MOTORCYCLING AUSTRALIA – the situation in a ‘nut shell’

Issue

Governance is dysfunctional

Solution

Appoint a professional and broadly skilled Board and give it the power to implement the WoSR and govern the sport.

Develop a ‘Board Charter’ that articulates the power, specific Director responsibilities and independence of the MA Board.

Clearly delineate the powers of the Council i.e. what they can and cannot do.

Review the revised Constitution (and the implied authority and responsibilities) and initiate a ‘Licensing Agreement’ (or ‘Relationship Agreement’ between MA and the State Associations.

Issue

Need for improved leadership, vision and strategic direction from the national body

Solution

Develop a ‘2020Road Map’ Strategic Plan in conjunction with all the stakeholders and adhere to the agreed timelines.

Appoint a full professional ‘team’ at the MA Head Office that all the State Associations can respect and work cooperatively with on a suite of national programs.

Issue

Funding model is flawed with an over reliance on licence fees

Solution

Utilise the findings and recommendations from the KPMG ‘Finance Review’ to develop a financial strategy that appropriately funds MA and creates growth in the sport via more effective investment of member funds.

Target alternative revenue streams such as sponsorship, strategic alliances with selected corporate partners and merchandising. Use such funding to increase/maximise participation, commercialisation and support for elite riders.

Issue

Motorcycling lacks a single national ‘Brand’

Solution

Develop one distinctive national brand and logo for the sport of motorcycling which can include a state identity and strive to ‘make motorcycling a mainstream sport’.

The brand and our message must ‘sell’ what the sport offers

– lots of fun, multiple motorcycle categories, competitive opportunities and a family activity that is both healthy and safe.

Issue

Poor communication with all stakeholders and an associated lack of trust

Solution

Invest more time discussing the issues that confront MA and look at ways to address them. Also, ensure better communication of rule changes to members/riders.

Ensure greater ‘connection and engagement’ between riders, MA and the various State Associations.

Establish a regular form of communication that will inform the membership.

Issue

Lack of consultation and poor decision-making

Solution

Ensure all future major decisions are based upon well researched business cases and appropriate due diligence.

In the future, MA to place a much higher priority on 5 things:

  • trust

  • transparency

  • accountability

  • communication

  • consultation

Issue

MA insurance coverage and member education

Solution

Use the KPMG review of MAIL to provide members with a far more comprehensive insurance coverage (including income protection). Consolidate insurance across the country under one banner to generate cost savings.

Also, provide more user friendly and simple information to riders.

Issue

Marketing the sport and its top riders is very poor

Solution

In conjunction with the new ‘brand’, adopt an aggressive, innovative, positive and proactive approach to marketing, promotion, merchandising and sponsorship.

As a proactive and high profile way of getting past and current top riders back in the fold, establish a national ‘Hall of Fame’ and a ‘MA Foundation’ to support riders in need.

Issue

Lack of national programs

Solution

MA (in conjunction with the State associations) to introduce the following national programs:

  • Junior Development

  • Quality Clubs Program

  • Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Program

  • High Performance

  • Training & Skills Package

Issue

Obtaining a licence is causing frustration and impacting negatively on participation growth

Solution

Work with the CEOs and the Council to streamline the application process and look at online licences, 3-year licences etc

Issue

Risk management could be improved at the 500+ tracks

Solution

MA needs to ensure better and more regular audits are performed by qualified people.

The appointment of a ‘National Track Accreditation Manager’ to ensure consistency across the country and also minimise risks.

Issue

National database – delays in going live

Solution

Most of the work has been completed and the original committee now has the issue well in hand (apart from the expected odd start up glitch) for a prompt conclusion to the matter.

Recommendations from the review panel
Recommendation 1

Motorcycling Australia (MA) Board and Council to jointly acknowledge and agree that the current governance arrangements will not enable the sport to go forward. As a consequence, the current Board of MA agreed to stand down effective from the next AGM on 29 July 2015 (amended date) in order to facilitate a rethink of the structure. As timing was an issue, the President/CEO sought approval from ASIC to seek an extension for the AGM to enable the Nominations Committee more time to attract suitable applicants to stand for Board positions. ASIC approved the extension on the proviso that the AGM is held no later than 31 July 2015.

