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E.A. & Branches, Opinion 2020 

'Stuff ' just keeps dissappearing on Facebook and Forums!
'Stuff ' just keeps dissappearing on Facebook and Forums!
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EDITORIAL

Editorial- Horses Mouth’s Personal Opinion- May 2020

EQUESTRIAN AUSTRALIA – MAY 2020- MASSIVE FACE PLANT!

Once again, the Equestrian Australia culture and their supersonic revolving door has turbo boosted the exit of their Chair, Ricky MacMillan and Board Member Gillian Canapini.

Ricky was a popular appointment, the minions seeing her as a champion reformer and the last hope for saving this rancid organisation. Ricky has been quoted as saying “change at EA had been “un-obtain­able”, a concise quote that speaks volumes. How bad must the situation have been for Ricky to resign?

Many posts in social media have asked to hear from Ricky regarding her reasons, what happened? It should be understood that Ricky would have signed a confidentiality agreement that has effectively muzzled her and maintained the E.A’s reputation for secrecy; not her choice but probably legally binding! I personally thank Ricky for her action regarding stopping the F.E.I. from making the Hendra vaccination mandatory for Australian horses competing under FEI rules and attempting to reform E.A., I am sure it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

So here we have yet another drama that has added to E.A.’s litany of issues that now sees a campaign to remove the entire board and implement an independent administrator, which I sincerely hope succeeds.

“JUST GIVE THEM A CHANCE”...... AGAIN..+again..etc.

THE PEOPLE AT THE TOP HAVE BEEN A BIG FLOP

Members (i.e. grass roots State Branch Members) have said time and time again “give the new board/ board members/chair a chance”. With the same results over a period of over 10 years, no change in transparency, fiscal responsibility or any perceptible change in the abysmal elitist culture at the top. Resulting in a number of board Chairs simply throwing their hands in the air in despair and giving up, or covered in egg and falling on their swords. How many chances over how many years are acceptable? When will enough be enough?

The rot started in earnest when (as I understand it, I can’t remember exactly but around 20 years ago) Sport Australia (Nee The Australian Sports Commission) mandated a specific style of governance (adopted) that was allegedly a new condition for E.A’s eligibility for government funding.

This necessitated new constitutions (Federal and Branches) that had the effect of changing the structure of what was originally a  “Federation of State Branches” that together ran Equestrian Sports as the Equestrian Federation of Australia into the current structure of EA being the peak body, the despot, and the states and their members lowly subjects very well insulated from their management. The over-riding effect was to remove any direct line of communication from the grass roots ‘Branch’ members to their ‘peak body’ and ushered in a fascist style of rule by E.A. The constitutions have had a few revisions that have contrived to further reduce the input from actual grass roots members, the Branches and people who have experienced involvement in our sport.

 THE ISSUES

Don’t believe me? The results speak for themselves (see following pages for full revelations)

  • falling membership with slippery numbersdiscounted membership categories and fewer ‘full fare ‘ paying members;

  • financial instability and questionable accounting - large sums designated to ‘miscellaneous’ categories,

  • declining Olympic medals,

  • revolving door of C.E.O's,

  • embroilment in costly legal actions,

  • unsuitable disastrous industry partnerships,

  • growing administration costs, top heavy administration,

  • regular conflicts of interest being ignored, preferential treatment to board members and ‘friends’,

  • failures in due diligence and impartiality re tenders,

  • not following their own rules and processes,

  • regular disputes over Olympic team selections,

  • bizarre marketing to children who don’t have horses and aren’t members (Ready Set Trot),

  • gaping holes in safety procedures, 

  • Purchasing a horse for a rider, no open applications for a rider, sold at a loss.

  • questionable tribunal decisions…. etc. etc. and the list goes on.

To date none of the EA boards that have been embroiled in the various dramas described in the following links, have fully explained or apologised for the incidents, nothing has changed.

