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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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REFORM SUMMARY

| 2020-2021 |    2022        | 2012-2022   | Comment   |  Dec 2021      |     2022        |         FEBRUARY 2022                    |

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December 30 2021 Update

WHY DO WE NEED THIS AGITATION? 

I JUST WANT TO RIDE MY HORSE 

Yes, members just want to ride their horses and compete, isn't this why they joined E.A./ Their State Branch in the first place?

 

They don’t want another fight.

BUT

With E.A. and the State Branches in absolute control of open equestrian competition in Australia

IF 

You face rising fees and competition costs/ complain/ face a tribunal/ get bullied/ have a judging issue /  serious related issue etc.

Ask yourself are you reassured you are getting :

  • Value for your membership $'s for the level that you are competing at?

  • Administration that is accessible, efficient, competent and cost effective, without duplications?

  • An organisation that is not top heavy with administration staff and reducing financial investment at a membership level?

  • Distribution of services and funds according to income generated from members, proportionately, according to their numbers for discipline participation and levels of competition?

  • Equitable, respectful, fair treatment and representation, without ‘cronyism or favouritism?

  • An organisation that adheres to predictable processes by the associations staff, administrators: adherence to written rules and policies regarding disciplinary tribunal, coaches, judges and judging, volunteers, owners, team selection at all levels? 

  • Acknowledges you do have a right to comment and even criticize without being sanctioned for bringing the sport into disrepute / bullying?

  • Doesn't use their Constitution, Rules and Policies against members.

  • Where the Board obeys their own Constitution and accepts consequences for infractions without a legal stoush.

  • An organisation that doesn't 'lawyer up' using the organisations funds against self funded members?

  • Do you realise that volunteers and the clubs do the giant share of the actual work?

  • You're OK with paying $365 / $215 membership fee for what you are getting?

 

 

What about these issues:

  1. Are you re-assured that the organisation is adequately addressing health and safety issues, horse welfare, social issues such as bullying, safety of women and younger members?

  2. Free Speech - Are you concerned that members comments in discussion forums on the www ,regarding equestrian issues could, be deemed "bringing the sport into disrepute", regardless of how innocuous the discussion; that such an activity could incur the organisations disciplinary measures? Do you know what the organisations definition of "bringing the sport into disrepute is,  or is it a moving target?

  3. Has your State Branch had negative publicity in State / regional/ National newspapers, bringing the sport into disrepute? What were the repercussions to the Branch regarding sanctions?

  4. If your organisation is called to task on the Boards infractions of their constitution by their members, are they co-operative with compliance or are they defensively combative, resisting rectification?

  5. Does your organisation use members funds for legal actions against members?  Is this expenditure clearly identified on their yearly financial reports?

  6. Is there a disproportionate focus of services, administration and funding for elite competitors at the expense of the lower levels?

  7. Does your organisation have large sums of money identified on the yearly financial report as "other" or another un-specific category?

 You are paying for this level of service!

So, are you ready to engage in the need to reform Equestrian Australia ? 

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HOW

IMPLEMENTING STEP 3

A NEW ORGANISATION

HOW CAN WE BUILD A NEW ORGANISATION?

WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN?

WE CAN BUILD A NEW, FAIRER, MORE REPRESENTATIVE ORGANISATION IF WE UNITE 

The Members have the power provided they are prepared to use it.

 

COMMITMENT- is there enough support?

- PLANNING - PREPARATION -TIMING

The success of establishing a new organisation with no break in services, affiliations  etc will rely on thorough preparation and timing, and of course the support and help of the new members; taking great care not to replicate the  errors of the past or allowing single people or groups to hi-jack or dominate the process. Let's face it we have a blueprint for what not to do, pitfalls to avoid and what the members want. Impartiality must be defined valued, 'cronyism' must be avoided. We are doing this for the improvement of the sport and it's members. We also have a example framework (E.A. and the Branches) for legal policies and procedures.

In the name of total transparency I am proposing this timeline as a starting point :

 

GET A COMMITMENT - A SEAMLESS TRANSITION

Questionnaire -  ask the members to specify exactly what they want; naturally any new organisation will be committed to 1 vote 1 member.

