in response to petition

Mar 06, 2017

An extraordinary general meeting to decide the fate of the Australian Information Security Association’s newly elected board of directors will be held later this month following a petition by disgruntled members.

The petition was launched last month, which claimed the board had “lost its mandate to represent the organisation”.

“Inside of three days of launching, we had received more than, what we currently understand, to be the requisite 5 per cent of the financial membership signing the call,” a page on the petition site read.

The number of signatories had reached the required 140 members to trigger the EGM, plus a “healthy buffer”, the petition site said.

AISA issued an announcement this morning notifying members the date meeting would be March 24.

“This decision by AISA’s newly appointed Board follows a petition for an EGM that was received in February. While this petition failed to meet the requisite number of signatures, the Board has elected to hold an EGM to remove ongoing uncertainty and allow AISA to turn its full focus towards the future,” the statement said.

The petition website says a resolution will be tabled at the EGM to declare the current board vacant; and elect an interim board while a “full election of all director roles” can be held.

The proposed interim board is made up of former board chair Benn Dullard, and senior association figures; Keith Price, Steve Simpson and Jodie Signato.

“The AISA board needs to demonstrate leadership, strong governance, respect for its members, and must make sensible decisions that fulfil on AISA’s purpose. Many members hold the view that the current board has not displayed these skills and in failing to do so has lost the confidence of the members,” an open letter to members on the petition website stated.


In December last year, AISA elected a new board of directors which act as an operational board, rather than the governing board set-up of previous years.

One of the new look board’s first actions was to pass a vote of no-confidence in the position of CEO, leading to the departure of Arno Brok.

The creation of the position was one of the driving factors in the financial woes of the association, which has seen expenditure exceed income for the first time and a net loss of $188,000 last financial year, according to AISA AGM minutes.

The petition website does not explicitly mention the abandonment of the CEO role, but does make reference to “recent events that have negatively impacted our association”.

“The Directors…note that it is crucial for uncertainty to be removed for all, and stability to be restored as swiftly as possible, to ensure that there is no impact on key upcoming events in 2017,” a statement by AISA said.

AISA also announced that its AGM will be moved to November to improve member participation. The new board initially proposed an earlier AGM as a compromise to petitioners.

“AISA plays a critical role in the development of a robust information security sector through its specific focus on building the capacity of cyber security professionals in Australia. We are supported by nearly 3,000 industry leaders and their engagement is vital to ensure that our decisions heading into 2018 reflect the interests of all AISA members,” said Damien Manuel, AISA deputy chair.