Recommendation 2

Council, with the cooperation of the MA Board, to appoint an initial 5 person ‘Selection Panel’ to recommend the names of candidates to fill the new Board positions as recommended in the Whole of Sport Review Panel paper titled ‘Breaking the Mould’ dated 23 February 2015. These recommendations include Board members not representing any sectional interests within the sport and that they should possess one or more of the skill sets, as listed in the above mentioned paper. Initially the committee should be a combination of both Councillors and external business people with appropriate credentials. Under approved ‘Terms of Reference’, the ongoing role of the ‘Nominations Committee’ will be to manage succession planning and identify and fill gaps by putting forward preferred candidates for the members to endorse.

In the future, the appointment of the Nominations Committee will become the role of the Council to afford the ‘shareholders’ (as the voting members) a major say in determining who runs their business for them. Gender equity is vital in relation to both the Board and the Nominations Committee.

Recommendation 3

MA Board and Council to agree to the formation of a new 7 person independent Board and assign it the necessary powers for an initial 12 months to implement the recommendations of the WoSR. Ensure that all members meet the selection guidelines, are compatible with each other, can allocate the required time and are totally committed to the reform agenda.

Recommendation 4

The MA Board to approve the ‘Board Charter’ which can be found in the body of this report. It articulates clearly what the new Board can and cannot do. Such action will ensure that the Board has the power and independence to make the changes recommended in this report.

Recommendation 5

Provide specific formal delegations to the new Board to enable them to implement the WoSR recommendations. Including a funding model that enables them to action all the recommendations.

Recommendation 6

Each State Association (SCB) to undertake an immediate but professional (preferably independent) governance and management review of their respective organisations. When the new MA Board is formed, increased pressure will be exerted on the State Associations to also perform at a much higher and more professional level. MA will need to provide proactive, professional assistance and support to their State Associations. Some will require more assistance than others. Based on the feedback provided during the consultation phase of this review (and the professional opinion of the independent reviewers) there is an immediate need for each State Association to address the following:

Review Constitution and ensure it has alignment with the updated MA Constitution

Establish a State ‘Nominations Committee’ and use the ‘Terms of Reference’ developed for MA to inform the process

Articulate the desired mix of skills required – see MA document

Ensure gender equity on the Board

Appoint an ‘Audit & Risk Committee’ – if not already in place

Introduce accepted governance principles such as maximum terms in office, a staggered rotation system, Board to appoint Chair/President etc

Initiate annual Board Reviews

Endeavour to identify young people as potential directors

Streamline meeting procedures and make them more strategic and less operational

Ensure that the State Strategic Plan has close alignment with the MA plan, once finalised

Review the CEO’s ‘Position Description’ and develop a series of high level KPIs that are linked to the organisation’s plan.

Recommendation 7

In conjunction with recommendation 6, MA to arrange ongoing governance training (and induction) for its own Directors but more importantly, for current and incoming Directors at the various State Associations. This will need to be an annual event with considerable turnover expected at each governing body.

Recommendation 8

Once formed, the new MA Board to address the following priorities:

Review the MA Head Office staffing structure, particularly the senior positions. The recommended senior positions (and Organisational Structure) are detailed in the body of the WoSR report. The benchmarking exercise with the 4 selected NSOs helped inform this section of the report. It is crucial that the resulting structure enables MA to manage implementation of the WoSR recommendations and also deliver the organisation’s new strategic priorities.

Develop a set of ‘Membership/Alliance Principles’ that will articulate the new strategic direction and clarify the respective roles and responsibilities of the MA office and the various State Associations. This should take the form of a ‘Licensing Agreement’ (or ‘Relationship Agreement’) between MA and the States.

Under the above ‘Licensing Agreement’, the roles and responsibilities of the MA Chief Executive and the State CEO’s need to be clearly defined. The MA Chief Executive needs to be able to exert certain powers over the State Association CEOs. Adherence to the key strategies/priorities in the MA Strategic Plan (once developed and approved) and participation in all national programs is a bare minimum requirement.

