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AIPP Chapters – you could write a book!

While the AIPP in 2021 seems to have been in a coma, communications-wise, Inside Imaging looked for signs of life and found them! Eventually.

Radical change hit the AIPP when ‘Chapters’ replaced the State Council structure earlier this year. They are formed by groups of at least five people sharing an image-making interest from within or outside the AIPP. Chapters are ‘self-managed’, with an unspecified degree of financial independence to organise events and other initiatives.

The Institute invited non-professional organisations, such as camera clubs, to apply to become AIPP Chapters. These constitution-changing decisions were made without member consultation.

‘Everyone can jump in, including amateurs,’ AIPP board member responsible for communications, Felisha Mina, told Inside Imaging back in February. ‘We’re taking away the word “professional” – so long as you’re image makers. It doesn’t matter, so long as you’re taking a photo you can be part of the whole thing.’

However, the word ‘Professional’ is still in the organisation’s name. ‘In name only’ perhaps?

Since the radical change of direction, AIPP Chapters have apparently proliferated while not making a noticeable impact: An outsider peering over the AIPP’s high walls could well assume the Institute isn’t up to much besides devising a couple of photo contests. (Not something the photographic community is in desperate need of!)

While the AIPP Digest blog last year featured a bi-monthly ‘President’s Message‘ along with regular e-news, it is now barely ticking along. The AIPP website homepage has remained stagnant since the ‘New Look’, with the Silver Lining Awards results from April 2021 still a headline. No word on other activities, such as advocacy efforts or upcoming events.

Inside Imaging‘s attempts to contact AIPP board members, including the elusive Chair, Les Morrison, have been ignored. This is a first – even the National Office under Peter Myers, often criticised for lacking transparency and communication, always fielded questions from us. It appears the barricades have been pulled up. Rude? Perhaps. Unprofessional? Definitely.

But news is something someone somewhere doesn’t want widely known, which makes the AIPP intrinsically newsworthy.  So having been given the silent treatment, we trawled ASIC for signs of life and to our surprise discovered that the AIPP has been keeping itself, um, productive by registering new business names. Over 20 of them in the last seven months! And here they all are:
AIPP ADELAIDE AND REGIONAL SA CHAPTER
AIPP AUSTRALIAN COMMERCIAL CHAPTER
AIPP BRISBANE CHAPTER
AIPP CANBERRA CHAPTER
AIPP EQUINE PHOTOGRAPHERS CHAPTER
AIPP GREATER ADELAIDE CHAPTER
AIPP GREATER MELBOURNE CHAPTER
AIPP GREATER SYDNEY CHAPTER
AIPP LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY CHAPTER
AIPP MACARTHUR CHAPTER
AIPP MORNINGTON PENINSULA CHAPTER
AIPP NATURE AND WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY CHAPTER
AIPP NEWCASTLE/HUNTER CHAPTER
AIPP PERTH CHAPTER
AIPP PERTH COMMERCIAL CHAPTER
AIPP TELEVISION
AIPP TOP END CHAPTER
AIPP WA EASTERN REGIONAL CHAPTER
AIPP WA EDUCATION CHAPTER
AIPP WA FINE ART PORTRAIT CHAPTER
AIPP WA WOMENS PHOTOGRAPHY CHAPTER
AIPP WOMEN IN PHOTOGRAPHY

There are some rather odd omissions from the list of registered Chapters. No State or Territory other than the Northern one has a registered Chapter, including Victoria New South Wales, Queensland, ACT, Tasmania, and Western Australia. However all capital cities, excluding Hobart and Darwin, have a Chapter. Despite the AIPP board justifying Chapters due to regional members being left behind by city-centric State Councils, there are only three ‘regional’ Chapters: suburban Macarthur, Newcastle/Hunter, and WA Eastern Regional.

There are no Wedding, Events, Newborn, or Family Portraiture Chapters, but there are Nature and Wildlife, Landscape Photography, and Equine Photographers Chapter. There are Women in Photography and a WA Womens Chapter. Western Australians have mobilised to create a few niche groups, such as WA Fine Art Portrait, WA Education, WA Womens, Perth Commercial Chapter, while other states have not.

Inside Imaging also found some Chapters, such as the Northern Queensland Chapter, are not yet registered with ASIC, but are active on Facebook

The AIPP hasn’t disclosed the internal arrangement between the Institute and the apparently autonomous Chapters. The AIPP hasn’t articulated the benefits and shortcomings of forming a Chapter.

For instance, would the AIPP offer a small parcel of money to five image-making friends with smartphones living in Victoria’s west coast if they expressed an interest in forming a Chapter? Or do they pay a registration fee? What’s the deal?

If a Chapter event runs at a considerable financial loss, will the Institute cover the losses? On the flip side, does the AIPP take a cut of profitable events? Do profitable Chapters subsidise unprofitable Chapters? What incentive is there for an independent camera club to come under AIPP branding?

Anyone with answers to these mystifying questions is welcome to contact wills@insideimaging.com.au

8 Comments

  1. Malcolm Mathieson Malcolm Mathieson August 10, 2021

    The courtesy or response is the least you expect, sad days.

    • Keith Shipton Keith Shipton August 12, 2021

      It’s a bit frustrating, but to be honest the strategy of simply ignoring media enquiries you can’t be bothered with is a growing trend in the 21st century. The irony here is that Felisha Mina, the deputy chair (or whatever title these dudes are annointing themselves with these days) of the AIPP, while not a professional photographer herself, claims some expertise and role at the AIPP in marketing communications: ‘To date, I’ve helped to redefine their marketing strategy, value proposition and messaging, in order to increase member engagement, retention and acquisition,’ she boasts on her LinkedIn page. Yet the communications strategy seems to be pretty arrogant and unsophisticated: ‘Don’t tell anyone anything!

  2. Roger Garwood Roger Garwood August 11, 2021

    What a ludicrous state of affairs. The AIPP has finally become little more than a disjointed camera club.

  3. Peter Jacobsen Peter Jacobsen August 12, 2021

    THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED DUE TO ITS OFFENSIVE NATURE. WE BELIEVE THE PERSON MAKING THE COMMENT IS HIDING BEHIND A FALSE IDENTITY.

    • Keith Shipton Keith Shipton August 13, 2021

      Geez Petey, that’s a bit harsh. Who woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, hey?

  4. Malcolm Mathieson Malcolm Mathieson August 13, 2021

    Keith the ball is in your court………….how about some details to show you have a point regarding the lack of communication from the AIPP

    • Will Shipton Will Shipton Post author | August 13, 2021

      I wrote this article, Malcolm. Peter’s vicious attitude, calling our work a ‘squalid little rag’, is the kind of vitriolic name calling that doesn’t deserve a response. But for the sake of setting the record straight and ‘fact checking’.

      On February 25, I e-mailed AIPP board member, Louise, with five questions regarding the shift from ‘President’ to Chair.
      On April 7, Keith e-mailed AIPP chair, Les, via his website e-mail, with seven question so we could write a bio that would introduce him as chair and provide information about who was at the helm of the AIPP.

      Both of these e-mails didn’t receive a reply. Ignored, or went missing? We made a note of this in two article:
      https://www.insideimaging.com.au/2021/aipp-whos-at-the-helm/
      https://www.insideimaging.com.au/2021/les-morrison-is-new-aipp-chair/

      Both these articles were most likely read by AIPP board members. And still no response after they went live. So whose court is the ball in?

  5. Malcolm Mathieson Malcolm Mathieson August 14, 2021

    Thanks, Keith, now we have the details we will see if you get the deserved responses and can inform the wider photographic community with who you communicate. As for Peters response, the less said the better.

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