• Nigel Davies, Fespa Australia.
    Nigel Davies, Fespa Australia.

The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association of Australia (SGIAA) has voted to change its name to Fespa Australia, becoming part of the global Fespa association, formalising a long-time affliation.

The decision was made at the SGIAA's annual general meeting this week, and according to Nigel Davies, president, attracted significant support from members.

“Last year we submitted a detailed business plan and funding application to the Fespa Board, and were invited to take the Fespa name. We can now announce that our members have voted to support this change,” he said. “Not all members in the Association voted, but nobody who voted was against the decision.”

Fespa Australia will enjoy an array of benefits from its involvement with the global organisation, adding strong brand recognition to that list, says Davies.

“Fespa is a federation of 37 national associations whose members share the same challenges our members do. Fespa supports these associations through its Profit for Purpose program, and the projects that Fespa has financially supported have enabled fantastic outcomes for the industry in Australia, and across the world.

“Internationally it’s a great forum for us to learn from the experiences of other organisations, and it is important from Australia’s perspective that Fespa is a strong brand – most printers in Australia will have heard of Fespa, and associate it with innovations in technology. It’s a global community of organisations like us,” he said.

Other than the mechanics of the name change, Davies told Print21 that it’s business as usual at the association.

“We’ve been a part of the Fespa forum and Fespa community for a long time. This is a change of name, but fundamentally our position doesn’t change,” he said.

A new Board was also voted in at the AGM, comprising Davies as president; David Asker of ImageBox as vice-president; Keith Ferrel of Cactus Imaging as general secretary; Mark Brooks of Ancyn Screenprinters as treasurer; Ben Isdale of Super Special as public relations officer; and Donovan Sendall of Rawtech Solutions as supplier director.

“We have voted in a new, strong and balanced board of key people representing different parts of our industry,” said Davies, who added that the board has a lot to do to address issues in the industry, including attracting new blood.

“We need to make sure young people are coming into the industry, and we need our members to benefit in the industry over others,” he said. “Training is scarce in some parts of the industry and we need to work out how we address that.”

Davies also highlighted the importance of community in the industry. "There are great opportunities for people in interacting with each other, and everything I’ve achieved in my career has come about through contacts from my involvement in the association,” he said.

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