Seminar: Making Apartment Living Stress-free, Profitable and Fun | Owners Corporation Network

Seminar: Making Apartment Living Stress-free, Profitable and Fun

On 9 April 2005 the Owners Corporation Network held its second owners seminar at the Museum of Sydney.

More than 75 members of Executive Committees, owners and interested people attended to hear interesting and lively presentations about important and topical strata title matters affecting them.

The seminar opened with some thoughts about the increasing importance and significance of strata title schemes by Jimmy Thomson to challenge conventional wisdom. Jimmy is the co-author of the book “Apartment Living”, and the Sydney Morning Herald columnist who writes ‘Flat Chat’ in Saturday’s edition of Domain and a strata owner.

That was followed by a presentation by Stephen Goddard and Francesco Andreone about the strata law changes introduced in 2003, 2004 and 2005. This informative presentation helped attendees keep up with the latest rules. Stephen Goddard is the Chair of OCN and a lawyer specialising in strata titles. Francesco is the MD of Andreones, a specialist strata title legal practice.

A panel of experienced strata scheme executives (Stephen Goddard, Stephen Falkiner, Bronwyn Connolly and Brian Wood) and Peter Berry from the Office of Fair Trading then answered questions about managing large strata schemes, coping with the new laws and the challenges they have faced. The panel and questions were moderated by Francesco Andreone.

The seminar ended with a lively debate about strata managing agents called ' Strata Managers - a blessing in disguise or an unnecessary evil?' between Jimmy Thomson and David Morris, President of the Institute of Strata Title Management and an experienced strata manager. Although it was not clear who won the debate, it highlighted some of the important things that executives, owners and strata managers need to bear in mind to work together effectively.

The seminar was another example of how OCN contributes to owner knowledge and advances discussion on important strata title matters

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What Members Say

"The whole strata community owes a huge debt of gratitude to you and the OCN executive. Much appreciated."

Robert, Darlinghurst

"I am very pleased with my membership of OCN, the discussions through sharing emails is very valuable in increasing my knowledge of strata living, the laws and EC responsibilities. I think I am better armed to tread the minefield of the managing agent responsibilities and the necessary action of the EC to monitor the contradictory interests of the agent."

Jim, Wollstonecraft

"I so appreciate being part of the OCN email forum. It provides a great opportunity for sharing ideas and learning"

Ingrid, Neutral Bay

"I must say that I have enjoyed and found consolation in the discussions that have been part of the email chain (forum). I did attend one general meeting and found that it was informative and the people "running the show" were knowledgeable and dedicated to the tasks that had taken on. In short, well done. You and the committee have and continue to support the Strata Community in a very professional manner."

Greg, Parramatta

"Nothing is easy in Strata World and we have been in building defects “mode” for some years – hopefully almost at an end but that process has been most demanding and difficult but again – greatly helped by the experience and wise counsel of other members of OCN."

Pat, St Leonards

"Keep up the good work, as many (if not most) strata schemes need your help, advice and representation at all levels of government."

Jann and John, St Ives

"I belong to OCN because of its professionalism.  I have found the meetings I have been to extremely well presented, to the point, and of course very topical and informative. Speakers on the whole certainly know their topic.  My role of Secretary last year was certainly assisted with the coverage regarding TPG & other subjects. Member newsletters are also of benefit as the topics are specific to strata matters."

Graham, East Balmain

I have enjoyed attending the quarterly OCN meetings and the exchange of emails between other Executive Committee Members and think OCN is playing an increasingly important role as a voice for strata dwellers and representing us at Government level. I wish the organisation continuing success in the future."

Pauline, Kings Cross

"The [forum] response to my question was amazing and really useful.  The OCN community is wonderful so thanks."

Jenny, Killara

"I would like to thank you all for the important effort that you are all putting in to look after apartment owners and tenants. It is so valuable and you are heroes. I would not have been able to deal with my duties as a strata chairman without your advice and assistance." 

Angela, Mascot

"The OCN is invaluable – many thanks."

Bill, Surry Hills

"OCN is proving invaluable"

Sue, Neutral Bay

"Thanks to all at OCN for your continuing efforts to keep us up to date with current strata information and advice...it has been very helpful to us"

Kate, Coogee

"When my wife & I first encountered a problematic Executive Committee I heard that OCN was a great help (from a Strata manager whom I knew) so we both joined and have gratefully used the on-line information sources. We continued to happily rely on OCN’s assistance when we progressed to Committee status & later as Chair & Secretary of our Committee. I still use OCN in my current role as Treasurer."

Peter, Chiswick

"Thanks to OCN for being such a rich resource of trustworthy information about strata matters."

Peter, Chiswick

"I wanted to extend my personal thanks for the very informative & interesting event today. The OCN team did an outstanding job in the organisation of this event & I enjoyed it thoroughly. The quality of speakers, the flow of conversation & interaction from the attendees - first class …& of course, the amazing Jimmy T - always a delight."

Sue, Epping

"OCN does a great job in providing a really valuable service to Strata owners."

Lois, Wollongong

"I am sure my appreciation of your good works is echoed by many in the Stratasphere. Keep up the good work."

John, Elizabeth Bay

"Once again, being able to discuss such things through this forum, helps clear the mind, puts things into perspective and helps one to understand their rights and to form a strategy if needs be. As a simple EC member trying to do what is in the best interests of lot owners, I truly value OCN and am grateful."

Pamela, Point Lookout

"The OCN is probably one of the best, most informed and most informative groups I have been involved with."

Alan, Maryville