At its 4 April meeting the President reported that he had attended a zoom meeting with ONSW controllers who report experiencing similar issues to us – ageing volunteer workforce, need for map upgrades, SIAC batteries starting to run out, water on courses; he had attended an ACT Sport & Rec meeting where shared issues discussed across many sports included shortage of volunteers, access to schools, rising insurance costs, need for sports to adapt to community expectations (rather than bend the community to the sports’ traditions); and he and David Hogg had attended the Canberra Gold 50 years award ceremony to receive an award on behalf of OACT. After a slow start to the year 2022 membership renewals are picking up well.
AGM – The Board agreed to subsidise refreshments (beer, wine and soft drinks) before the AGM to be held at the Jamison Southern Cross Club on 28 April.
Easter 2023 – Stephen advised that Bob Allison is progressing well with the Jindabyne map so course-setting can commence; at Nimmitabel the day organiser and course-setters will try to resolve whether/what earthworks may be required to secure a safe access to the planned assembly area; not all events yet have controllers; publicity will be available at Easter 2022 in the form of windscreen notices but planned shirts may not be available in time. Phil reported that ONSW has indicated that if OACT does not wish to stage an AL event on the weekend following Easter, they could look to include a State League event in our region.
For the Saturday Metro Series commencing on 30 April Phil advised that the ACT Government application process has become very cumbersome and time consuming, with Park ranger refusals often coming back either late and/or with no clear reasons. Phil has requested a meeting with ACT Parks before Easter to help agree a process based on a shared understanding of the impacts of orienteering on parks. If no one is found for the Newcomers Welcome role, it could possibly be allocated to clubs on a roster basis. Cameron has agreed to continue as Computer Operator. Map Mates does not have an organiser yet, but we already have numerous keen participants.
ASOC – Coach / Managers Appointments / Team selection process – The Board was pleased to have received more than one application for the positions of ASOC Coach/Manager/Assistant Manager, with all applicants meeting the minimum technical requirements for the jobs. The Board also noted the desirability for our representatives to manage relationships, support the ethos of the carnival and position our association well for the future. By secret ballot the Board voted to appoint: Coach – Paul de Jongh; Manager – Tom de Jongh; Assistant Manager – Susanne Harrysson.
As advertising selection criteria and appointing a selection committee for the ASOC team may not be in place quickly, the Board gave consideration to possible selection events so potential team members could be given early notice. The following events were identified as preferred: 1 May Boboyan, 21 May Campbell Parklands, 5 June Foxlow (Jim Sawkins – ideally with experience of a mass start option), 19 June (Castle Hill TBC), 26 June AIS sprint with 17 July Stringybark Hill as a backup.
The Board considered the job classification and pay rate for the Office Manager. This role has changed significantly even in the last three years, with particular extra emphasis on higher numbers of events and protracted permission processes. The Board agreed that the duty statement for the role should be updated and that remuneration for it be set by reference to the Sporting Organisations Award 2020 at the Administrative Officer class 4 with an uplift factor available depending on the skills and experience of any candidate.
- Susanne updated the Board on the recent SC-ORE series, which had almost been cancelled due to COVID uncertainty but in the end had gone ahead with reduced numbers (53 instead of a preferable minimum 100 participants). This meant the series ran at a financial loss, but overall was still considered a success as it was apparently enjoyed by all the participants and their families and maintained the impetus for the program for the next season.
- FOG/GOAT – Toni Brown will again be running these programs for girls and women interested in orienteering. The Board thanked Toni for her continuing efforts in providing this opportunity for new and emerging orienteers. Members felt it would be beneficial if the FOG and Blue Lightning coaches could liaise with each other to assist in providing participants with a pathway into more regular orienteering.
- Nature Play – Phil noted that Nature Play grant applications are now available with a focus this year on new facilities such as Namarag in the Molonglo Rover corridor. Several members commented that Namarag could well become a suitable venue for orienteering in due course, but at this stage remains too undeveloped to be worthwhile mapping yet.
Coach-in-Residence program – Now that Australia’s international borders have reopened, OACT and O Tasmania have encouraged OA to reactivate the CIR program. Stephen volunteered to be the primary point of contact for OACT initially and for the purposes of any CIR working in schools. Edith indicated she would be willing to assist with coordinating billeting arrangements again. Other contributions would be sought to work with a future CIR to develop a coaching program for the broader and higher performing members of the orienteering community.
OA AGM – Phil and Valerie will attend as OACT Reps for this zoom meeting 11 April.
The Board had a preliminary discussion about priorities for the coming year. Initial thinking is these should be:
- regaining ground lost during the pandemic period eg in terms of participant/member numbers, and
- simplifying our event administration eg in order to be consistent with other States and not to over-burden volunteers, all without undermining the expectations of our members.