The Real Media Collective turns one

Compliance – tick. An official name – tick. Consumer Affairs, ATO and ASIC registrations – tick.

The Real Media Collective was borne out of a collaboration between the Australasian Catalogue Association, the Australian Paper Industry Association and Two Sides Australia Ltd in 2018 to lift the future sustainability of the sector. Now one year on, all three organisations have merged into one and have been officially incorporated.

With Ovato managing director and chairman Kevin Slaven as chairman, IVE Group chief executive officer Matt Aitken as deputy chairman, Salmat CEO Rebecca Lowde as Treasurer and Kellie Northwood, a passionate voice of print and paper, as chief executive officer, the collective is now officially a Collective.

The Collective’s board also includes Craig Dunsford, executive general manager northern region Ovato, Bambra Press owner John Wanless, Australia Post head of mail channel and product Mark Roberts and Webstar NZ CEO Bernie Roberts. The board, Collective members and potential members came together in Sydney this week to celebrate its first birthday and also to hold its AGM, which let’s face it took about five minutes tops to complete.

Despite the healthy dose of conviviality in the room, there was some official business to deal with.

Topping the list was Northwood’s announcement that the financial audits of each of the organisations that came together to create the Collective have been completed and approved by the TRMC board with no contraventions. A special resolution notice to members seeking approval of the name – The Real Media Collective – was also given the nod with 81 per cent of those returning a vote in favour.

The other key part of the AGM was delivering the information that TRMC is now registered with the Department of Consumer Affairs as a corporation and it is also registered with the ATO and ASIC.

It was also announced that Slaven has finished his two-year rotation as chairman with Aitken now stepping into the seat for his turn.

In handing over the chair to Aitken, Slaven said it has been an honour and a privilege to have served.

“I’ve been extremely proud and privileged to be the chair of this association, now Collective,” Slaven said.

“I think we have moved mountains in the last two or three years, as an industry we have evolved and as the association or the industry body supporting the industry we needed to evolve with it.

“Kellie has spent an amazing amount of time coercing, speaking, debating with not just the board but with the industry generally. I think she has done a fantastic job at moving us very quickly to where we are today as the Real Media Collective.

“This industry is not going to stop changing and evolve and all of us need to accept the fact that whilst we are extremely fierce competitors on the field in most cases we are actually very much playing on the same team to the extent that this industry needs a very strong and cohesive industry body and association and collective to support it.”

Northwood also acknowledged the work of Simon Doggett of Ball & Doggett, who has been the Treasurer of Two Sides Australia.

She also acknowledged Craig Dunsford for his work with Two Sides and Ricoh as the sponsor of the evening.

Aitken reiterated the role of the Collective is to find the best way forward when it comes to moving the industry to the next phase and ensure its long-term sustainability.

“We’ve got people in the room tonight who aren’t members of the Collective and hopefully you get a feel of what we are about,” Aitken said.

“How do we do things that are better for our industry moving forward? We represent our members and everything that our members in this industry want. It’s important we have a good strong industry, be a strong employer, that we do very cool things and we enjoy working together in this space.

“I jumped on this board with Phil Taylor back in late 2016, early 2017 and it’s gone through a significant amount of change in that couple of years with Kevin’s leadership at the helm in the chair.

“I’m really grateful for him taking the reins and jumping into that seat as I’ve got to know a little bit more about the catalogue side of the industry and what The Real Media Collective is all about. I’m really excited about the next 12 months and 24 months ahead.”

And with that the meeting was officially closed leaving plenty of time for networking and catching up with industry colleagues.

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