Change is coming for IHC Associations and Member Council
IHC Chair Tony Shaw says this year the organisation will focus on providing a clearer role for IHC Associations and the Member Council and improving communication with all members.
In December, Tony told members that an independent review of the IHC Member Council and IHC Associations had suggested some changes in approach.
The review was discussed at a forum before last year’s Annual General Meeting in early October and recommendations from the forum were then considered by the IHC Board. The Board has agreed to adopt the following feedback:
- Retain Associations and the Member Council with reduced functions, making them fit for the future.
- Better resource the Member Council.
- Create more meaningful contact between the Council and the Board and the Council and Associations.
- Amplify the voice and participation of self-advocates.
- Improve IHC’s communication with all members.
An Association and Member Council Working Group has been formed to consider the next steps. Membership was finalised after nomination closed at the end of January – three of the 11 members have been appointed by the IHC Board and eight further members joined after the nominations process. There are four from the South Island, four from Wellington, one from Auckland and two from the Bay of Plenty. They are: David Corner, IHC Self-Advocacy Coordinator; Geoffrey Downing, Self-Advocate and Association committee member; Kim Pollock, Self-Advocate; Lynne Renouf, Association committee member; Anne Gilbert, Member Council; Fiona Diack, Association committee member; Cassy Williams, Member Council; Tony Shaw, IHC Board Chair; Suzanne Win, IDEA Services Board Chair; Barbara Rocco, Member Council Interim Chair; Janine Stewart, General Manager IHC Programmes.
The working group is being facilitated by IHC Director of Advocacy Tania Thomas. The group will meet once the Board has agreed on the detailed scope of work. The working group will provide regular progress reports to the Board, Associations and Member Council.
The final working group report and recommendations will go to the Board by the end of April 2023. Tony says IHC has around 1500 members and some of those most connected with the organisation are involved with Associations or the Member Council. He says the Board has acknowledged that changes need to be made and this year the organisation as a whole will discuss the need for a refreshed strategy.
“Recommendations include retaining both Associations and the Member Council but being clearer and more defined about their role and scope. The report also recommended we review and improve communications with members at all levels.”
Retiring Member Council Chair Barbara Rocco will stay on until a new Chair is appointed. She says last year’s review was a chance to think about how membership, Associations, the Member Council and the IHC Board all operate together. “Our Associations are often a key part of communities, but many Associations work differently from each other as they respond to local need.”
She says the review included a comprehensive survey and many interviews. “We know that, like me, our members are passionate about our organisation and have a real interest in the services it provides, changes within the organisation and our charitable and community programmes.”
Barbara, IHC President from 1994 to 2002, was appointed Member Council Chair by the IHC Board in 2015 and took up the role saying she wanted to give a voice to IHC members who felt disconnected from the organisation. Barbara is also standing down from the IHC Board.
Captions: IHC Director of Advocacy Tania Thomas, IHC Board Chair Tony Shaw and retiring Member Council Chair Barbara Rocco.
This story was published in Strong Voices. The magazine is posted free to all IHC members.
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