Minutes of General Meeting 5th March 2012
GENERAL MEETING Date: 05.03.12 Time: 7.00p.m Location: Sports House ,Sydney Olympic Park, HOMEBUSH Present: As per Attendance Sheets (54 in attendance) Apologies: Gavin West, Gavin Reynolds, David Munro, Adam Devcich, Gerard Sutton, Russell Smith, Nathan Smith, Brendan Wood, Kasey Badger, Tom Healy, Scot Murray, Brett Lynch Greg McCallum, ( All on League Duties) Noel Bissett, William Drury ( CRLRA),Brian Gately, Arthur Konneke, John Connor, Michael Stone, Matthew Cecchin, Paul Holland, Andrew Zapantis, Tony Kelly, Glen Reece, Jeff Younis, David Jay, Guests: Minutes and Actions of this Meeting Chairman opened the meeting and asked members to observe one minutes silence in memory of the passing of Lindsay Plowes, LintonTurner and Steve Fryer, father of Alison Archer. Acceptance of Apologies. Moved M.Dunn , Seconded, C.Sutton . Carried. Business Arising from Previous Minutes 1.Womens Development Committee up and running following the launch on the 27th September, 2011 and the inaugural Conference held on the 12th February, 2012. 2. Graded Squad Back Packs replaced and now bear Graded Number. 3. Arab Bank has declined an invitation to sponsor the Association. 4. Men of League Foundation held a Charity Function to raise funds for research into Alzheimer’s Disease and the establishment of the Referees 300 Club on the 24th February at Souths Juniors Leagues Club. Six inductees were W.Harrigan, S.Clark, C.Pearce, S.Chiddy, S.Betts and M.Tomsett. Thirty eight referees in attendance to support the inductees. 5. George Jankowski and Brett Lynch were selected for consideration for Life Membership by the Board from five nominations. George Jankowski was elected to Life Membership at the Annual General Meeting. 6. A CMO Level 1 Course was conducted for interested NRL Squad referees on January 28th. 7. Three meetings of the Sub-Committee to discuss a possible restructure of the Association have been held. A further meeting will be held on or about the 3rd April. A very disappointing response from the membership to the call for comments. 8. While G. Pollard ( NSWRL Finance Manager) provided a 3% increase to the budget for 2012 over 2011 , cuts to three budget claims has led to an $11,000 shortfall in planned expenditure. 9. Executive Officer provided a verbal and written report on the Annual Conference. Now on the Web Site. Confirmation of Previous Minutes. Moved M.Dunn Seconded N.Smith . Carried. Board Minutes: Summaries from 29.09.11, 27.10.11, 24.11.11, 02.02.12 and 23.02.12 were made available to the meeting. Questions raised were: 1. P.Cooley asked if a question had been raised at the Board Meeting of the 23.02.12 regarding the honorariums to be paid to himself and P.Filmer during the period of time they were stood down by the NSWRL when the second call for Expressions of Interest in the position of NSW Cup Squad Coach was re-advertised. He asked the Executive Officer to read the minute which the Executive Officer summarised stating that the Chairman, C.Ward had raised the issue and, after discussion, it was agreed that the honorariums would be honoured and that was always the Board’s intention. 2. An explanation of the meaning of the minute that the Les Matthews Golf Day would be self-funded was called for by D.Spagarino. C.Ward explained the reasons for taking the decision were that costing for the day was too expensive but that S.Clapson was reported as having secured two sponsors to offset this. 3. D.Spagarino spoke re the 3% increase in the Budget over 2011. J.Oliveira explained that the amount sought for 2012 was greater than 2011 and since the cuts made in three areas, it has emerged that there will be increases in the number of games played in NSWRL competitions, the Sydney Shield has been reintroduced while the Womens’ Development Committee is depending on its funds from One Community and the C&D cost associated with its activities can’t be included in the planned expenditure until funds are received. He said that money outstanding from District Associations for previous Golf Days had not been recovered as yet because of the change over of Accounting software. 