Commodore’s Report – 3rd November 2020

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Dear Members,

It’s great to be getting back on the water.

And just like our sailing “shake down” last Saturday, I hope we can all enjoy a fresh start, a “collective shake down” as we move enthusiastically into the summer season.

There has been much momentum and careful planning during this lockdown period. The General Committee is working on many things including reviewing our strategic plan. We are reviewing where we have come from and where we want to head to over the next four years. We still have a lot of work to do before we open the discussion with members. However, one thing we all agree on: we all want to maintain a club where everyone feels welcome and feels that they belong.

This means supporting members to respectfully express their different points of view. I’m certain none of us want a club where hostile and negative comments, such as some made on the Facebook Member’s Forum work to stifle this conversation. We are hearing from many members and staff that they are disheartened by such negativity. Some members have resigned from our Facebook Member’s Forum for this reason. They don’t want misinformation; they don’t relate to it and they don’t feel it belongs at our club but they are excited about our future direction.

The place to belong was our tagline at the election and we intend to maintain a culture of inclusion, so all members feel they truly belong.

We know that to innovate we need to encourage the expression of differences. If you look around and everyone is like you, chances are everyone will have the same point of view, making it more difficult to come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things. We welcome input, feedback and discussion from all members and such input needs to be constructive, respectful and inclusive.

We want all members to belong and feel welcome in our club.

What is General Committee working on:

Strategic Plan
As I mentioned, the Strategic Plan review process has commenced. We held a half day workshop on a Saturday, which included a review of our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) and an initial review of our Vision, Mission and Values. We are currently having a series of two-hour meetings each week and are reviewing the strategic pillars and key initiatives.

Building Redevelopment
The Project Control Group (PCG) includes Greg Marino (Chair), Mark Grinter (Vice Commodore), Charles Meredith (Immediate Past Commodore), Tom Jordan (Senior Member) and Matt Solly (General Manager). Members with specialised skills have volunteered to assist and they will join the committee when required.


Since the 30 September members meeting, the PCG met with the architects to discuss the feedback and appropriate staging.

We have received written feedback from the Sailing and Member Services Committees and are currently collating this together with the questions and answers from the presentation received to date. A summary of all feedback will soon be posted on the members section of the website.

The income from the café to RMYS is fundamental to the funding of the project.  When the design is confirmed, work will commence on determining the actual potential income to RMYS.

The current COVID restrictions have highlighted the need for a larger useable outdoor space for members. We are exploring the options.

The concept plan is based on a “wish list” and an ideal outcome. The PCG is working on prioritising components and identifying work which could be excluded or deferred if necessary, in order to minimise the budget.

The Finance Committee includes David Hodge (Chair), Greg Marino, Peter Davison, Aurelie Chabrol, Guy Obeid, Antony Elliott and Matt Solly.

The Finance Committee monitors the financial performance of the Squadron and reported that most of our areas of operation were under budget. However, we are fortunate that the Month and Year to Date surplus is better than budgeted due to Government support.

The COVID relief offered to members was taken up by about 30% of the members. We again thank all our members for their support and understanding.

The Sailing Committee includes Monica Jones (chair) Steve Thompson, Jurgen Pfeiffer, Ron Brown, Mick Culhane, Alistair Hart, Andrew McConchie, Steve Thompson, John Taylor, Alan Watkins, Jason McCutcheon and Colin Burgess.

The Sailing Committee (SC) is working on and considering the following:

  • The Longshot boat proposal, the budget is being reviewed by Finance  
  • Leigh Brennon-Smith presented to SC on what the RMSTA currently does to assist the SC in understanding their relationship with the club
  • The Pathways Subcommittee reports to SC. Ron Brown is the chair and several key stakeholders are included in the group. It will incorporate the Junior Pathway Program and the University Program
  • AWKR sponsorship material is being updated
  • Return to sailing plan was prepared which includes a recommendation for sailing on Wednesday afternoon in summer, as well as Twilights.
  • The Risk Matrix for the Juniors and RMSTA is recommended to be combined
  • ORCi and ORC Club Update – a number of boats are to be measured to do comparisons between AMS and non AMS boats.
  • Stonehaven Cup Council and Quest Association Update – No event to be held at the end of 2020. Other activities are being considered.
  • Discussion on the Facebook pages relating to sailing and the preference for some of the existing groups to remain
  • Australia Day Weekend activities in conjunction with Member Services


The Facilities Committee includes Mark Grinter (Chair), David Allen, Neil Finlayson, David Whiting, Jim Oosterweghel, Aengus O’Donnell, Jeff Whiteside and Matt Solly.

There is also a Risk Subcommittee which reports to Facilities, it is chaired by Neil Finlayson. The current members are Jeff Whiteside, Damien Ryan (RMYS Operations Manager), Colin Burgess (RMYS Sailing Coordinator) Leigh Brennen – Smith (RMSTA) and F&D catering representative.


The previous Risk Subcommittee, which included the immediate past Commodore Charles Meredith, recently completed the risk management plan and matrix. The current committee will maintain and monitor the process and potential issues. The great work of the Risk Subcommittee can be found on our website.


The Facilities Committee reported that the work to the Members Bar is complete except for the new carpet which will be installed soon. We all look forward to enjoying it as soon as the COVID restrictions are eased.

The Facilities Committee has also been exploring the possibility of fencing the carpark to store the RMSTA dinghies, unfortunately the COPP has not approved it at this stage, due to a heritage overlay over this area. We are continuing the negotiations.

Member Services
The Member Services Committee includes Rick Matthews (chair), Peter Chapman, Cameron Reed, Julie Cutler, Mark Davies, Julie Davis, Bob Galbally, Anthony Callanan, Jan Hurst, Rob Ellis, Amy Corcoran, Lea Ram, Laura Hamilton, April Wilkinson, Graeme Savage, Pauline Callanan.

The Member Services Committee has been working on the following:

  • Social media accountability – discussion about appropriate social media behaviour. Discussion around setting boundaries and process if abused
  • On-line trivia – We now have a license and have ability to run regularly, and MSC Social committee members Mark Davies & Lea Ram have been preparing and hosting the events
  • University students will be offered a temporary membership at reduced rates
  • MS is working on strategies of keeping/increasing membership during this time and beyond
  • Australia Day Weekend; The Membership Committee and the Sailing Committee have been looking at options for events. Julie Davis (MSC) is chairing the working group established with members of both committees to organise the event.


Please contact me or any GC member if you require any additional information about the activities of the General Committee and the Squadron.

Greg Marino