To our valued carers and dedicated ARQ supporters.
Recently we have all been dragged into a war of words, resulting in some colourful inappropriate accusations, slander and language that we have heard recently, being used to defame myself, the ARQ committee, and ARQ as a whole. For this – I offer my humble apologies.
The executive committee and I have addressed as many of these questions, rumours and accusations as we have heard recently. We understand that there have been accusations pertaining to continual lies, and we don’t doubt that this Q&A will be seen in the same light by those who do not care to read or accept the other side of the story. Regardless, we have answered each question raised.
Shall you wish to share this with previous ARQ carers who are no longer on these forums, it would be much appreciated.
Moving forward, we are excited to be building a positive, happy, productive team of dedicated ARQ carers and supporters once more. This starts with a change in procedures, improvement in communication and a shift in culture.
We consider this matter now finalised. With that I will urge you as an individual, to please put these matters behind you and move on. Should you be unable to do this, please be professional and courteous to everyone here and remove yourself accordingly. By making this space uncomfortable for everyone, it only interferes with more dogs being rescued while we and other rescue groups have less carer to help them. I am positive this isn’t what anyone is aiming for.
We hold no ill feelings nor grudges towards anyone who has recently been upset with us or myself. Rather I wish these people all the best in their future endeavours and hope that each and every one of them remains a positive influence in the rescue world. After all – it’s only about the dogs.
Animal Rescue QLD INC.
Below are questions & statements made to Animal Rescue QLD INC, the answers are the official response from ARQ Operations Manager.
Q: Who is on the board of ARQ and what positions do they hold?
A: ARQ operates under a committee with the following people holding positions:
Q: Does ARQ hold AGM’s and are they open to the public?
A: Yes AGM meetings are open to the general public and in accordance with our governing rules, AGM’s are advertised in print media 30days prior to the AGM date.
Q: Are the minutes of the AGM available to view?
A: Minutes to the AGM are complied after the fact, and distributed to the committee and members by the secretary within a reasonable time frame. The minutes of any meeting are only available to the members and not available for public viewing in accordance with the governing rules of a not for profit.
Q: What are the financials of ARQ?
A: The audited financial report is available to view in person at the AGM. However should any other interested parties wish to see the yearly audited report, they can also access all regulatory documents at http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/
Q: Most charities have external auditors who manage these things to keep the charities above board does ARQ?
A: In accordance with Associations regulations ARQ required to use external auditors. ARQ complies with these regulations.
Q: What is your complaints procedure and Where is this written?
A: We have an internal feedback procedure that covers complaints, this document relates to feedback received via email or webfrom from our website and determines how a complaint should be managed and the appropriate areas to engage should resolution be required. Feedback can be provided by a dedicated webform located on our Contact Us page
Q: What policies and procedures do you have in place, that are available to carers?
A: The policies and procedures are sent to carers each and every time they receive a new foster dog with ARQ.
Q: So they have a clear transparent outline of ARQ’s goals and visions?
A: This information would be included in a mission/vision statement, and we will organize this to be added to our website at the earliest opportunity.
Q: As well as policies that clearly outline their roles and requirements?
A: the foster carers responsibilities is outlined in detail in the foster care agreement – provided to and signed by each carer before beginning fostering for ARQ.
Q: Not those sent out by email or on a foster agreement… but readily available and accessible by carers all the time to refer to?
A: As outlined above these items are sent to foster carers via email to ensure that they have a copy that is readily available and they can refer to at anytime.
Q: And does anyone profit from ARQ?
A: No one profits from ARQ.
Q: Does anyone draw a wage and how can it be non for profit if someone besides the dogs is profiting from the contributions made by the carers and general public?
A: We have paid staff, which abides by our governing laws. Our staff are not paid from the donations acquired by the public. More information confirming this can be found at: http://www.pilch.org.au/assets/files/whatdoesnfpmean200810.pdf
Q: Who is in the leadership team:
Adoptions – Kerrie Williams
Accounts – Kelly Macdonald
Fostering – Liz Adamson
IT, media and events – Kisharn Worsley
Liaisons – Hayley Docking
Donations – Hayley Macdonald
Transport – this position is yet to be filled
Operations manager – Mel Gillard
2IC – Pamela Yap
Mackay coordinator – Jess Saunders
Q: Who founded ARQ?
A: Mel Gillard
Q: What happened to the Volunteer of the Year nomination?
A: The volunteer of the year was removed from our forums as it was not a nomination made by ARQ, it was a personally nomination. We spoke with both affected parties to explain our reasons to remove it from ARQ forums.
Q: Why did some carers have their foster dogs rehomed?
A: Management decided to rehome the foster dogs because through their statements in Bark and Angels forum, we have deemed that the carers had lost sight of the mission of ARQ which is to save dogs. Making unfounded statements with no evidence, unfortunately disrupts operations and interferes with ARQ fulfilling its mission. We emailed the carers asking them what their preference was, however there was no response from them. Hence, we had to ultimately make the decision.
Statement: “Mel has used and or benefited from donations from the donated Christmas fundraising / auctions / raffles”
A: This statement is false. The items were auctioned at the Xmas party, online and via online raffles. We still have many great prizes remaining and this will be available as fundraisers as soon as we have suitable HR to properly manage this.
Statement: “Rumors pertaining to Mel’s recent leave in which is thought to have been paid by ARQ or ARQ donations”.
A: This is false. This private holiday had nothing to do with ARQ, nor was the landlord a sponsor or donator of ARQ in any way. The cost associated with my personal leave, was fully paid for by myself and no ARQ funds nor resources were used.
Statement: Animal Rescue QLD INC is not a registered charity with Australian Charities and not for profits commission (ACNC).
A: Animal Rescue QLD INC, is a registered with the ACNC and details can be located by searching our ABN(83 900 252 509) on their website or by following this link – http://www.acnc.gov.au/RN52B75Q?ID=8F17903A-A461-45A7-B19B-3DD1058DB697&noleft=1
Statement: ARQ is currently being investigated by government agencies such as but not limited to Office of Fair Trading, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Australian Charities and not for profits commission (ACNC).
A: ARQ has not been contacted by the above government agency and upon contact from ARQ to the above agencies no mention of an investigation was made. Should ARQ be contacted by a government agency ARQ would comply with all request for information required under law.
Statement: Mel has sought to defraud ARQ and has stolen items donated to ARQ.
Sadly, over the last few weeks, the ARQ Forums on Facebook have been used by a few forum members to loudly and rudely air grievances and opinions . Whilst opinions are very welcome and valuable, within the bounds of civility, there have been accusations of fraudulent behaviour and theft. ARQ takes actions and statements like these very seriously. No proof was offered, no request for information was sought, by the people who made this accusation. This appears to be a personal outburst that is bordering on libellous. All claims of theft and fraudulent activity are false.