4. D.Spagarino asked if a letter of explanation had been written to A.Farlow following his question at the A.G.M re proceeds from a Silent Auction conducted at the 2010 Presentation Evening. The Chairman said that no letter had been forwarded but that his investigation into the matter had revealed that no money was misappropriated stating that the former Director of Finance, D.Alchin , had assured him that the money was fully recovered and accounted for. ADOPTION OF BOARD MINUTES SUMMARIES: Moved M.Dunn, Seconded B.Beveridge. Carried. Executive Officer: Mr Frank Leonard Item Action Due Date • Correspondence In • Correspondence Out Acceptance of Correspondence Moved D.Spagarino, Seconded P.Cooley CARRIED • Meetings/Functions Attended • Season Passes • Jerseys • Fourth Annual Conference Items 13711-22111 and 0112 -2512 were tabled resulting in : 2012 Letter of concern from South SydneyRLRA President, David Field and Secretary Brett Davies was read on request from D.Spagarino. Items 11101-11144 were tabled and 1201-1221 resulting in the following: 1215 Reply drafted by the Coaching Panel of the Junior Representative Squad to the letter from South SydneyDRLRA was read on request from P.Cooley. P.Filmer stated that Andrew Wheeler had informed him that he was very embarrassed by the comments made about him in the letter from South SydneyDRLRA.. Gavin Badger expressed his disappointment at the tenor and content of the letter.. ARLRA Board meeting 17th September. Launch of Womens’ Development Committee in September, 2011. Graded Squad retro Training Evening. Seniors/Life members Luncheon MC at Presentation Evening External Auditor to discuss and receive information on issues relating to the financial records of 2009-10 and 2010-.11. Western Suburbs RLRA Presentation Evening. Balmain Presentation Evening Bob Styles Funeral Third meeting of the Steering Committee looking at a Restructure of aspects of the Association. NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards Evening. Illawarra AGM CRLRA Annual General Meeting in November , 2011. ARLRA Board Meeting and Presentation Evening. On the 19th November. Les Matthews Golf Day NSWRLRA Annual General Meeting CRLRA Seminar Week-end. Graded Squad Seminar in January Womens’ Development Committee Inaugural Conference in January Junior Reps Seminar in early February. Two Junior Reps Training Sessions and two Graded Squad Training sessions. Further meeting with External Auditor accompanied by Chairman, C.Ward. Canberra Annual General Meeting Cronulla Sutherland Annual General Meeting. Men of League Foundation referees 300 Club. Launch. Official launch of Blues HQ at NSW Leagues Club where a plaque from the NSWRLRA was presented to Graham Annesley jointly by D. Spagarino and myself Procured from the NRL and distributed to all who have an entitlement to a pass. Negotiated with Steve Betts on behalf of Cronulla Sutherland re approval to wear a red jersey for the next three seasons. Provided advice to Newcastle/ Coalfield re their quest to have referees in pink for the next three seasons . Member of the organising Committee, acted as the interlocutor over the week-end of the 24th, 25th 26th February and produced a document on the Proceedings of the Conference. Executive Officer stated that if the small percentage of the membership who complain about the level of membership fees levied, cared to read the Summaries of the Board Meetings, the Correspondence File and the Document produced from the Conference they might just understand that their fees are spent on a great deal more than social functions where alcohol is consumed. Acceptance of Report: Adoption Moved P.Filmer, Seconded P.Cooley. Carried Director of Referee Development : Mr Greg McCallum Item Action Due Date • No Report Acceptance of Report: Moved Seconded. Carried Director of Finance : Mr Jimmy Oliveira Item Action Due Date • Result of Funding Application • Sponsorship • Travel Allowances/Training Fee • Pay Enquiries • Annual Conference • One Community Grant While there is a 3% increase in funding over 2011 there is a shortfall in the planned spend of $11,000. Being sought with an approach made to the Westpac Bank. NSWRL has agreed to a $5 increase in 2012 travel to training for the Graded Squad as was agreed to in part of the 2011 MOU negotiation and will be back paid to November 2011. NSWRL will pay Travel Allowance to Trial Matches for substantiated claims To be directed to Cathy Crowe via e-mail. Thanks extended to representatives from the District Associations who attended the Conference. J.Oliveira said he was happy to take enquiries on board and valued the exchange of ideas. T.Danks stated that G.Pollard was very confident that funding from One Community would be available J.Oliveira said he couldn’t include this funding into the budget until it was made available. Acceptance of