THE CONSTITUTIONS – THE RULES THAT E.A. RUNS BY –

MAXIMUM DISENFRANCHISEMENT FOR MINIMUM RESULTS

WEBMASTERS OPINION- This is the structure that has led to ‘grass roots members’ endemic helplessness. They have no direct voice to Equestrian Australia and there is no clear constitutional compulsion for State Branches to communicate their members concerns to E.A. or force their action on matters.

Equestrian Australia’s Constitution spells out the purpose of the organisation. One way of determining whether a board is fulfilling this task is to examine the way the rules of an organisation change under the leadership of a particular board and if the board’s actions comply with the requirements of their constitution. Have they made the members’ ability to enjoy their sport better or worse? Are they fair and inclusive or have they facilitated the disenfranchisement of the members and contributed to a board culture of self-serving exclusivity, conflicts of interest, fiscal irresponsibility at the expense of the organisation’s members and their expectations under the governing constitution?

 

Bottom line, if the constitution isn’t working for members change it! Unfortunately, regarding Equestrian Australia and the Branches this process under their constitutions represents maximum difficulty. If the requirements under the constitution are too difficult to comply with (deliberately so?) to force change, then formally petitioning a government body that oversees relevant behaviour is a viable option, I assume that this is what the current petition is aimed at.

 

The links included on this site regarding the constitutions describe totalitarian manifestos that question how the organisation has any members at all.

PETITION - Vote to replace the EA Board with an independent administrator

Update - June 2020 - Sport Australia withdrew E.A.s Government Funding for high performance and participation. The EA Board voted to place EA in voluntary Administration as in the Boards opinion they would be trading while insolvent in the very near future

 

THE MOST RECENT SPECTACLE: MAY 2020

“THE AUSTRALIAN - EQUESTRIAN AUSTRALIA IN TURMOIL AS RICKY MACMILLAN QUITS

EXCLUSIVE REPORTER- OLIVIA CAISLEY, MAY 13, 2020

The future of the sport of equestrian, which has ­delivered Australia 12 Olympic medals, including six golds, is in turmoil again after former Olympian and chairwoman Ricky MacMillan resigned, becoming the third chair in 18 months to do so.

She stepped down from Equestrian Australia on Monday after just six months at the reins, and was joined in her departure from the board by former director Gillian Canapini.

An Olympian who represented Australia in dressage in Sydney and Athens, MacMillan was considered the sport’s saving grace and had vowed to change the organisation’s culture, rapidly moving to install a national safety officer to implement recommendations made after a coronial inquiry into the deaths of Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer in 2016.

MacMillan said change at EA had been “unobtain­able”.

“The vision I had when I took the chair of EA was a sport for the members — each participating member in each state would have a voice and be listened to.

“Circumstances meant that as hard as I tried, this was unobtain­able with the current structure of the organisation. I could not stand by and see the interests of members overlooked,” she said.

Canberra Airport’s Terry Snow, a benefactor of the sport, said MacMillan had been the best possible person to rectify the sport’s governance: “She’s got the experience, was an Olympic rider, has knowledge of the industry, is an international judge, she’s very focused and (a) very tenacious woman and I know she really wanted to make a big change.”

Ms Canapini said she had returned to the board with the expectation that members would be provided with full transparency of board decisions. “Sadly that is not the case,” she said. “It is time for our organisation to restructure and for the sport to be reclaimed by and for the members.”

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick said he was disturbed by news of MacMillan’s resignation.

“I understood she had been given the job to transform the organisation, including cultural transformation,” he said.

“Prior to her appointment, I had raised the prospect of a Senate inquiry into the sport and its governance. After discussions with the minister, I made a decision to wait and see how Ms MacMillan progressed reforms. I will now need to take a close look.”

MacMillan’s resignation caps a tumultuous 18 months for the ­national sporting body, whose high-performance team will receive $3.2m in taxpayer funding for the 2019-20 financial year.