 

The most important thing to determine is if these current E.A. Members would be prepared not to renew their State Branch Membership if/ when a new organisation was in place to provide the services and associations ( F.E.I. , government organisations) that their State Branch's and E.A. had provided.

Most importantly, if this condition is met: would they become a member of the new organisation. Are judges, officials and volunteers prepared to do likewise?

 

TIMELINE (approximate sequence)

FOR BUILDING THE NEW ORGANISATION

. 

WORKING PARTIES - I think we can do 'it' better!

If the responses are positive; seek members prepared to join the various working parties.

 

There should be a working party members commitment to a behavioural policy regarding bullying, cronyism, vested interest and personal advantage. 

 

Representation will hopefully be broad - participants from all States, elite competitors, judges, officials, coaches, clubs, non elite and aspiring competitors should be represented.

Form working parties of member volunteers with specific responsibilities- splinter working parties e.g. per State, per task;  may be deemed necessary by the Parent Working Party. It is assumed that meetings would be virtual using Zoom or similar.

1. Liaison - with FEI ( FEI recognition of a new peak body will be integral), Clubs, private business running competitions, Sport Australia, IOC, AOC, Pony Club  etc.  Recognition by the FEI, IOC, Sport Australia  and AOC should be negotiated first as our new organisations viability will hinge on their co-operation- Report back to co-ordination working party. Once this task has been achieved then the other working parties will commence. 

 

2. Co-ordination -Comprising volunteers from all states : Temporary Clerical, receive/answer/distribute correspondence, record keeping, communications, advertising draft constitution and other documents, receive  suggestions from prospective members, distributing them to relevant working parties, collect completed drafts and reports from all working parties. 

3. Compliance - Legal and government requirements, draft constitution, policies such as OHS. Bullying etc 

4. Financial- Budget planning, insurance, sponsorship, start-up equipment costing-office- equipment suggested by #5(eg defibrillator), minimum staff requirement, wages and related requirements, propose membership fee, costing squads, costing State Championship events & National Events (or sub contracting to private organisations)  (Championship sub working party?)Manage the issue of Financial year and Calendar year Branch Membership cessation.

5. Disciplines Working Parties - rules, judges & officials training, tests (dressage),suggest categories for membership, squads, juniors, categories for competitions ( pro, amateur etc), safety requirements, PARA equipment, Pro forma requirements for running events.

6. Artistic-  logo design, stationary , website and liaison input content from all other working parties- progress reports,newsletter, blog etc. Initially using a free web site as at this stage there would be no funding

7. Coaches- Examine the possibility of writing a registered marketable training package for E.A. Coaches, content and requirements. Devise on-going updated training for coaches as a requirement to maintain registration, examiners panet etc. as required

INITIAL GENERAL MEETING

Once tasks have been completed to draft format by all working parties:

As per requirements of the Corporations Act.

REGISTER THE NEW ORGANISATION (if viable after the general meeting)

As per requirements of the Corporations Act.

The Registered new organisation is immediately open to membership, initially with no membership fees as services won't commence until N.R. day. 

NON RENEWAL DAY (N.R. Day) 

State Branch Members- Stop paying Memberships of their State Branches on a specified date, once the new organisation is functional enough to allow competitions to commence under their jurisdiction. This will require participants to pay membership fees to the new organisation ASAP.

What about E.A. and the State Branches?

E.A. and the State Branches only endure because they have Members who pay membership fees.  If the majority of their members  stop renewing their memberships, then E.A. and the Branches would be financially crippled and would eventually become insolvent. The fact that two Branches pay their membership subscriptions per calendar year, and the others by financial year will present a minor issue and will have to be managed. . 

But wouldn't this stop all competitions, FEI affiliation, insurance , registrations, squads, everything?

Theoretically, yes. If we plan well, no.

It's all in the timing and preparation. 

 

Ask yourself who run's the majority of competitions?  It's the discipline clubs and private businesses. The State Branches only run a hand-full of State championship events and the squads.

See for yourself what exactly the State Branches do (From the Memorandum of Understanding Between E.A. and the State Branches.)

As you can see it's mainly clerical, the 'on- site' work is in the hands of the clubs, volunteers and officials, the members are already doing it.  The clerical can be handled by minimal office staff, HRCAV are managing this, so can we.

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