Today I attended the Opera Australia Annual General Meeting.
I went there with the express purpose of voting against Rowena Danziger’s re-election as a director, but I am afraid the whole thing was such a cup-of-tea-and-bikkies occasion that I piked on this and did not raise my sole hand to vote against her. It would have been futile, and she is still not a woman lightly crossed.
Mrs Danziger has been a director for 18 years, and quite apart from my opinion of her personally, I think that is more than enough for anyone to serve on this sort of board. On the other hand, she is good at rallying the funds from her big end of town mates. I suspect this is an aspect of her still-not-relinquished power at Ascham, and it is clearly part of the basis on which board members get co-opted at the Opera, and as an opera-goer, I suppose I have benefitted from this, even if the really big money still comes from the government and the board members are riding on the coat-tails of this. My, that board is a cosy club.
Perhaps I will be able to mount a more concerted campaign in 2 (or maybe it is 3) years’ time when Mrs Danziger is next up for election. 20 (or 21) years is surely more than enough.
Judging from the minutes of last year’s meeting (11 members present in person and chairman holding 14 proxies) or my observation of this year’s (a little more – I came in just when the numbers were being read out, but not more than 30 or 40 including proxies so far as I made out) this would not necessarily be difficult, though of course if the board got wind of any ambush you could expect a more healthy round-up of proxies.
So it is tempting to start asking anyone I know who is a subscriber to the opera to become a member of the company, and then to solicit their proxies. Maybe I should be canvassing amongst disgruntled former Ascham students. I am sure there are some.