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Major Print Associations Set for Mega Merger

The Print and Visual Communications Association and The Real Media Collective are intending to merge to form one "super industry body", in what the protagonists say is a "call to arms" to the print industry to come together and "build the strongest industry we've ever been".

The intended merger will bring the two largest industry associations for the paper, print, mail, packaging and publishing sectors together, leveraging from the foundation of the existing PVCA Registered Organisation authority, and the programmes, growth and membership of TRMC.

Kellie Northwood will become CEO of the merged association, with current PVCA president Peter Clark becoming president, and IVE CEO and TRMC chair Matt Aitken taking the role as vice president. A new board will be formed, with an equal representation of board officers from each of the existing boards.

The merged association will have approaching 1000 members virtually across all sectors of the industry. Details such as the location of head office have yet to be worked out, as has the name of what will be by far the biggest association in the industry. The merger will initially carry the PVCA name, and will look to renaming and rebranding projects in the new financial year.

The merger, which will be widely welcomed across the industry, is the result of discussions that have been taking place over the best part of two years.

Peter Clark said, “Our industry needs united leadership and a strengthened association, the merging of the two leading industry associations into a ‘super body’ is an important step in achieving just that."

Clark said the two boards have been working through a rigorous due diligence process, and said, “I firmly believe it is the best news for the industry, and will leave all members, PVCA and TRMC, in a better position as we finalise the merger details and commence an enriched service delivery of programmes and outcomes for our industry.”

TRMC members will be required to support the decision via a Special General Meeting. Matt Aitken said, “Our members are critical to this process, we have worked through a strong solution for TRMC and the broader industry across the terms of this merger, however these will need now be put to our members who will ultimately vote to proceed. TRMC has always been an inclusive association, and this process will be no different. That said, I support the merge and encourage all TRMC members to support it and be part of a consolidated, strengthened and more impactful association moving forward.”Kellie Northwood, CEO TRMC and incoming CEO PVCA, said, “The announcement is an exciting one for the industry, providing opportunity to strengthen our industry across advocacy into government, development of a consistent national approach to training and talent acquisition, building of a co-operative auditing solution, a united industry promotion, gender and youth inclusivity programs and more. I say to all our combined members, thank you for your ongoing support and I look forward to working harder than ever for you. To those who are not members, take this momentous occasion as a ‘call to arms’, let’s come together and build the strongest industry we’ve ever been.”

Charles Watson, current TRMC GM – Policy, IR & Governance, will lead the legal and constitutional compliance matters with Consumer Affairs Victoria, the Registered Organisation Commission, Fair Work Australia and any other government authorities to ensure seamless transition. Having three years with TRMC and eleven with former Printing Industries Association of Australia, Watson is well-versed across both Association Constitutions and the industry in general.

The intention is for the merged association to present itself to the industry at PacPrint at the end of June, which will also be a time of consultation and feedback.

Northwood said, “Our commitment is a members-first approach to the branding and re-positioning process, our members will be engaged, and they will determine who we are, our key objectives and our purpose. A positioning project will be launched at PacPrint this year, which will see our members join together for the first time."

Taken from Print 21. 

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