• Haywards - Gavin Sowry

    Haywards - Gavin Sowry

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  • Da duo

    Da duo

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How can I be part of the Guild Executive?

As outlined in our recent  newsletter, the annual general meeting of the NZ Model Railway Guild will be held in Christchurch during the Convention (7-11 October). Most of the current members of the Executive are standing down after being elected in 2016. We are therefore seeking interest from amongst our members to fill the roles being left vacant.

The Executive members have served for 6 years or more on the Guild Executive. They have provided considerable service to the hobby and would now like to recapture their time to pursue other elements of the hobby. The Executive has invested considerable energy over the past three years reviewing the purpose, strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities that present themselves for the Guild. The current executive believes that the Guild has an exciting future, that we have only just touched on with the likes of the well-received online Journal archives. Having undertaken this review and mapped out a potential future for the Guild, the Exec believes that it will need a fresh energy and more focused skills to bring these visions to fruition (should a future Executive wish to pursue these or modify them).

If you think you may be interested and want to find out some more about being part of the Executive, simply send us your contact details to secretary@nzmrg.org.nz by 31st July and we will then arrange to be in contact with you.

Traditionally the Executive has been made up of a small group (5-7 members) of like-minded people from the same geographic area who already knew one another due to the logistics of being able to meet in person to hold meetings.However, with the advent of online tools, this opens the opportunity for interested people to be spread across NZ, or even the globe. This opens some exciting opportunities for you and the Guild as outlined in the next section.

One Future Vision for the Guild

There are many futures the Guild can have. We offer one vision outlined below; both so you can have an idea of what the current Exec has been up to, and secondly to provide you with some inspiration to help you as you consider taking on a more active role either as part of the Executive or in the other supporting roles. There is no obligation for an incoming Executive to adopt the following vision, but hopefully it provides a base to work from.

The Executive has invested considerable energy over the past three years reviewing the purpose, strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities that present themselves for the Guild. This has included an external review to challenge our thoughts including whether there is a need for a Guild or whether we should simply persevere with the flagship Journal as a standalone commercial entity.

It is not feasible to succinctly cover the extent of the review here, but this can be discussed with any members registering an EOI for joining the Executive. In summary, and as confirmed by our ‘challenge team’ review we believe that the Guild and Journal has a strong brand and stable financial base that would be the envy of many other entities. As such the future is very much in our (or rather your) control.

Our thoughts in brief:

1.      That we modify the existing ‘objective’ of the Guild as outlined in the constitution. This is to provide a greater breadth of scope and opportunity for the membership to embrace and to be more reflective of the hobby:

Existing wording: The objects of the Guild shall be to provide a link between model railway enthusiasts for the encouragement of modelling the New Zealand prototype.

Proposed wording: The objective of the Guild is to encourage and support our passion for modelling the NZ Railway Scene.

2.      That we do away with the current Area Representatives. A key function of the Reps historically was a point of contact for local activity. This can now be covered globally via the likes of Facebook.

3.      Replace the Area Reps with team of ‘Correspondents’. The primary role being to seek out and encourage members to submit content for the various media of the Guild (Journal / Facebook / Website). This will be a core part of the editorial team. The aim is to create a greater range of content to increase the interest value.

4.      Have the Executive Editor focused solely on the layout / production of the Journal. Historically the Editor has also ended up creating much content. This makes the role too big in today’s busy lifestyle and significantly limits the pool of people willing to take on the role to an unsustainable level and therefore jeopardises the future of the Journal.

5.      To revamp the IT architecture to better integrate between the various Guild media. This includes:

a.      Create a more seamless online browsing environment via a new website to integrate social media, online archives, and the shopping experience.

b.      Increasing engagement via more interaction with members by providing online workshops to share knowledge.

c.      Online AGM’s to enable a greater reach and engagement with membership.

d.      Develop the online archives offerings. We have started with the Journal, and have other offerings in the pipeline (watch this space)

6.      Create new roles to complement the Journal Editor by way of Website and Social Media ‘Editors’. We recognise that each online format has its own strengths and weaknesses, so we need to be more deliberate and structured around what part each plays and ensure that it delivers.

7.      We have a vision of creating a central repository of information for our collective modelling convenience that aids our modelling activity. How easy is it to find a post from Facebook from years ago (assuming you remember it was posted), or source data from a website that is no longer maintained. The Guild is not at the mercy of an individual maintaining Facebook Groups or Websites and therefore the Guild is an ideal central depository of research material.

8.      A more dynamic Executive and Support Roles. With the advent of online meeting tools there is no longer the need to find a local team to take on the role as Executive and be stuck in the roll for years waiting to another team be prepared to take over. The Executive can now be more dynamic taking on members to deliver set tasks or allowing members to stand up and down more easily as their availability dictates. No more fear of being trapped on a team for years… so put your hand up for the Exec, or a supporting role.

9.      Membership growth. Leveraging off increased online offerings and digital memberships which in turn can generate more income that can be invested in more offerings…

10.  A more engaged membership. The Guild is your asset. Be prepared to share a photo and an accompanying paragraph of what you are up to. This creates lots of variety and interest and sense of belonging. Offering online workshops to share knowledge and inspiration.

We envisage a restructure of the Guild as indicated in the diagram below. This is to create a more resilient future and improve the ability of the Guild membership to get the most from it by embracing a more collective ownership.

The objective of the Guild is to encourage and support our passion for modelling the NZ Railway Scene

Open a Draft Guild Executive Structure here

Guild Offerings:

The Journal – Inspiration & Celebration of the hobby

Social Media (Facebook?) – connections / today – the here and now…

Website – Intro to the hobby / Subs / Online Shop / Selected Articles / Blog / Archives (plans / photo library / Back Issues) / Manufacturer links / Constitution….

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