Dear colleagues and members,
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Update on changes at Cycling Australia.
A lot of changes have happened at Cycling Australia over the last few months. We all know that more needs to happen, but I am confident that the changes we have implemented will help the sport get stronger.
The changes are designed to attract create a strong structure, stabilise and strengthen the finances of the organisation and create a strong board and future leadership for the organisation.
In February, the Board committed to wholesale governance reform, including the adoption of the ASC Mandatory Governance Principles. We committed to:
- Form a nominations committee to establish the new skills based board and permanent CEO
- Establishing a new constitution
- Transitioning to a company limited by guarantee
- Strengthening the Board and Leadership
The nominations committee has now been formed and includes:
- Peter Bartels – Former CEO of Fosters Brewing Group and Coles Myer and former Chairman of the Australian Sport Commission.
- Don Argus – Former CEO of the National Australia Bank, former Chairman of BHP Billiton and Brambles.
- Rod Kemp – Former Federal Minister for Sport.
- Kate Palmer – CEO of Netball Australia
Cycling NSW President, Tony Green, has agreed to act as State Advisor to the Nominations Committee on the appointment of Board Members. The committee will meet for the first time in coming days and will be advertising to source candidates for the new Board and permanent CEO roles.
A New Constitution and New Governance
The new constitution has been drafted and refined in close consultation with the member states. The new constitution is proposed for adoption at a Special General Meeting on 30 April.
At this meeting we will also debate the future role and strategy of Cycling Australia including the role it should play in the fields of advocacy and recreational participation and how Cycling Australia can become more relevant for the 4 million Australians who ride bikes.
Strengthening the financial future
As you all know, Cycling Australia made significant losses as a result of entering into the failed Commercial Joint Venture (CJV) with Grass Roots and Michael Edgley in 2010. The CJV has now been dismantled, the terms of the exit deed were signed earlier this month and the majority of outstanding liabilities from the Joint Venture partners have been resolved.
Over the past 5 months savings in excess of $1 Million have been made within the Events department
via a strategy of rationalising the events run by CA, implementing the remaining events more efficiently, and reducing overheads. The Events arm of CA is now projected to be close to break even in 2014 and return a profit in future years.
Attracting revenue is also a crucial part of the strategy and I’m pleased to confirm that Richie Gee has joined the organisation as General Manager - Sponsorship and has commenced a sponsorship review across the Cycling Australia business and assets to ensure a more aligned and strategic approach.
In the meantime, we have secured the renewal of Subaru as a major partner and thank them for their ongoing support of cycling.
Although the Events business of CA has undergone significant turnaround, CA still has a major financial shortfall primarily because of the losses sustained by the CJV. We continue to work closely with the ASC on the financial support required to see CA through this difficult period.
When I took on the role of interim CEO in mid November last year the key tasks were to progress governance reform and to strengthen the financial position of the organisation, especially in regard to the affairs of the CJV. I have agreed to a final contract extension through until 9 May to complete my work in these areas. I would like to acknowledge CA’s hard working staff and the leadership of Chairman, Gerry Ryan in helping to achieve the significant progress we have made in this short time.
UCI MTB World Cup
Finally, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Cairns is only a matter of weeks away now. Our team is currently hard at work to deliver a world-class event to the region. I would encourage you to make the trip to Cairns to see the action live on April 25-27. If you can’t make it in person, please tune in to the watch the “Rumble in the Rainforest” live on SBS.