Well, semi-retirement is moving closer for me. In the very near future, Sport Employment Australia will be advertising for a CEO to succeed me in my role. I will, of course, be available for a thorough induction and handover followed by some project work until 30 June 2010. My interest and involvement in the sport will continue after that but I am looking forward to being able to focus on other things, for which I just have not had the time in a more than full-time job.
Almost two years ago, the process of drafting a new constitution started. The main reasons for this were
1. that the existing constitution had become quite outdated in its wording when compared with the constitutions now being used by similar sporting bodies, and
2. the fact the EA’s current company structure was no longer a model that would be accepted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for the registration of a new company.
At an Extraordinary Meeting held in Sydney on 05 September 2009, the Branches agreed on a new constitution.
The new constitution is a complete rewording of the existing constitution, with a number of changes to conditions, as agreed by the Branches, which are the only ‘voting members’ for constitutional changes. The new constitution is likely to come into effect on 01 February 2010.
The most substantial changes are:
• The status of the ‘Company’ (Equestrian Australia Limited) will change from a company limited by shares and by guarantee to a company limited by guarantee.
• The Northern Territory Branch will no longer be a Branch with voting rights under the constitution but will be administered by the Queensland Branch, the same way as the NSW Branch administers the ACT.
• There will be an increase in the number of elected Directors: Currently there are 5 elected and up to 2 appointed Directors. The new Board will consist of not more than 8 and not fewer than 7 Directors, and 6 (or 7) of them must be elected.
• Nominations by the general membership for positions on the National Board will close 35 days before an AGM while Branches will be able to nominate up to 5 days before.
• Voting for Directors will take place at the AGM by the optional preferential method.
• The Branches will be able to appoint the Board's Chair by ‘special majority’ (at least two-thirds), if they so desire, although the Chair will usually be elected by the Board Members themselves.
• The number of terms for Directors, before a compulsory break is required, will increase from 2 x 3 years to 3 x 3 years (up to 9 years in total), while the break itself will increase from 1 year to 3 years.
• All ‘membership’ will go through the Branches, including that of National Associations that become members for insurance purposes.
• The period of notice for General Meetings will increase from 14 to 45 days.
• The Branches will in a duly called General Meeting be able to repeal, amend or alter any By-Laws.
The present constitution enables the Branches to 'resolve' to vary the maximum numbers of Directors allowed to be appointed to the National Board. They did this for the current elections, as the new constitution with greater numbers of directors does not come into effect until at least 01 February 2010. This means that five (5) new Directors were elected to take up their places on the Board together with 'continuing' Directors Graeme Bowker and Natalie Nichols at the AGM on 24 October 2009. Mary Seefried, Kerry Brydon and Peter Hickson will 'retire' at the AGM.
The newly elected Directors are (in alphabetical order):
- Paul Cargill (NSW)
- William Fell (Vic.)
- Mary-Louise Ganter (ACT/NSW)
- Robynne McTaggart (WA)
- Graham Sharley (SA)
The first Equestrian Australia National Championships took place at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre last week. Although the number of participants was slightly lower than expected, the atmosphere was good and some of the performances great. You can read a report on our web.
We used the occasion to officially launch the EA Para-Equestrian High Performance Program. EA President Mary Seefried, Australian Paralympic Committee CEO Myles Murphy, APC Board Member Doug Denby and some other APC representative attended the function. They were very pleased with the way the HP program has been going in its early stages and are confident of greater things to come.
Brett Mace reports
For the first time, the HP program will be providing Fencing Upgrade support at CIC level to further help enhance competition for our leading Eventers. Events in October will be held at Goulburn (NSW) Swan River Horse Trials (WA) and Reynella (SA), which will provide valuable preparation for riders ahead of the Australian International 3DE and Trans Tasman competition in Adelaide in November.
Gilbert Böckmann, our National Jumping Coach, will be in Australia to work with the Jumping National Squad. This will be closely followed by a visit by leading Dressage Trainer Ton de Ridder from Germany, who will hold clinics in Melbourne and Sydney for the Dressage National Squad. The final major activity in the HP Program will be the first National Youth Development Camp to be held at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra. This camp is for all Olympic disciplines with the main focus on developing the rider as an athlete.
Just a reminder: Spectator tickets went on sale last week. You can place your order at http://www.alltechfeigames.com/. Apparently there is also still some 'budget' accommodation available around Lexington, provided you are prepared to travel for an hour or so ....
Nathan Holman reports (having just returned from his honeymoon ...)
Coach Renewal Time
Coach Registration (including non-practicing) and EA Coach Insurance (including trainee insurance) expire at 4pm 30 September 2009, as does Club and Association Insurance.