It comes as the NSW Office of Sport referred the tender process for awarding more than $1m in taxpayer funds to resurface two ­arenas at Sydney International Equestrian Centre to ICAC after alle­gations of conflict of interest.

Asked whether it would consider employing an external administrator to clean up the governing body, Sport Australia said it continued to work with Equestrian Australia “with a high priority on creating safer sporting environments for its members”.

OLIVIA CAISLEY, REPORTER - Olivia Caisley is a federal politics reporter based in the Canberra press gallery. She began her career at The Australian in 2015 working for the digital team before joining the Sydney bureau as a general news “

 

AND:

More examples of the revolving door

FROM FACEBOOK- BERNI SAUNDERS and others

https://www.facebook.com/berni.saunders.7/posts/10157510469457833

https://www.facebook.com/suellen.saals/posts/29367233531093

https://www.facebook.com/berni.saunders.7/posts/10157500959712833

PETITION- INDEPENDENT ADMINISTRATOR FOR E.A. MAY 2020

Sign the petition

 

When is Enough, Enough?

THE PROOF - LINKS :

LINKS TO DISCUSSIONS, OPINIONS & INFORMATION ON THE MAJOR DIVISIVE E.A. ISSUES OVER THE YEARS

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it" George Santayana

Most of these links refer to posts made on Cyberhorse, an equestrian forum that was popular, supported by some very knowledgeable horse people around 7 years ago, but has since been superseded by the popularity of social platforms like Facebook and has sadly fallen into the doldrums.

 

Unlike Facebook, Cyberhorse has very good archives and a search facility that provides most of these links. At that time Berni Saunders and her husband were the owners of Cyberhorse,  Berni was a journalist and a frequent contributor to the forum. These links will take you to a range of posts that will describe the plethora of varied Equestrian Australia faux pas that erupted over many years, along with E.A’s most recent dramas have contributed to  today’s members  disillusionment with the organisation culminating in the current petition to replace the EA Board with an independent administrator.

Please note that in some cases I have included text/links from/to newspapers such as The Australian , they require subscriptions to access the article so I have copied text as required.

PETITION - Vote to replace the EA Board with an independent administrator

ESSENTIAL READING ON THE EA & BRANCHES CONSTITUTIONS

The Base of our Problems- Understanding the constitutions ,how they disenfranchise grass roots members and fails to ensure good governance and fairness

EA MANAGEMENT - NOW AND THE FUTURE - THE CONSTITUTION HOLDS THE KEY! -By Berni Saunders

NAUGHTYHORSE’S GUIDE TO THE EQUESTRIAN AUSTRALIA GOVERNANCE REVIEW 2015 PART 1

NAUGHTYHORSE- WHAT DO YOU THINK IS BEST FOR THE MEMBERS?

NAUGHTYHORSES GUIDE TO EA COMMITTEES AND BOARDS - INTRO

NAUGHTYHORSE - MORE CONCERNS ABOUT EQUESTRIAN AUSTRALIA

NAUGHTYHORSES GUIDE TO EA COMMITTEES AND BOARDS- PART 1

NAUGHTYHORSES GUIDE TO EA COMMITTEES AND BOARDS -PART 2 includes EV

NAUGHTYHORSE'S GUIDE TO EA BOARDS AND COMMITTEES PART 5: SOUTH AUSTRALIA

(Note the above, was written by Richard aka Naughtyhorse, who stood for the E.N.S.W. board on a reform platform- the members did not support him... go figure!)

Naughtyhorse (Richard) on -ENSW President's Response To My(his) letter To The Editor Of The Horse Magazine.