Report: Moved M.Dunn, Seconded G.Badger. Carried Director of Affiliate Liaison : Mr Doug Keen Item Action Due Date • Recruit a Ref • Attendances since the A.G.M • Junior Passes Cheque presented to Canterbury/BankstownRLRA for their participation in the programme. Nines at Cabramatta Providers’ Meeting Junior Reps Seminar Men of League Function Congratulations to the inductees. Canterbury, Manly and University Cup AGM’s. Numbers sought from delegates. Acceptance of Report: S.Watson, Seconded R. Garwood. Carried. Director of Member Services : Mr Jon Stone Item Action Due Date • Gear • Presentation Evening • Sponsorship • Social and Welfare Committees Graded Squad and Junior Reps. gear distributed. C.Ward indicated that a sample cut for women’s shorts would be available for comment at the next meeting. NSW Leagues Club to be the venue with a date in October or November. Sleeve sponsorship being sought for curtain raiser to the State of Origin series. Membership identified. Acceptance of Report : Moved N.Smith, Seconded S.Watson. Carried. Director of Marketing & Communication: Mr George Jankowski Item Action Due Date • Dally Messenger • Historical DVD and Museum Dally Messenger’s grandson present at the Blues HQ launch and he reported Dally had been a Graded referee. Certificate to be presented to his grandson. Preparing short DVD for the museum at League Central. D.Spagarino stated that Terry Williams wants to display the Minutes from the 1908 first meeting of the Association at the museum. G.Jankowski to follow up. B.Barry said that Gloria Brown had every copy of the programmes for Cliff Brown’s career. Moved P.Filmer, seconded N.Smith that they be donated to the museum. Carried. Acceptance of Report: Moved B.Barry , Seconded P.Cooley. Carried. Chairman : Mr Chris Ward • Tribute and Thanks to D.Spagarino • Congratulations and Welcome. • Some Member Expressions of Opinion • Meeting, Function Attendances. • Financial Management Chairman thanked D.Spagarino for the contribution he had made to the Association over the five years he was Chairman that had put it in good stead. To the newly elected District delegates. To the three newly Graded members : Gavin King, Mitchell Stone and Peter Combie-Brown. To Matt Cecchin, Paul Holland and Henry Perenara on their appointment to the Four Nations Tournament.. To Ashley Klein on his appointment to the World Club Challenge and to Daniel Eastwood on his 100th First Grade game as a Touch Judge. To Joshua McGowan and Mitchell Fing from the Junior Reps. who were appointed , respectively, to the Mal Meninga Cup and Cyril Connell Cup in Queensland . To all the new recruits in the Junior Rep.Squad. Chairman stated that in speaking with many Active Members in both the NRL and NSWRL Squads, the following priorities were expressed: What they WANT is for the Association to: 1.Meet the needs of members, especially work place representation and member welfare. 2.Create transparency, keeping them fully informed on anything that may affect them . 3. Enable genuine feedback on both Association and League matters. 4. Adopt the highest standards of financial control so that every dollar spent is for direct benefit of members and their District Associations. What they don’t want is: 1.Cosy relationships or self-interest that constrain our ability to advocate for them 2. Manipulating the flow of information to them. 3. Condoning any form of threat to their appointments or careers. 4. Giving travel, entertainment or beverage consumption priority over member services. Since the 12th December when I was elected Chairman I have attended a meeting with Geoff Carr regarding coaching positions and sent out an e-mail to all members informing them of the Constitutional issues and the meeting outcome. Met with Nathan McGuirk where Workers’ Compensation for members of the NRL Squad is being explored and contacted Nathan for a confirmed date for the promised meeting to explain the new contracts and to answer referees’ concerns, issues and all questions regarding members rights and welfare. With F.Leonard attended a meeting with the External Auditor, Fiedelis Liguory to discuss the implementation of the 15 point Financial Management recommendations. Womens Development Conference and NSWRLRA Conference which were both well organised, informative and highlighted issues and concerns and were regarded worthwhile and successful by all those attending. Commended F.Leonard and G.McCallum on making these Conferences the success they were. Working with