Paradoxically the first representative of the offset industry on the GASAA board, Luke Everingham’s industry career has an in and out look about it. As a raw schoolleaver, he was taken on as an apprentice by a traditional litho shop long since swallowed by the John Sands Group, but decided that surfing had greater attractions than sweeping machine shop floors.
From there a series of disparate areas of endeavour paid the rent until an erstwhile surfing soulmate, who in the intervening years had morphed into a printing executive, persuaded the errant Everingham to return to his ink-stained origins. From there, a series of print related positions inexorably led to the purchase some eight years ago of the then family-owned Shepson Printing enterprise, which he now successfully operates with a co-director whom he had married more than a quarter century earlier.
Challenged to identify his major aims for GASAA in the next two to three years, Everingham unhesitatingly nominates greater emphasis on the environment. Recalling having raised the issue at the beginning of his first term in the chair, he is now more than ever convinced that this needs to be the foremost priority for every facet of the graphic arts industry.
“You will find that by no later than 2015 the Government will demand that you must have a regulatory body behind you, be it ISO 14001, MSC, 9001 or whatever,” he stressed.
That said, he added that his agenda included maintaining all aspects of industry affairs in the forefront of the membership and adding an emphasis on the finishing and the mailing industry segments, which as yet are not represented in the GASAA coverage.
When the recently re-elected president of a graphic arts trade organisation which has been in existence in one form or another since the 1920s admits that, before becoming a member a mere few years ago he was barely aware of its existence or its activities, it predicates a serious profile problem.
Profile is today’s primary and timely priority objective on Graphic Arts Services Association of Australia president, Luke Everingham’s agenda. Because, as French author, Victor Hugo once remarked, “You can resist an invading army but you cannot resist an idea whose time has come”. Today, a more upfront and membership-driven GASAA is such an idea.
Its first step was taken recently when it broadened the industry representation on its Board. Historically the emphasis had been confined primarily to prepress and trade houses. With the quasi-demise of the latter, the need for a broader coverage became an obvious concern. Since the 2009 Board took office the organisation can claim to cover virtually every aspect of the industry, including offset and digital printing areas, prepress, creative/design, wide format and the streetfront digital print shop community.
“To this extent we now have a really diverse mix,” Everingham stated. It is one which can functionally claim to provide the kind of trade association services from which particularly the smaller enterprise can benefit, he believes, having compared his organisation’s membership services and costs to those of other trade bodies.
This is a man whose objectives, while visionary, are firmly trademarked by feet on the ground. His is not the “grand plan” without the necessary ground work first being completed. As someone who, by his own admission having come to the GASAA forum comparatively recently, he is unburdened from preconceived notions and former controversies. He is firmly convinced that when his first goal is achieved, dramatically to boost current membership ranks, GASAA will be able to present itself to the graphic arts industry as a viable and broad based alternative, not merely in educational and marketing phases for today’s business players but in increased areas affecting day-to-day operational aspects.