Following significant changes to the .au member program in 2022 and the roll back of COVID-related restrictions, we were keen to seek feedback on our program via our 2022 .au member survey. The results provide an important pulse-check for us as we consider further development our membership offering for 2023.
We thank all those who participated and are pleased to share the following insights and actions from the survey.
An increasing focus on diversity
Survey responses indicate that the average .au member is male, aged between 45 and 54 years of age, lives in a metro area and is likely a business owner within the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Under auDA’s Terms of Endorsement from the Commonwealth Government, auDA is required to support a membership structure that reflects the diversity of the Australian community.
auDA action: Throughout 2023, we will work to diversify our membership cohort, with a particular focus on age, industry, geographic location and gender diversity. We are also working to engage with a range of culturally and linguistically diverse community organisations to ensure the needs and views of all Australians are reflected in auDA’s ongoing management of the .au domain.
Access to information
The main membership benefit cited by members was access to relevant .au and industry information. Over half of surveyed .au members joined the membership program to keep up to date about issues related to the .au domain, including cyber security issues, followed closely by a desire for updates on industry information.
auDA action: The auDA website contains a range of fact sheets supporting domain name management under Help, tools and resources. In 2023, in response to your feedback, we will continue to develop and expand our online member resources, including educational resources. If there are specific topics you would like to see addressed through fact sheets or other member resources, please contact us with your suggestions.
Supporting the .au domain
While over half of members joined to receive access to information, the remainder joined to support the independent administration of the .au domain, or to participate in internet policy consultation undertaken by auDA. The ability to have a say about the management of the .au was also frequently cited as a member benefit.
auDA action: auDA firmly supports the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance and we place significant value on our members as supporters of the multi-stakeholder model and as a critical stakeholder group. Throughout 2023, .au members will have the opportunity to participate in auDA consultation on issues related to .au such as Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs).
More education and events
A growing number of members indicated that webinars or tutorials or online events would enhance their membership experience. Members are most interested in sessions on cyber security, including threat management and best practice.
auDA action: Our 2023 .au member events calendar will again include a series of in-person networking events across Australia’s capital cities. We also look forward to expanding our in-person events series to encompass regional areas of Australia.
In addition to our webinars covering a range of topics relating to the Australian digital environment, we are planning a series of practical online workshops for members throughout 2023. We are also working on developing a range of educational content to support understanding of domain name management and to assist our members to remain secure online.
Cyber security – a critical challenge for .au members
One in five members cited cyber security as the main challenge they or their organisation face. More than half cited it amongst their top three challenges.
auDA action: In 2023, we will continue to support members to increase cyber security awareness and resilience, including through our partnership with Cynch Security and by hosting cyber security webinars and workshops. Visit the auDA website for more information on the Cynch Security member offer, including a cyber fitness assessment and regular threat updates.
Thank you again to our valued .au members for participating in the 2022 .au member survey. We look forward to applying feedback received to develop the .au member program over 2023 and beyond. Of course, if you’re not already a .au member, we encourage you to join today and show your support for an open, free, secure and global internet.