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Why do some think the rules only apply to others.

Upholding Equality and Transparency: Navigating Board Dynamics

Latin wisdom encapsulates the concept of "first among equals" or "Primus inter pares," acknowledging the honorary status of an individual who, while formally equal to others, is respected due to their seniority.

This principle holds relevance in the context of organisational boards, where every member, including the chairman, is an equal participant.

Within any organisation governed by members or shareholders, rules apply universally, and selective quoting of constitutional provisions raises questions about transparency.

A recent incident involving Jason Ryan, Chair of Transplant Australia, highlights concerns regarding the impartial application of constitutional principles.

In a letter addressing statements on social media post , Chairman Ryan emphasised the Board's rejection of allegations, suggesting they were defamatory based on legal advice. However, it's crucial to note that defamation laws don't apply to statements that contain facts, general opinions, or statements without specific identifications.

The letter further notified the recipient of an Expulsion Event, citing Article 2.9(a) of the TA Constitution. What wasn't explicitly mentioned in the letter was the member's right to provide an oral defense, as stated in Article 2.9(c).

Despite the constitutional clarity allowing either written or oral defense, the member's request for an oral presentation remains unanswered.

This raises concerns about the consistent application of constitutional rights to all members.

As the member awaits confirmation for the oral defense, the principles of fairness, justice, and transparency should guide board actions. The expectation is that board members advocating for these principles will ensure that the member's right to present an oral defense is acknowledged and facilitated promptly.

In the pursuit of organisational integrity, it is crucial to uphold constitutional rights uniformly for all members. Anything less may inadvertently raise questions about the intent behind selectively emphasising certain aspects of the constitution.

As the situation unfolds, the hope is for a fair and just resolution, with all members of the board being guided by principles of equality, transparency, and respect for every member's rights.

Editors update:

A little after 5:15pm today I received confirmation that Transplant Australia are considering the member's request to present an oral defence as per the the constitution.

An excerpt from the email read

In the letter from the Chair dated November 20 you were given to Monday, December 4 to provide a written submission in response to the proposed expulsion event. You were kindly reminded of that opportunity on November 30. By the deadline you had indicated you wished to make an oral submission and the Board will meet soon to decide the next steps and when that oral submission will be possible.

The Board will be in touch.

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