At the first meeting of the new 2022 Board in May, Susanne welcomed new and returning members and congratulated Valerie Barker, who had been unable to attend the AGM, on her induction as a Life Member of OACT. Valerie expressed her surprise and delight at receiving this honour.
Susanne outlined her view of the key areas of focus for the association:
- managing demand on our volunteers
- support for juniors – especially to encourage them to progress in the sport
- giving young people a voice
- landowner permissions (including Parks and Schools)
- growing our mapper and controller ranks
- development opportunities (including coach in residence program) but coupled with transparency of intended pathways/outcomes from developments and other activities we conduct (eg from workshops, innovations etc)
- computer operations
- delegation of functions without spreading ourselves too thin.
Geoff reported that he and the outgoing and new treasurers had examined our current MYOB accounting system and a Quickbooks application. They had concluded (and the Board accepted) that it would be appropriate to switch to Quickbooks ready for end of FY and our next BAS. The Board requested that in doing so we make sure we have access to such archived records from MYOB as may be appropriate.
Positions – Susanne indicated that she would be stepping down from the Development Officer role now that she is President. Geoff also indicated that he is keen to step down from the Executive Officer role. The Board agreed that both roles should be advertised. The Board discussed the desirability of grouping together a range of development functions under a Development Committee, with members possibly to include the Development Officer, Blue Lightning coach, Sporting Schools co-ordinator and any Coach-in-Residence. Members agreed that while innovations are always welcome in the development arena, these always need to be tempered by consideration of the already heavy burden on our volunteers. The Board also affirmed that it should have a Finance Committee, the role of which would initially be to oversee the transition to Quickbooks accounting software and to prepare a high-level strategic budget for the association. Members accepted Maurice’s self-nomination to chair the committee with the Treasurer and Executive Officer.
Easter 2023 – Stephen reported that the day organiser and course-setter for the Prologue event had withdrawn and that the mapper had suffered a serious injury. Another mapper has agreed to take on the mapping, but all members were encouraged to seek other organisers. A generic webpage has been established by OA (easter.orienteering.asn.au) and will be populated soon.
Saturday Metro Series – Geoff noted that attendances are still down post COVID (eg at the recent season opening event and Campbell Park) and that we are still heavily dependent on too few computer operators. Members welcomed the involvement of a dedicated computer operator (currently Cameron), but agreed generally that it would be good if clubs each had a capability for running our timing systems at events.
Sprint Series – Stephen reported that if and when we can gain access to sites, especially schools, to run another series, we will need a new series coordinator. The Board agreed this format was popular and worth pursuing and that we should aim for a short program of approximately three events before Christmas and three after Christmas.
SC-ORE – Susanne reported she has been in touch with possible host schools for a Spring program.
ASOC – The Board noted that Toni Brown, Gareth Candy and Mace Neve had agreed to form a selection committee for the 2022 Schools Championships, with Toni as chair. ASOC was seen as a valuable opportunity for young orienteers to start to experience competition of the type that could be expected at international level, for example at JWOC, WOC, WUOC. Valerie advised that OA had agreed in 2019 (but not yet operationalised as the 2020 and 2021 championships had been cancelled during the pandemic) to accommodate independent Australian and New Zealand students not selected to represent their state/country’s official ASOC team but who, subject to endorsement by their state/country authority, choose to compete in the ASOC events. OACT could do this endorsing on a recommendation to the Board from the ASOC selection committee, who would be well-placed to assess the claims of relevant applicants to participate at a suitable standard. In practice these students run the same events, but either just before or just after the official ASOC competition. The Board noted that volunteers from several States (including Toni from ACT, as agreed at the previous Board meeting) had committed to supporting an ‘invitational team’ of interested juniors in 2022, with particular emphasis on children who had nominated to be selected to represent their State but not been selected. This year the accommodation being used for ASOC is large enough for these additional students to be co-located with the selected teams.
2023 calendar – Geoff expects to convene a meeting of the Events Committee to plan the summer twilight and 2023 events calendar in June or July.
Coach-in-Residence – OA has revived this program. Stephen will advise the Board if any suitable candidate emerges, but encouraged all members with overseas connections to spread the word, especially during the upcoming JWOC/WOC competitions.
EOD for AL events – The Board discussed the relative merits of pre-entry and availability of EOD, noting that while it is good to encourage any new members to participate whenever possible (which is supported by the 3-for-free arrangements at Saturday and Twilight series events), it is generally not new members who would be inclined to travel to and enter league-standard events at short notice. Organisers had reported that the requirement for pre-entry had provided much more certainty and convenience in preparing for AL events during the pandemic. On balance the Board concluded that EOD would continue to not be supported for AL events in 2022.
Board Meeting Dates
The Board agreed to the following schedule of Monday 8pm meetings for 2022, noting that several members may not be available in July.
- 23 May
- 4 July
- 15 August
- 19 September
- 31 October
- 12 December