J.Oliveira to determine whether there are appropriate financial controls in place. Need to ensure that spending by Association members is approved in advance, complies with written guidelines and is accompanied by written evidence of how the membership actually benefitted from it. Due Date ACCEPTANCE OF REPORT: Moved: G.Badger Seconded S.Watson. Carried REPORTS B.Lynch ( NRAS Manager) Read by Executive Officer. Apologised for non attendance as Meeting clashed with a Level O Course he was conducting with Penrith Referees’ Association. On Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th February, eleven referees gained their “Level 2 In Training” status at a Course at Sports House, Homebush. Thanks extended to Alan Shortall, Gavin Badger, Russell Turner, Kasey Badger, Bryan Gilchrist and Steve Clark who presented modules over the week-end. The next Level 2 Course is scheduled for Sunday 10th and Monday 11th June at Homebush. On Tuesday 21st February twenty Providers from District Associations attended a Training Course. General Business 1. J.Oliveira identified the members of the Workplace Relations Committee. 2. C.Ward outlined the developments in the proposed restructure following a meeting he had with F.Leonard and G.McCallum on the 21.2.12. It was decided to park the proposed name change but to take the other suggestions which were constructive to the next meeting of the Sub-Committee on the 3rd April. 3. J.Stone indicated that a Joint Barbecue involving the NRL and Graded Squads would be held prior to Round 3 of the competitions. 4. G.Badger thanked the Association for the invitation to the Men of League Referees 300 Club luncheon. He stated that it was nice to see the game recognised referees. S.Clark thanked the Association and especially D.Spagarino who put so much work into the organisation of the day that covered some twelve months . He said it was a great day for referees despite the “roast” being a little over the top. He said the criteria established for identifying the inductees was discussed over a long period of time. D.Spagarino supported this last statement and explained why P.Cooley was not included. 5. D.Spagarino sought clarification on something that he said was in the public domain .Whilst there were five Board members current who were there in 2011 he referred to a statement circulating that was attributed to the Chairman who allegedly stated that for the past five years the Association” had been run like a s…house.” The Chairman denied it, saying it was untrue, and not what was said to a member attending the meeting. S.Clark identified himself as the member referred to and announced publicly that he stood by the version given and provided to F.Leonard and others on the same evening the alleged statement was made. C.Ward stood by his statement claiming it arose from “ Chinese whispers that are killing the Association” and that S.Clark’s statement was a lie. He urged members to get the facts straight and to come and talk to him. 6. D.Keen referred to a question raised at the Annual General Meeting re the proceeds from a Silent Auction. He read a prepared statement saying he was not impressed with the perception generated by the Chairman that he may have misappropriated money when he undertook an investigation into the alleged non accountability for money received from the Silent Auction. He said the investigation lacked depth as the Chairman did not make enquiries of the former Director of Finance, D.Alchin as to how the items purchased were paid for. He said the Executive Officer was responsible for contacting D.Alchin just four days out from the last Board meeting and he indicted that all money was accounted for with notations made in the Accounts to ensure that this was the case. D.Keen stated that he believed the Chairman had cast a slur on him, his reputation and integrity to the point where it bordered on defamation of character and he demanded an apology from the Chairman. C.Ward explained that he took up the investigation from D.Spagarino and that he was obliged to investigate the matter. That he found that there was no misappropriation of money and said that he considered no apology by the Chairman to be warranted in the circumstances and there would be no apology forthcoming. D.Keen asked that his complaint be placed on record. 7. The Chairman indicated that the July meeting of the Association would be held at League Central. Meeting closed at 8.15 p.m Next Meeting: Monday May, CHAIRPERSON……………………………………..