Develop a ‘Limitations Policy’ for the Chief Executive that clearly defines his/her boundaries in terms of decision- making. Rather than prescribe how the Chief Executive should do the job, it is recommended that the MA Board should instead identify the specific things that the Chief Executive should not do and leave him or her free to utilise their skills and experience to achieve the main KPIs as articulated in the new MA Strategic Plan. In doing this, the MA Board will need to spell out the specific outcomes it wants the Chief Executive to achieve each year. A measurable set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will need to be developed including one that focuses on fostering a strong relationship with and between State Associations. This will need to form part of the Chief Executives performance agreement.

Utilise the ‘2020 Road Map’ outlined in the WoSR final report and develop a three-year rolling Strategic Plan with clear and measurable targets, including a detailed operating budget for 2015/2016. The plan should establish organisational purpose and a clear strategic direction.

Review the MA Constitution to ensure it allows the Board to operate in an effective, efficient and professional manner. These changes should accommodate the recommended action emanating from this review and also address the ASC ‘Mandatory Sports Governance Principles’ for good governance e.g. maximum terms for Directors under a staggered rotation system.

Recommendation 9

Finalise the implementation of the MA National Database (managed by MA) so that MA and the State Associations can work together in the collection, storage and maintenance of membership details for all membership categories. Immediate benefits would be:

Online registration, renewal and payment – a ‘National Licensing’ system

Flexible payment options

Customised registration forms

Recommendation 10

MA to work more closely with the State Associations and ensure that the quarterly meetings between the MA Chief Executive and the State CEOs are run on a very professional and strategic basis. The agenda should be developed around the key ‘Drivers’ in the MA Strategic Plan and ‘Task Groups’ (involving staff from the States) formed to address any topical issues. Terms of Reference and strict reporting timeframes should be introduced.

Recommendation 11

MA must develop an ‘Officials Development Framework’ (or National Training Package) that provides a clear plan to increase the numbers and experience of officials and provide guidance as to how officials fit into the overall growth strategies of the sport and where they are able to apply their newly obtained training and authorisation. The MA plan must target the following:

Courses

Professional development – ongoing (reason to be involved)

Resource materials

Competition schedules

Selection criteria for major events

Uniforming

In conjunction with this initiative, MA to investigate the pros and cons of establishing a panel of paid officials (professionals) that would work at all major events. Funding for the panel members would be incorporated into the permit fee.

Recommendation 12

MA to establish a ‘Fixture Task Group’ that would meet on a quarterly basis. These would be formal meetings with an Agenda and Minutes. The ‘Fixture Task Group’ would comprise representatives from manufacturers (6), promoters, race team owners (including contractors). MA to provide secretariat support to the group. The Agenda would be developed around the following:

Scheduling – annual calendar/fixture of events

Marketing and promotion – including sponsorship

Supplementary regulations – consultation

Recommendation 13

Renegotiate Australian Sports Commission (ASC) funding when the new MA Strategic Plan (or ‘Road Plan’) has been finalised with a view to placing greater emphasis on ‘dirt’ disciplines (not just road racing). In these discussions, MA needs to stress the fact that Australia regularly produces a large number of world champions in these disciplines as well.

Recommendation 14

Consider establishing a ‘MA Development Fund’ that would enable track owners to apply for grants to enhance and improve existing facilities for members. When the MAIL review is completed, there may be an opportunity to utilise any ‘surplus’ funds to establish the fund and thus lessen the burden on the State branches. Such an initiative would clearly demonstrate that MA is serious about addressing identified members needs and also, in the provision of practical assistance to grow membership across the country.

Recommendation 15

Appoint one single 5 person ‘Technical Committee’ to operate as the key advisory body to the MA Board on operational and disciplinary matters. Use the MA ‘Nominations Committee’ to identify the 5 individuals. The Technical Director on the MA Board should be a member of this Commission. It would be expected that for the next 12 months, the MA ‘Technical Commission’ would work closely with the existing 12 Commissions to enhance and streamline their operations and more importantly, their effectiveness and efficiency.

