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Australian Sailing completes major governance changes

July 12, 2016

Australian Sailing, formerly Yachting Australia, has announced the completion of the most important governance and management reforms in the sports’ history.

Designed to put Australian Sailing at the vanguard of sports governance reform in this country, the ‘One Sailing’ reforms will have far reaching and lasting impact on the growth and sustainability of sailing in Australia.

Explaining what has been achieved by all parties, working in the best interests of their clubs, classes, members and volunteers, Australian Sailing President Matt Allen advised “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.

“I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together.

“We now have a stronger national governance structure with a single management team responsible to the Australian Sailing Board (which) 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 (and) these reforms allow us to do this.”

The new reforms will see the Australian Sailing Board accept full responsibility for the administration, direction, promotion and sustainability of sailing.

The State and Territory Member Association Boards will continue to be responsible for clubs and classes at a local level. They will also continue to provide advice on State and Territory priorities and issues.

The new reforms will also see all State employees transfer to Australian Sailing, creating a single management team reporting to the Chief Executive – a role currently filled by Matt Carroll (pictured below).

Allen added “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 Chief Executive Simon Hollingsworth praised Australian Sailing for their achievement, adding “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 reforms see all state employees transfer to Australian Sailing, with the new organisation 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.

As a result, two experienced senior managers join Carroll in leading the national team - former Yachting NSW General Manager David Edwards taking on the new role of General Manager, Club Services and Operations while Steve Walker, former Chief Executive of Yachting Victoria, has been appointed to the newly created role of General Manager, Commercial and Government, a role focused on growing revenue.

Commenting on the changes, Carroll stated “early on in the One Sailing process, we identified organisational reform as the key enabler to develop our competence and capability as an organisation.

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."







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