Earlier in April, AURA held it’s AGM in Perth, with a good group of members participating electronically from the eastern states. I had the opportunity to highlight some of the Association’s achievements for 2017, these included:

  • The Association comprised 475 members in December 2017, approximately a 20% increase on 2016.
  • There were 58 events listed on AURA’s calendar of events.
  • Australian teams participated in IAU World Championships, representing Australia proudly at both the Trail event held in Italy in June and the 24-hour event in Belfast Northern Ireland in July.
  • A research study was undertaken of AURA members, race organisers, elite athletes and the wider Australian ultra running community on wide ranging matters that will assist the Association with determining future initiatives.
  • Sub Committees were formed in October to develop strategy recommendations addressing:
    • awareness and interest
    • equity
    • membership acquisition and membership value propositions
    • assistance and support for event organisers
    • funding
    • elite performance

A comprehensive strategic blueprint for AURA will be finalised from these contributions during 2018.

  • A review was conducted of AURA’s event listing process by Andy Hewat, Kerrie Bremner and Greg Robinson. Significant changes in processes were recommended and implemented. An event Safety Standard document is currently being developed and hoped to be implemented in 2018.
  • After consultation with AURA members a decision was reached to move the UltraMag magazine from a hard copy printed publication to one available online. The savings in printing costs helped fund the appointment of a contracted marketing officer.
  • Discussions were initiated with Athletics Australia to formalise a relationship. A memorandum of understanding is currently being developed and will be implemented in 2018.
  • A new website was developed and implemented, providing more of a focus on news both from AURA and ultra running as a sport. Access to some content was restricted to financial members only. As well as this, an online results system integrated with DUV was made live.

Elections were held for office bearers of the Association, and AURA’s new committee for 2018 is:

President: Rob Donkersloot
Vice President: Alexis Oosterhoff
Secretary: Pam Muston
Treasurer: Ness Hartge

State representatives were also appointed:

Qld: Susannah Harvey-Jamieson
NSW: Luke Mulley and Lou Clifton
Vic: Nikki Wynd
SA: Chris Glacks
WA: David Kennedy

AURA would like to thank outgoing committee members Elizabeth Bennett and Jodie C Oborne for their terrific contribution to the committee and to AURA for the last year. A profile on Elizabeth Bennett has been included in this edition of UltraMag to showcase her significant contribution over many years to AURA and to ultra running. I thank Liz on behalf of all AURA members.