Strong consideration should also be given to moving from 12 Commissions to the following three (3) within 12 months: Commission 1: Road Race, Historic Road Race and Supermoto

Commission 2: Motocross, Supercross, Enduro, Moto Trials, Classic Motocross, Quad, Womens and Junior Development Commission 3: Speedway, Dirt Track and Classic Dirt Track

Recommendation 16

Following the ‘MAIL Review (by KPMG), provide MA members with a far more comprehensive insurance cover and one that consolidates insurance arrangements across the country to bring about significant cost savings for State Associations and hopefully, members.

Look at the inclusion of income protection (for sole traders) and other practical benefits for members, both current and potential. Also, provide more user friendly and simple information for riders and conduct a series of information sessions in each state to educate and update members on all the changes and enhancements. MA Board should appoint one of its number as their representative on the MAIL Board.

Recommendation 17

Utilising the findings and recommendations from the ‘Finance Review’ (undertaken by KPMG), work closely with the State Associations in implementing the new MA ‘Funding Model’. Particular attention needs to be paid to growth strategies that will diversify MA’s revenue streams. These will involve the attraction of potential investors and sponsors to the sport, the development of a range of commercial partnerships and the investigation of merchandising opportunities. Also, review and implement the various cost saving strategies, particularly centralising membership/licensing operations at MA’s head office along with other operations identified in the report. Under the oversight of the soon to be appointed ‘Audit and Risk Committee’, the MA Board to also provide open and accountable reporting to the State Associations on how investment into the sport is being used, why it is being allocated in certain ways and what has been achieved as a result.

Recommendation 18

In conjunction with the State Associations, MA to develop a suite of sustainable and cost efficient national programs that can be rolled out over the next 2-3 years :

National Junior Development (‘Pee Wee Cyclists’)

Quality Clubs Program

Elite Support

Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Program

Recommendation 19

Adopt a unified and nationally coordinated approach to marketing, promotion, merchandising and sponsorship to generate new revenue streams for MA and its stakeholders. Develop a strong and unified single ‘brand’ with a consistent logo that must be adopted by all State Associations. The ‘brand’ must be based on an informed understanding of what the sport of motorcycling really offers as a mainstream activity and what the riders, members, clubs, parents, fans, participants, sponsors, governments, officials, manufacturers, promoters and stakeholders want from the sport as a brand.

Recommendation 20

Establish an MA Charitable Foundation with a charter to assist members and non-members alike who may need help as a result of injury and its aftermath. In addition, the foundation would raise money to help women and girls achieve their full potential both on and off their motorcycle and also provide funding to enable participation in the sport of motorcycling by disadvantaged or underprivileged young people (both male and female). It would also be expected that the Foundation would ultimately provide training and education in relation to transitioning to post career life and also assist former participants that may be dealing with adversity.

MA needs to appoint a respected/credible ‘driver’ of the Foundation in order to establish the structure as soon as possible.

NB: On 13 March 2015, Netball Australia (NA), in partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation established the ‘Netball Foundation’. Surfing Australia (SA) also have a Foundation called ‘Surf for Life’. In just over 2 years it has helped more than 1,300 underprivileged children aged from 5-12 to participate in the SA VEGEMITE SurfGroms program.

Recommendation 21

Establish an MA ‘Hall of Fame’ that has alignment with the State versions and announce the inductees at an annual dinner that would become a high profile media event.

NB: the AFL ‘Hall of Fame Induction Dinner’ is now one of football’s most prestigious and highly prized invitational annual events. It seeks to recognise and enshrine players, coaches, umpires, administrators and media who have made a significant contribution to the sport.

Recommendation 22

MA to establish an annual forum (‘Riders in Suits’) to enhance stakeholder relationships and provide a loud message to all members that the ‘new MA’ has a clear and sound plan for ongoing engagement. Invitation only and restricted to 50 participants (‘Strategic Thinkers’) from the following areas:

Riders (State/National/International)

Media

Sponsors (current and potential)

Recommendation 22 (continued)

Manufacturers

Race team owners

Promoters

Ride park managers

State Association representatives

Other NSOs

‘Movers and shakers’ within the sport industry

Go to the next page for a message on the recommendations from Motorcycling Australia President Braxton Laine