R.L. DAVIS President 1985: Brief note inCite Jan 1997 p9
Ron Davis was involved with Western Australian Branch and served on Branch Council for over ten years before being elected president in 1985. Davis' concerns encompassed the special needs of librarians living in more remote areas who could not easily participate in LAA activities.
Why be President?: Ron Davis in inCite v9, no. 16, 23 Sept 1988, p. 6
Why would anyone being of sound mind, wish to devote three years of their life to the national Vice President, President and Past President cycle. Cynics will conclude that people seek the office because it will add a certain lustre to their curriculum vitae. Others argue that those who seek to be the centre of attention will be happy to accept nomination.
There is no doubt that the three-year cycle is very demanding of one's time and energy. And regrettably, there are few librarians who are willing to make the sacrifice. Both the scarcity of applicants for high office and the very low voting patterns are a sad reflection on our profession.
I would encourage any librarian who is not daunted by the prospect of public speaking and as communicators we should not be daunted by that prospect - to give very serious consideration to standing for national office, preferably after considerable exposure at Branch or Section level.
I certainly found my period of national office with the LAA to be stimulating and demanding. It gave me the opportunity to participate at the highest level of policy making, contributing to the future direction of the Association. However, at the end of my three-year cycle in December 1986, I retired with a mixture of relief and satisfaction. Relieved, that I would no longer have to devote such a large amount of time attending meetings in distant capital cities, yet satisfied with my contribution to what I considered to be important developments within the LAA.
During that period the LAA had gone through a Corporate Review, and had accepted the restructuring proposal in the review. During my office we had also come to grips with the escalating cost of membership, dramatically reduced membership fees and reversed the perception, that some members of the profession had, that the cost of membership was too high.
My experience as Vice-President, President and Past President of the LAA was a rewarding one. Along with a very able group of colleagues, an impact was made on the future development of the Association. Contacts were made and two successful biennial conferences were held.
It is easy to complain about your professional association. It is not so easy to make a commitment to seek to change the LAA. But if you are prepared to make that commitment, the rewards are tangible.