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Australian Sailing Annual General Meeting 2016

Published on November 1st, 2016

Australian Sailing Ltd held the 2016 Annual General Meeting on Saturday October 29. This was the second AGM as a Company Limited by Guarantee and the first held under the name of Australian Sailing and with the One Sailing organisational reforms complete.

In his President’s Report to the Meeting, Matt Allen spoke about the past 12 months as an incredible time of change for sailing in Australia. Moving from an Incorporated Association to a Company Limited by Guarantee in 2014, name change from Yachting Australia to Australian Sailing in May 2016 and following extensive consultation, the finalisation of the One Sailing project.

“We are now an integrated national administration responsible to our Members and Clubs for the success of sailing in Australia,” Matt Allen said. In thanking the State and Territory Association Presidents for their contribution, he congratulated them on their considered approach, acting in the best interests of their Clubs, Members and staff to collectively secure a strong future for sailing in Australia.

In acknowledging the achievements of our athletes in Rio for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Matt said, “I am incredibly proud of our sailors and team members, they are outstanding representatives of our sport, both on and off the water. Congratulations to our medallists at both Games, a fantastic result for sailing putting our sport right at the top of Australian Olympic sports.”

Matt also thanked the Australian Sports Commission, and their Chairman John Wyllie, for their ongoing support, particularly in light of the achievements of our sailors in Rio in August and September.

Australian Sailing’s Chief Executive Officer, Matt Carroll, in delivering his report to the meeting said, “At the beginning of the year we had two major undertakings that needed to be delivered to ensure optimal success for sailing, the One Sailing reforms and success at the Games, I am pleased to report we have achieved both, which now provides us with a strong platform to continue building the capability and capacity of the sport.”

While executing these two projects were the focus, Matt reported that the core business of supporting the growth of the sport continued, with membership up 7% and through the “Sporting Schools” program, children participating in the Tackers program increased by a massive 57%.

Matt Carroll advised the meeting that the Company recorded a deficit for the year of ($422,000) due to the additional expenditure on the Performance program in preparation for the Games and the transfer of staff and integration of activities under One Sailing. This was a significant improvement on the budgeted deficit of just on ($1,000,000). The 2016/17 budget will see the Company return to surplus.

In closing his report Matt said, “We now have a broader management team with the capability and capacity to deliver on the One Sailing commitments and I would like to thank Matt Allen and the Board for their unqualified support over the past 12 months, it has been a real team effort.”

Long-standing Board Member and past President, David Gotze, retired from the Board as he has served his maximum term, along with Doug Kerr and Rosemary Collins. Matt Allen spoke of David Gotze’s great impact to sailing at many levels, saying, “David has made an enormous contribution, in particular on the Australian Sailing Board, which he joined in 2008. He was President from 2011 to 2013 and was instrumental in the early vision and strategy of what became ‘One Sailing’.

“His vision and guidance has been exemplary and on behalf of the Board, we thank him for his contribution, knowledge and foresight for sailing in Australia.

“I would also like to thank Doug Kerr and Rosemary Collins for their time and commitment to the Board, they have been great contributors over a number of years.”

At the AGM, Daniel Belcher was re-elected and Alistair Murray was elected to the Board unopposed. Alistair Murray, currently Chairman of Ronstan International, recently stepped down from the Managing Director role after 19 years. Alistair’s involvement in sailing spans across a wide front with his international dealings through Ronstan and their overseas distributors, various Committee and Board appointments including Sail Melbourne and involvement with his local Club. Alistair was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australian Sailing Awards on Saturday night, for his contribution to sailing, both in Australia and overseas.

Prior to the AGM the Board met to confirm replacements for two appointed directors, Skip Lissiman and Jo Keen.

Skip has an extensive sailing background including crew member of ‘Australia II’ in the successful 1983 America’s Cup and the Louis Vuitton Cup in 1983, and also competed in the Admirals Cup and Parmelia Race. He is an Australian Champion in the J/24s and Australian Match Racing and continues to race in the Etchells class where he was the National Champion in 2006/07. In 1984, Skip was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to sailing.

He recently retired from heading up Swan River Sailing and the West Australian Yachting Foundation which focused on delivering team building and leadership programs and developing youth match racing sailors and during this time, he also chaired the Warren Jones Regatta.

A member of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Jo learnt to sail as a young adult and competed in club racing both on her boat and sailing with others. She has sailed Hobie 16s at State, National and International level together with 14” skiffs. Jo has competed in a Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht race, sailed the east coast with her husband for 6 months and now enjoys spending time kitesurfing and sailing with her family on their trimaran. She has been a panel member for Australian Sailing in youth misconduct matters and is involved in youth sailing through her daughters.

Jo is a senior executive and General Council with extensive experience in the energy sector. Jo provides strategic commercially focused legal advice including the development and implementation of governance frameworks to enable Boards and organisations to achieve optimum outcomes through robust decision making. Jo has a deep commitment to safety, leadership, diversity and inclusion and is an experienced not-for-profit Company Director.

The final business for the AGM was to bestow on David Gotze, and Andrew Plympton the highest honour, Life Membership of Australian Sailing. Matt Allen said both men showed great vision and guidance for sailing in this country over many years and Life Membership was a fitting vote of thanks from a grateful sport. Both David and Andrew were presented with the honours at the Australian Sailing Awards in Sydney on Saturday night.

To view the Australian Sailing Annual Report 2015-16…click here.

Source: Jane Gordon, Australian Sailing

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