Australian Sailing Completes Governance Reforms

Published on July 5th, 2016

(July 5, 2016) – Australian Sailing, formerly Yachting Australia, announced today the completion of the most important governance and management reforms in the sports’ history. The reforms will have far reaching and lasting impact on the growth and sustainability of sailing in Australia, and puts Australian Sailing at the vanguard of sports governance reform in Australia.

“For the past 18 months, the Board and Management of Australian Sailing have worked collaboratively with the State and Territory Member Association Presidents, Boards and management, and consulted widely with the club network across the country, and today I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together,” reports Matt Allen, Australian Sailing President.

“We now have a stronger national governance structure with a single management team responsible to the Australian Sailing Board,” Allen continued. “This will allow us to deliver national strategies and plans to significantly grow sailing in Australia. We want more kids, more women and girls and more adults sailing. These reforms allow us to do this.

“Achieving this outcome was about leadership. Yes, there was robust discussion and passionate debate throughout the process, with all parties challenging each other to ensure the best outcome for our sport. The Australian Sailing Board was determined to achieve the One Sailing reforms, and I pay tribute to my fellow Board members for their resolute support throughout the process. I particularly thank the Boards of our State and Territory Associations who showed the necessary leadership at their level. I would also like to express my appreciation to the Steering Committee and in particular, the chair, David Gotze for his stewardship.”

Australian Sports Commission CEO Simon Hollingsworth praised Australian Sailing for their achievement.

“The ASC acknowledges the great work undertaken by sailing to be at the forefront of governance reform in sport in Australia. The ASC has worked closely with the sailing community and acknowledges the efforts at both national and State level to achieve important reform. It sets a great example for other Australian sports.”

The Australian Sports Commission recently launched a second wave of governance reform and ASC Chair John Wylie is confident sports can improve commercial outcomes and the trust of members by becoming more nationally unified.

The 18-month project, with the working title of ‘One Sailing’, is now complete. All State and Territory Member Associations have signed Agreements to fully implement the reforms. These reforms see the Australian Sailing Board accepting full responsibility for the administration, direction, promotion and sustainability of sailing, including the new responsibilities transferred to them from the State and Territory Member Associations.

The State and Territory Member Association Boards continue to be responsible to their member Clubs and Classes for safeguarding the delivery of services by Australian Sailing, providing advice and representation on State and Territory priorities and issues and having regular input into the development of national strategy.

All State employees transfer to Australian Sailing, creating a single management team reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. The new organisation is responsible for managing the sport as one in day-to-day operations, delivering the services to the clubs and sailing community across Australia and initiating programs to grow participation and develop new Olympic champions.

“Early on in the One Sailing process, we identified organisational reform as the key enabler to develop our competence and capability as an organisation,” explained Matt Carroll, Chief Executive Officer of Australian Sailing. “With these reforms complete, Australian Sailing is now in a position to deliver on our strategic goals. To build the capability and capacity of the clubs and classes, deliver improved services to the clubs and sailing community, maintain sailing’s Olympic success and significantly grow revenue.”

The reforms made it possible for two experienced senior managers to join Carroll in leading the national team. Former Yachting NSW General Manager David Edwards takes on the new role of General Manager, Club Services & Operations, focussing on Club, Class and membership services, leading a team of State-based Regional Managers and Club Services Officers.

Focused on growing revenue, Steve Walker, former CEO of Yachting Victoria, has been appointed to the newly created role of General Manager, Commercial & Government. The role is responsible for developing a national commercial program, seeking funding from government at all levels for the benefit of sailing and building on the successful Australian Sailing Team Patrons Program.

“I am looking forward to leading the new management team and all our staff across Australia to advance sailing in all its forms,” Carroll said.

“With a new organisation, eleven athletes selected for the Rio Olympics in August and athletes nominated for the Paralympics in September to be named shortly, these are exciting times for sailing with many challenges and many opportunities,” Carroll added. “Our team will be working with the clubs and classes to fully engage with existing members and participants and importantly to welcome all newcomers, children, youth, women and older Australians to sailing, the sport for life.”

Source: Jane Gordon, Australian Sailing

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