From Head Office
– By Chief Executive Graeme Bridge
Our application to gain exemption from the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) to run club-based and state-based single gender bowls events now has a firm date for hearing.
The application will be heard by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) at 10am on May 2.
Our lawyers were recently advised by VCAT that the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission wish to intervene in the proceedings.
The Equal Opportunity Commission’s role is to assist the Tribunal in considering our application as this is the first test for this legislation under this application.
As part of the process, Bowls Victoria undertook an initial survey of our membership in September 2014 and the results of this survey were overwhelmingly in support of conducting single gender Championship events and for Bowls Victoria to seek the exemptions from VCAT.
A further survey was conducted in October 2015, to which we received more than 3,300 responses.
This second survey based on qualitative and quantitative data was presented to VCAT just before Christmas.
It is important to note that the exemptions we are applying for do not apply to Pennant competition. Those rules will remain unchanged.
These exemptions will only apply to club-based and state-based events.
We have applied for exemptions that hopefully will allow clubs to keep running gender-specific tournaments, and for Bowls Victoria to continue to run separate state events for male and female competitors, like the individual Men’s and Women’s Region Championships, State titles, the Victorian Open, and the events at State Champions Week.
Please take a little time to read the Important Notice we have posted on our website about this application, outlining the process involved.
We will keep our members informed of any developments, and the progress of the application and May’s hearing.
It’s been a pleasure this week to officially welcome our two latest Bowls Victoria directors – Marilla Rootsey and Lyn Baker – to the board.
Both will fill casual vacancies on our board for female directors, which we needed to ensure the full complement of board members.
Marilla comes from a government departmental background having worked in a key role with WorkCover, so she is well versed in the areas of compliance and governance.
She is also a valued member of Bowls Victoria’s Umpiring Committee, as well as having served as president and secretary of Murrumbeena Bowls Club in Melbourne’s south-east.
Lyn has had a long, distinguished career in the education sector, both as a secondary school teacher and in curriculum development. Lyn has a real passion for improving opportunities for all age groups to participate in the sport and for steering more young people towards a future in bowls.
Lyn also comes to us highly experienced in Club and Regional administration through her role as secretary with her club Yarra Glen, and Eastern Ranges where she’s been a Bowls Victoria Regional Representative.
They’ll both be welcome additions. They bring some fresh new perspectives, they’re very focused on the way forward for bowls, and add to the wealth of quality and experience already assembled on our board.
Our full complement of elected directors has now been achieved along with Graham Howard and John Inglese who were successful in last year’s elections.
Together with President John Fisher, Deputy President Barbara Gilbert, Finance Director Ken Warburton, and Directors Phil Gude, Val Savage and Stuart Kollmorgen, we have a quality line-up on our board to help us take the sport forward in Victoria.
The Victoria-NSW Test series, which will bring together many of Australia’s best bowlers, is just one event in a very busy January for Victoria’s bowlers.
We’re excited that we’ll be playing in twilight conditions at Mulgrave Country Club on January 20 and 21, and it means that more people will be able to see some of the game’s greats in action.
We also have the Novice State Singles at Mulgrave Country Club on Sunday, January 10, while our Under 18s head to South Australia from January 12 to 14 for a Test series.
On Sunday, January 24, Bowls Victoria’s Integrated Pairs Tournament will be held at Berwick Bowling Club – an event we are proud of to showcase how inclusive bowls is as a sport.
The recent retirement of David Beanland has left a vacancy on Bowls Victoria’s Finance and Audit Committee.
We’d welcome expressions of interest from suitably qualified people to take on the role.
You can do so by filling out the Expression of Interest Form here
In staff news, Bowls Victoria has appointed a new Finance Manager.
Betty Fang started with us in the first week of January, and comes to this important role with a wealth of experience working in the Not for Profit sector.
Betty spent eight and a half years working with The Salvation Army in a similar role, and we’re excited to welcome her aboard.
Betty replaces Georgina Hodson as our Finance Manager. Georgie has been with us for more than 16 years, but has decided with her oldest child about to start school, that it’s time to make a change.
Georgie has been a great asset to Bowls Victoria. We’ll miss her, and we genuinely wish Georgie and her young family all the best for the future.