Industry bodies likely to ‘coalesce’: Macaulay

Andrew Macaulay is preparing to bid farewell to the printing industry almost five years after he set about modernising the 140-year-old Printing Industries Association of Australia, now known as the Print & Visual Communication Association.

Macaulay is moving on to a commercial international trade role but will have the flexibility to stay on with the PVCA until a replacement is found. The PVCA are now actively recruiting for a replacement and are hopeful of finding someone within the industry to take it on.

Macaulay told Sprinter the job he was brought in to do is now done – with a lengthy strategic restructure finished and the association now in a more financially secure position.

“The organisation has changed, evolved and modernised and it is ready for its next set of steady hands,” Macaulay told Sprinter.

“I’ve really enjoyed what I did. Restructuring, re-organising and revitalising is always difficult, and it is a different skill set to running a steady ship.”

Print & Visual Communication Association outgoing CEO Andrew Macaulay

Challenges ahead

When asked about the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for the association, Macaulay said ensuring small businesses, which make up a significant portion of the industry, are well serviced with industrial relations support is crucial.

He also said it will become even more important that a united industry voice is presented to politicians and policymakers.

During his tenure, Macaulay instigated the Print2Parliament event which gives the gold medal winners of the National Print Awards an opportunity to show their work to politicians and policymakers to help keep print front of mind.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO James Pearson (L) and Andrew Macaulay CEO of Print and Visual Communications Association (R) at Print2Parliament in 2019

This event, including the state-based PICA awards and the National Print Awards, will now be run by the joint venture business created between suppliers association, Visual Connections, and the PVCA.

Industry convergence

Another topic that comes up regularly in industry talk is the coming together, or merging, of the PVCA with The Real Media Collective – which was formed in 2018 through a merger between the Australasian Catalogue Association (ACA), TSA Limited and the Australasian Paper Industry Association (APIA).

Since its inception The Real Media Collective has been led by CEO Kellie Northwood with a charter of creating a strong and united industry position.

Like the PVCA, it has represented industry to government including a successful Treasury consultation for the Keep Me Posted campaign which targets the importance of paper billing, the successful extension of the waste paper export ban and the Australia Post price negotiations for charity mail and print post.

It also employs an industrial relations expert and hosts webinars to help the print industry strengthen through education and networking.

When asked about a possibility of these two bodies joining together, Macaulay pointed to a likely coalescence of industry bodies as this would strengthen the industry’s voice in discussions with policymakers and politicians on behalf of the ever-broadening visual communications industry.

“There is a path that eventually will coalesce,” Macaulay said.

“I think it is highly likely to happen because there are too many conversations going on about it for it not to happen. People genuinely want it to happen but that is not the only opportunity and focus for the future.

“Printing Industries is the registered organisation and legitimately recognised industry organisation. It is also the voice to government because it is the lobbying voice and you are going to see a need for stronger voices into government for industries.

“That is what will ultimately drive this because the process of driving policy at a government level does not happen in one conversation, it happens over months and years. Most of those (other) organisations don’t have a voice into policy formulation.

“Why be a member of three organisations when you can be a member of one?”

Right person for the time: Kuhn

PVCA President Walter Kuhn commended Macaulay for his achievements as CEO, saying he was the right person for the job that was required to modernise the organisation.

“The organisation needed re-structure and refocus, and Andrew has created an agile modern organisation. We thank him for doing the often challenging work associated with this,” Kuhn said.

“The PVCA Board feels excited and invigorated by the opportunities to grow our industry association and deliver outstanding value to our members.

“We are looking for a hands-on GM with the experience to grow our membership and lead our team.”

Kuhn also confirmed discussions are ongoing between the PVCA and The Real Media Collective but said any joining together would require a common ground to be found between both organisation’s Boards.

“It would be good for the industry if we had one body to represent the whole industry, like it used to be. It is always better to have one voice but it has got to be a decision between the two Boards so if they can’t come to a common ground than it is hard for it to happen,” Kuhn said.

“The Board’s philosophy has to be taken into consideration. You must be able to take two like-minded organisations together, you can’t try and bring two non like-minded organisations together – that’s just chaos.”

When Sprinter approached Northwood about the topic of a potential coalescence, or joining together, she said:

“The Real Media Collective remains open to any and all discussions about how to unite the industry for the betterment of everyone.

“We are having discussions with many associations and in all of those discussions we are looking at how to achieve more for our members and industry.

“I wish Andrew all the very best and thank him for his contribution to the industry – five years is a significant term.”

The Real Media Collective CEO Kellie Northwood

Anyone from within the industry who would be interested in applying for the PVCA executive role is urged to contact Walter Kuhn.

The job:

PVCA is seeking an experienced executive to lead the organisation in delivering the national membership strategy, communications, engagement, partnership/sponsorship program, sustainability accreditation programs, networking activities, and enhanced member services.

A detailed recruitment pack is available. This can be obtained by emailing [email protected], and all applications should be addressed, in confidence, to same email.

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