 

Note Judy Fasher E.N.S.W. chair became E.A. Chair and left EA under a cloud with no member support

WHEN WILL WE HAVE NEW EA AND BRANCH CONSTITUTIONS? BY FRANZ VENHAUS (ex EA Chair) 2013

http://www.franzvenhaus.com/

https://forum.cyberhorse.com.au/forums/showthread.php?108889-ENSW-Board-Voting

WHEN WILL WE HAVE NEW EA AND BRANCH CONSTITUTIONS? BY FRANZ VENHAUS (ex EA Chair) 2013

http://www.franzvenhaus.com/

RICKY
PETITION
ISSUES
conGEN
constitution1
LINKS
NAVIGATE
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NAVIGATION

PAGE 1    2     3     4     5      6

Page 6 - Latest Update- Equestrian Australia under Administration 9 June 2020

Page 1: EDITORIAL -start

Editorial- Horses Mouth’s Personal Opinion- May 2020 - Equestrian Australia – May 2020- Massive Face Plant!

The Constitutions – The Rules That E.A. IS Run By : Maximum Disenfranchisement For Minimum Results

The Major Divisive E.A. Issues Over The Years

Petition - Vote to Replace the E.A. Board with An Independent Administrator, May 2020

The Most Recent Spectacle: May 2020 - “The Australian - Equestrian Australia In Turmoil as Ricky MacMillan Quits”

Essential Reading on the E.A. & Branches Constitutions

Links- the proof

Page 2 :

REFORM, BIG FAIL !- It’s been tried before, and failed! – revising the constitutions to remove unfair clauses, improve transparency and board accountability and become ‘grass roots members’ inclusive

E.A and the Zoetis partnership and  Hendra Vaccination farce 2015-2020+

Equinect Disaster 2012 E.A. Board Member Granted E.A. Multi-Million $ Contract for Software, No Tender and Never Delivered

 

Page 3 :

Equestrian Safety Issues – Failures, When Sport Becomes A Deadly Pursuit

Inquest Into Deaths Of Olivia Inglis And Caitlyn Fischer Calls For Equestrian Safety Overhaul

E.A.’S attempt to seize the state branches financial sponsors and become an absolute ruler

When Is A Selection Criteria Not A Criteria? - The 4 yearly selection bun fight

When It’s Devised By E.A. and Includes a Discretionary Clause that negates all other criteria:

Sue Herne – Drug Fiasco 2017. Olympics Dressage Failures and repeated team selection dramas.

 

The Revolving Door of EA Board Chairs

Ricky MacMillan -Judy Fasher - Alistair Mackinlay -Warwick Vale -Paul Biancardi

 

 

Page 4 :

NATIONAL COACHING DRAMA -2016, Committee fired and coaches left rudderless

E.N.S.W. - Conflict Claims Over Sydney International Equestrian Centre Surface Upgrade

E.V. Alleged Showing Junket results in the sub committee being dissolved!

E.A. Purchases a horse for a rider - no open application for the ride, horse sold at a big loss.

SECRECY – E.A. SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY 2010  -Just 'Shut up'

 

E.A. SOLVENCY QUESTIONED 

 

Page 5 :

EQUESTRIAN SOUTH AUSTRALIAN ISSUES 2010

EQUESTRIAN SOUTH AUSTRALIA – Review Begins After Allegations Of Bullying - 2019 

Why Does Equestrian Australia Remain Silent on The ACCC's Public Consultation?

Equestrian Receives Boost from Federal Government Funding Allocation for 2015/16-

So How Did E.A. Spend the $420,000pa Allocated For 'Participation Outcomes? What Were the Measurable Outcomes?

ALLEGATIONS : RE E.V AND WERRIBEE PARK EQUESTRIAN CENTRE

TRIBUNAL TRAGICS

MY E.A. SECURITY BREACH NOTIFICATION 2020

EQUESTRIAN RIDER ALLOWED TO COMPETE AFTER RAPE CHARGE

EXPLANATIONS

Brief History

Who Are the Members of E.A.?

Why Does Equestrian Australia Have the Governance Structure It Has?

Overview for National Sporting Organisation Funding and Performance Review

What Government Money Does E.A. Receive?

Overview for National Sporting Organisation Funding and Performance Review

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