Please view the 2017 Constitutional Changes Forum below, held at Genea Netball Centre on Tuesday 3 October:

CLICK HERE to view the presentation and notes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Netball NSW President

Elected by the Membership or of the Board?

  • Some Members felt like it was in their scope that they should still vote in whom is President.
  • Some Members felt that once the Board is elected, the Board should have the right to decide on whom should lead the Board as President of Chairman

If the position was elected by the Board?

  • Members felt if the Board were to elect the President, it should be from the Elected Members
  • Members felt that the Appointed Directors  should not be eligible to hold this position, as they have not been voted in to their position by the members of the organisation
Length of Elected Directors Terms

Proposal for an Elected Director to be elected for 3 years for 3 consecutive terms – a maximum of 9 consecutive years

  • Consensus from the members on the floor, they were agreeable with this proposed change
  • It is to be noted that if a Director exceed the maximum term by being elected for a three year term that Director will be required to resign from the Board in the year that the maximum term of 9 years is reached. This will cause a casual vacancy that the Board will fill until the next AGM. There is already provisions within the constitution for how a Casual Vacancy is filled
Change in the number of Elected Directors

If you were to decrease the number of Elected Directors, would you increase the number of Appointed Directors?

No

What is the rationale to reduce the number to 5 or to keep status quo?

The guideline from the Australian Sports Commission and best practice see that an optimal number for a Board is between 5-7 people. The workload needs to be shared, which has increased over the last decade with the changing needs to the business. It is about the quality of work that is produced. The Board is not operational, it is strategic and we have a number of highly skilled professional staff that deliver the operational side of our business.

With a potential decrease in elected members how will this impact the skill matrix on the board?

We don’t believe you will lose expertise off the board. With 7 people you have varying degree of expertise and knowledge across the board. With the Appointed Directors we look at the skill set we have and what we need. Our focus is to retain the Netball knowledge, but we also look at the skills of our professional staff have, as well as what our Appointed Directors bring to the Board and the Business.

Concerns around voting in the Board Meetings, with the decrease in the number of elected members

5 (Elected Directors) votes would beat out 2 (Appointed Directors) every day of the week.

If the number of elected Board members are reduced, will there be more appointed corporate board members who have no background in netball just a background in making money? If so will the grassroots members then be neglected and only the money spinning NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball be looked after? This is what appears to have happened in Rugby, Tennis and Cricket over the years

It is not the intention of the Board to increase the number of Appointed Directors.The Board understands very well the importance of retaining the “netball knowledge”.  Currently our Appointed Directors enhance the “netball knowledge” with specific skills.
Appointed Directors

Proposal for an Appointed Director to be appointed initially for a term of two years up to a maximum of nine consecutive years

  • Discussion was had around the terms and the skills and expertise that the Appointed Directors and length of the terms they serve for the benefit of the organisation, with 9 years suggest for consistency across the Directors.
  • Maximum of 9 years, we do not see an appointed Director holding that position for that long, however this is dependant from the climate of the organisation, with concern around limiting the term of an appointed director to only a 12 month appointment.
  • Discussion around an initial 3 year term appointment, with a possibility to extend the term for another 3 years term – this is all dependent on the scope of work the Director is working on. Therefore totally a 6 year appointment

My concern is the proposal regarding appointed directors having a nine year term – when introduced the appointed directors’ position was for a specific purpose based on a specific skill/qualification – for a one/two year term – why would it ever be envisaged that an appointed director would need to be involved for nine years?

The simple answer is consistency within the Constitution.   Appointed Directors are there to fill specific skill gaps on the Netball NSW Board – so our current two Appointed Directors provide high level skill and expertise in the Audit & Risk and Business and the Sporting Industry respectively.

Before each appointment the Board fully discusses what is needed and the length of the appointment.  I can’t see that this process would change.

If I expand on the two examples above the Business and Sporting Industry experience that Myles Barron-Hay brings to the Board is immense.  As an ex CEO of the Sydney Swans his expertise around the management of elite athletes in the team environment, the competitive balance aspect in an elite competition and his broader business skills within the Sporting Industry is enormous.  This expertise will assist NNSW greatly in managing these aspects in the Suncorp Super Netball competition environment.  In the Audit & Risk area the expertise that Christine Feldmanis has brought to our organisation is also enormous.  Working in conjunction with our COO, Mike Anderson, the organisation’s systems and reporting have been streamlined and the oversight of the financial and risk areas has been heightened.  This is an area of the organisation that is always under strong scrutiny and that won’t change in the years to come.

Do I think that the Board would appoint an Appointed Director for a maximum of 9 years? Probably not but to remove the flexibility to do this if required doesn’t make sense.  Depending on the circumstances operating around the time of an appointment the Board could decide to only appoint for 1-2 years, the important thing is not to remove the flexibility that the Board may need to utilise in these appointments.

Change in the length of term for President

Proposal is for the President to serve a maximum of 6 consecutive years or 2 consecutive terms of 3 years

  • Members agreed that this proposal was about succession planning for the Board
  • Consensus from the floor was that there wasn’t any issues with this change within the constitution, as it also comes into line with the other proposed changes to Elected Directors terms
Chief Executive Officer as Director

Are Electronic signatures are more acceptable this day in age? Would you not be able to manage the business to ensure a Director can send?

Not everyone accepts electronic signatures on contracts. There are a number of times, when a signatures is required for a contract in a short space of time, and without the flexibility of having the CEO has a non-voting Director, allows effective and efficient management of some of the day to day operations of the organisation.

What is the rationale for the CEO to become a voting Director?

The CEO has the same responsibility as a Director this day in age. We are just putting all the options out there for this discussion with the members to get your thoughts on this. There is a lot of different combinations which are currently operating across the sporting sector that works for that individual organisation.

Is the board happy with the current situation (CEO as a non-voting Director)?

Yes

Does the current status quo hinder the CEO performance?

I don’t believe the current arrangement hinders the CEO performing their roles within the organisation. The CEO has an active voice with the Board Meetings as a non-voting Director.
Nominations Panel

Is the nomination panel to seek nominations?

Not necessarily – however they may do if they know someone within their association whom would also be a great candidate. No one would be given preferential treatment in this process.

Would the rankings be provide to the council?

Yes, the rankings would be provided to the council, considering the skills matrix that the Board provides the Panel to utilise with assessing what the organisation needs. This would be provided along with the candidates biographies provided.

Would this need to be a change to the constitution?

No, this does not sit within the constitution. The Board has the ability to form panels.

What if we don’t get nominations for 3 members?

Then the process would not happen, which would be a shame.

The Board will select the Panel?

No, the panel will consist of:

  • Two Directors appointed by the Board, whom are not up for election
  • The council will determine whom would be the three council representatives on the board – whom would be voted on by the Council Delegates
General Feedback and Questions

Can you explain what may have prompted the changes indicated and what the expected benefits are for Netball in NSW with the changes?

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) provides sporting organisations with guidance around “best practice” for sports in the Governance area.  The Board took the decision a few years ago to consider the ASC advice as it was provided and if considered appropriate for Netball NSW then we would try to implement it.

Benefits are good governance creates an environment where the sport can be nurtured, where it can prosper and hopefully grow in the very competitive world of sport these days.  Good governance is a team effort – we all need to play our part – own it and be active in it.

If you have any further feedback or questions, please contact Lauren Woods, General Manager – Stakeholder Relations, at [email protected] or on (02) 9951 5000 during business hours.