Chairpersons and their roles: From the Chairpeople

This is an article repost. Original article was posted on 2018-06-26 on our old website.


Volunteering and being nominated as chairperson of an Owners Corporation is a big responsibility, but it’s also a privilege. Your owners have elected you to look out for their best interests. Strata Plan discussed the role with one such person, Mario Gomzelj, who chairs the committee at Sandy Hill, a four-building development with over 400 apartments. 

Stepping up to claim a spot on your Owners Corporation committee might be a volunteer role, but it comes with serious responsibility.


Whether you are an owner in a building with three units, 10 townhouses or 300 apartments, the role will mean spending time taking an active role in matters of your Owners Corporation.


These can range from approving quotes for works on common property, approving invoices for payment from Owners Corporation funds or voting on any number of matters that may affect your property.


This role is so important because it is often the single most important factor in the operation of your Owners Corporation.


Without a functioning committee, your Owners Corporation is likely to come to a stand-still.


One person on the committee will act as the chairperson and their role will be to co-ordinate the efforts of the committee and collaborate with the Strata Manager and other key stakeholders to manage the affairs of the Owners Corporation.


MEET THE CHAIRPERSON…

Mario Gomizelj is one such chairperson.


He has been acting chairperson of Sandy Hill, a site with over 400 apartments spread across four buildings, including serviced apartments, for almost four years.


He knows firsthand the amount of dedication required to take on the role.


“Between time on the phone and writing emails, [being chairperson] can take eight hours on an average month,” Mr. Gomizelj told Strata Plan.


“Summer months can be busier because people might be having parties and around Christmas and New Year’s there might be a lot more visitors so the numbers well and it can get a bit out of control, which can be interesting.


“But if I had to sum up the role, I’d say that having people skills is really important.”


Mr. Gomizelj said that the most important part of the role alongside his committee was trying to balance the wants and needs of all owners at the property and ensure it is a happy place to live for owners and occupants alike.


“You have to be fair, I think that’s the main thing,” Mr. Gomizelj told Strata Plan.


“You’re dealing with 180 apartments in this building and then there’s another two in the development as well, so you’ve got a lot of differently personalities and circumstances.


“You can’t expect that everyone is on the same level financially, either, so you have to try and be fair.”


Mr. Gomizelj said that the role of chairperson is better suited to those who have run or managed businesses.


“An Owners Corporation isn’t like a business, it is a business,” he said.


“The difference is that you have to remember that you’re not just dealing with your own money, you’re dealing with everyone else’s money, so you have to consider costs in everything you do and see if there’s a cheaper or better way of doing things.


“But sometimes there’s no way around the costs and you have to get works done for the benefit of the community.


“Really you’re living in a community and as chairperson, you’re helping that community to make sure that everyone has an enjoyable time where you’re living here.”


Stay tuned for more from Mario and other chairpersons as Strata Plan shares more stories from those who put their hands up to help manage their properties for the betterment of their communities.

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