Three messages of strong growth, a focus on international and enterprise, and an acknowledgement of much work-in-progress were offered to attendees at the 2018 AGM for the New Zealand VR/AR Association Incorporated held at PROJECTR Wellington on Thursday July 5.
Review of 2017/18
Outgoing Chair, Michael Gregg presented the latest audited accounts and the following review for the XR industry audience:
- Major Growth – strong revenue and membership growth, strategic partners, event attendance
- Membership – big growth in members: a broad mix of student, individual, start-up, and tertiary members
- Key Highlights – MOU with Taiwan’s TAVAR; sold out 3D Acquisition events; industry reports.
- Major milestones – unanimous decision to withdraw from the VRARA model; successful managed wind-down of another NZ VR group;
- Thanks to our Executive Committee, seconded members and strategic partners for their diligent representation of the industry.
- Special thanks to Courteney Lomas for her commitment to the efficient operation of the Society during 17/18 as our first paid Executive Director and as our first Student Chapter President.
Signalling a direction for the incoming Executive Committee to consider was the following eight-point plan:
- Increase focus on national student services, engage enterprise users, build international links to secure a sustainable future for the NZVRARA and effectively promote our sector;
- By demonstrating value, we will retain and expand our membership & strategic partner base;
- Undertake our first NZVRARA National Conference;
- Find ways to help members get offshore to demonstrate our national capability;
- Stronger partnerships with central government departments and agencies to ensure XR is part of their future digital economy plans and aspirations for New Zealand;
- Build partnerships with the international brands that are the backbone of the global VR/AR industry;
- Increase the operational assistance needed to execute our marketing, membership & events; and
- Build out the Student Chapter nationally to provide a clear pipeline to on-the-job training and careers.
Retiring by rotation and to facilitate the reduction in the size of the Executive Committee down from 16 to 10 were Michael Gregg (Chair), Dr Roy Davies, Alejandro Davila, Raqi Syed, Amy Nally (Treasurer), Daniil Ivshin and Henry Lane.
Taking the five vacant positions were five nominees: Maher Hatab (Auckland), Sarah Gibson and Oscar Keys (Wellington), Rob Lindeman (Christchurch) and Holger Regenbrecht (Dunedin). They were appointed without election and join Sam Ramlu and Alex Legg (Auckland), Peter Houston, Rachel Hatch and Brian Lucid (Wellington) to make up the 2018/19 NZVRARA Board. It was noted that the NZVRARA now has representation across four main centres.
Acknowledging Michael Gregg’s leadership role in establishing and driving the Association as Chair, he was voted to become the first Life Member of the NZVRARA and awarded an Ambassador role to continue to support and promote the Association nationally and internationally. Michael was presented with a carved Waka (Māori canoe) in recognition of his efforts and achievements for the Society.