Both the Coach Registration /Insurance Renewal Pack and Trainee Insurance Renewal Pack are available for download from the EA website. Hard copies have been posted to all coaches that are currently registered.
Yet another reminder that to renew your registration you must:
- Be a current EA member
- Have a current First Aid Certificate
- Have completed the designated number of update points
- Have attended a Compulsory Update Clinic in the past 2 years
- Have proof of insurance (if taken out privately) or payment for EA Insurance.
Please remember that when you renew your First Aid Certificate and/or Private Insurance policies during the period of insurance you will need to send the EA National Office a copy so your details can be kept up to date.
FEI Officials Courses
The Sydney International Three-Day Event - CCI*** provided the perfect backdrop to run the FEI Veterinarians and the FEI Eventing Officials courses.
FEI Eventing Officials Course
The course provided the opportunity for existing FEI officials – Course Designers, Technical Delegates and Judges - to maintain or upgrade their FEI status. It also provided the opportunity for current EA Officials to attend and apply for promotion to FEI Candidate Officials status.
There were 30 attendees, including presenters Mike Tucker (GBR) and Susie Hoevenaars (AUS), with 8 Australian FEI Eventing officials attending to either maintain or be promoted to FEI ‘I’ status, and 11 EA Officials applying for promotion to FEI ‘C’ status, and 3 international Officials.
In addition to delegates from all over Australia we had visitors from New Zealand, Canada and three participants from Sierra Leone as representatives from their Ministry of Sports, National Sports Council and Olympic Committee. The visitors from Sierra Leone came to observe the 3DE, Eventing Officials and Veterinarian courses, to glean information that may assist in setting up their own Federation.
FEI Veterinarian Course
At the same time as the FEI Eventing Officials Course was being conducted, Derek Major, Nigel Nichols and Brian Sheehan were busy running a FEI Veterinarians Course in the conference room of the indoor arena.
Over 35 Veterinarians attended the 5-day course, which involved both practical and theory sessions as well as observation and discussion with the FEI Event Veterinarian and his support staff.
The course is a pre-requisite for all Veterinarians wishing to be promoted to FEI Vet status.
Again we had delegates from all over Australia and the world – including New Zealand, Indonesia, Japan, and Sierra Leone!!
FEI Endurance Officials Course
An FEI Endurance Officials course will be run in Brisbane 09 - 11 October 2009, with presenters Barbara Timms, Glenda Armitage and Brian Sheehan. This course is the last in a series of three, with courses already being completed in NSW and WA.
The courses provide the opportunity for existing FEI Endurance Officials – Veterinarians and Judges - to maintain or upgrade their FEI Endurance * status, as well as for Chief Stewards to maintain their current status. The course is also open to current Endurance Officials wishing to be promoted to FEI Endurance Officials status.
In total over 65 participants will have attended the three courses, either for Veterinarians, Judging or Chief Steward Promotion or experience.
For further information regarding the Brisbane course, please contact: Mrs Ieva Peters - (+61 403 333 692).
Events in October
October is usually one of the busiest months on the event calendar and this year is no exception. You can find links to National and International events in Australia on our home page and look for State and other events on the respective Branch web or by searching the calendar. I will, however, mention the Horseland Equestrian Australia Interschool Championships on right now at Werribee, the Bates Australian Jumping Championships 9-11 October in Canberra and the Horseland Australian Dressage Championships 29 Oct - 01 Nov at SIEC. I also encourage you to go to the Australian 3-Day Event in Adelaide in November, so book your rooms and tickets now!
On the 'governance' side, the old and the new National Board will meet with the Branch Chairs at the 2009 Annual General Meeting in Sydney to receive the Annual Report including the financials for the year ended 30 June 2009. The Company will record a small deficit after re-investing some of its reserves to get the sport going again after Equine Influenza.
Supporters and Sponsors
Before I close, though, I would like to thank our funding agencies, sponsors and supporters for their continued assistance. The Australian Sports Commission is our Principal Sponsor and we hope that High Performance funding and other grants will continue beyond the next funding cycle.
Many thanks also to the Australian Olympic Committee, who apart from organising the Australian Delegation to go to the Games is also involved in securing more funding to guarantee Australia's medal success at future Games.
We are also looking forward to a continued good working relationship with the Australian Paralympic Committee in the management of the Para-Equestrian high performance program.
We hope our partnerships with our commercial sponsors can be strengthened further in the next Olympiad.
So in summary, we would like to mention
For more news and other information, please visit our 'new' web www.equestrian.org.au or your 'new' State Branch web (www.[state].equestrian.org.au).
Make it a good day!
Chief Executive Officer