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Bowls In Focus : February 2010
8 Bowls In Focus We're on-line NOW! Bowlers are now able to enjoy reading Bowls In Focus on the Victoria Bowls website. It's simple, go to www.bowlsvic.org.au and click the tabs to read each information packed page in living colour. Also don't worry, Australia's finest bowls publication is still available at your club. a Bowls Victoria initiative on-line News from the Interim Board of Bowls Victoria Unification Update THERE has been so much going on in Victorian bowls since 3 December 2009 that although only halfway through January 2010 it seems that Christmas occurred months ago, not that just a few weeks have passed. On the Bowls Victoria front, the Interim Board met again on 7 Janu- ary (with Peter an apology due to delayed effects of a car crash prior to Christmas where a young driver, without even touching his brakes, managed to crash into the back of his car directly outside our offices) and a summary of the steps taken has been distributed as Bowls Victoria Update: Issue 2 15 January 2010 to all Clubs and accessible on the website at www.bowlsvic.org.au/News & Multi- media/Bowls Victoria Updates. Board Election All Clubs will be invited to vote for the first Board of Bowls Victoria according to the advised timeline (refer to inset below) with discussions and decisions being made by Clubs during April this year and ballots lodged with Bowls Victoria by no later than 28 April. If the vote for unification was important and historic, this election is equally momentous and we all need to consider thoughtfully the impact of our Club votes. From those who nominate, eight Directors (4 men and 4 women) will be elected to be the governing body of our sport in Victoria. These eight people (plus the Finance Director whom they must appoint) will be ultimately answerable under the Bowls Victoria Constitution to their Members (the Clubs). The Powers of the Board as defined in Part IV Section 16 of the Constitution includes the power to: ".. control and manage the busi- ness and affairs of the Association" (i.e. Bowls Victoria) ".. to perform all such acts and things as appear to the Board to be essential for the proper manage- ment of the business and affairs of the Association." Some Observations The individuals who are elected to the Board of Bowls Victoria will assume very significant responsibili- ties, and they need to be ethically, legally, practically and professionally capable of meeting such responsibili- ties.As a next step, the Chief Executive whom they will appoint needs to simi- larly be able to 'deliver the goods' as an important link between the Board, the broader administration (staff and volunteers) and membership of bowls in Victoria. The Challenge Bowls Victoria is a multi-million dollar business. It is no longer purely an Association which man- ages competitions and events, although that is a major component of its current and continued functions. One authority in the USA states the responsibilities of the Not-for Profit Board as follows: "This means that the Board as a group are: • in charge of establishing a clear organisational mission, • forming the strategic plan to ac- complish the mission, • overseeing and evaluating the plan's success, • hiring a competent executive director and providing adequate supervision and support to that individual, • ensuring fnancial solvency of the organisation, • interpreting and representing the community to the organisation, and • instituting a fair system of policies and procedures for human resource management." These responsibilities are sig- nificant and when assigned to these eight elected Directors, plus the Finance Director who they must ap- point (and perhaps a further two Ap- pointed Directors over time), requires very competent individuals. The principles are obvious: All Directors must be people of integrity; the Board must have elements of business management experience and ability; strategic planning experi- ence and ability; financial manage- ment skills; a capacity to meet the demands of traditional bowlers while also advancing the sport in Victoria; and experience and ability in policy development and human resource management. These are only a few and there are obviously many other core skills that people will bring to the table. The Constitution states that all Elected Directors must be affiliated bowlers. Their bowls administration and sporting involvement will be essential when maintaining a connec- tion with members and in under- standing where we have come from and, in many ways, where we aspire to be in the future as Bowlers, Clubs and Bowls Victoria. So, what will an Elected Director look like? A bowler who has many years of experience in working in bowls at club, association/district, state or national level, but with little if any business management experi- ence? Quite possibly. But a Board with all Directors of such background, the necessary skills would not be present. Further documents on the Compo- sition of a Board state: "The board members should be personally committed to the mission of the organisation, willing to volun- teer sufficient time and resources to help achieve the mission of the organisation, and understand and fulfil their fiduciary responsibilities." Without meaning to cause insult to anyone, many Not-for-Profit organisation's Boards are made up of people who are committed, have the time and work tirelessly for the organisation. The skills of the Directors are vital if Bowls Victoria is to become what we want it to be: a leading State Sporting Organisation which will see bowls prosper for many, many years to come. It goes without saying in some ways, but let's say it anyway, that Bowls Clubs across Victoria in April this year will be faced with a major decision: which four men and which four women will they vote for to guide Bowls Victoria in these vital first years? One of the things that will limit the ability to vote for the very best people will be the process that precedes the vote: the best people must nominate. Members who believe they have the skill and expertise to be a Bowls Victoria Board member or know of members who would be ideal can- didates are encouraged to forward a nomination form for the Board. Cop- ies of the nomination form have been sent to every Club, Group, District/ Association, all Bowls Victoria Official Representatives and is available on the website. A copy of the form can also be found on Page 39 in this edi- tion of Bowls in Focus. Please work at your local level to ensure that when your club votes you are selecting from the very best candidates: Get the best to Nominate to be on your Bowls Victoria Board! Peter Hanlon Leonie Schulz
March April 2010