Message from the GMA Chair

Andrew Gay, Chair, Golf Management Australia Ltd.At the outset you may have noted the use of the word “Chair” rather than the former term of President. This change came about after a decision of the GMA Board to modernise the constitution to more appropriately recognise the role. In amending the constitution, the board having been conscious of the need to provide for an element of succession planning, also adopted to create the position of Deputy Chair.

I am pleased then to state the board of GMA for the year 2017/2018 is as follows:

Chair: Andrew Gay
Deputy Chair: Paul Patterson
Directors: Peter Busch, Brad Dawson, Cathy Neagle, Anthony Masters and Aaron Muirhead.

By now, those of who attended the National Conference, will have reflected on the benefits of our attendance. The post conference survey is an important tool to enable the board to evaluate the conference format and content and it is not surprising that overall a very high level of  satisfaction for the conference has been reported. Planning for the 2019 conference is already underway with our conference management, All Occasions Group, having been contracted to manage the Melbourne conference.

Recognising that good governance requires us to reflect on the pros and cons of the conference, one of the lessons taken out of the 2017 event is that the board must be less operational through the planning process and trust our conference managers to do what they do best. Does this concept sound familiar to club managers?

Whilst we will continue to review the conference survey feedback it is evident that it is impossible to meet the expectations of all the delegates. We come from a diverse background, our skillsets differ as do our priorities. That being understood we do appreciate the varying dynamics.

In recent months, we have been researching the provision of a member support program. Appreciating the demands of being club managers we should also acknowledge the need to ensure we have a clear focus on work/life balance. Sadly today, the challenges we face in life can often result in unacceptable levels of stress and we are conscious that professional support can be a tipping point to getting back on the right track. GMA members will be aware that the AGCSA and PGA adopted to roll out a national member support program and I am delighted to say that the board has similarly resolved to provide an alike service to GMA members. The program which provides initial consultation for our members provides for the cost to be borne by GMA.

Previously reported was our decision to also provide our members with the opportunity to gain the internationally recognised CCM designation. Our recent survey returns indicate a strong level of interest in participating in the training and I thank our Cathy Neagle, Anthony Masters and John Stamp, together with Cameron Wade and Paul Vardy from Golf Australia, for their commitment in developing and introducing BMI to our members. With the first program to be rolled out during Spring 2018 our education group have a huge task ahead of them to implement this professional development which I urge all members to support. Undoubtable is the need for our industry to develop a stream of qualified managers. Many of us and our assistants have formal qualifications, however, gaining specific industry accreditation will enhance the industry. I urge members to resolve to undertake the training themselves and/or facilitate for their staff to do so.

By now, many of you will have noted the media release announcing the engagement of our new EO, Jim Cail. The appointment committee comprising of Paul Patterson, Peter Busch and I were all very impressed by Jim’s resume and enthusiasm for the role. Jim appreciates his  appointment is initially for twelve months during which time he will focus on developing a business case to determine if GMA should recommend to the states that a unitary model should be implemented. There is much to be done to determine the way forward and members will be kept appraised of the progress.

Finally, I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank John Stamp for his excellent work as EO in the role for the last 18 months. As many of you would know, John’s approach to the role, and his ability to build strong and trusting relationships with all stakeholders within the game, has greatly assisted GMA’s ability to support Golf Club Managers across Australia. GMA wishes John all the best in his future endeavours with Golf Victoria.

In closing, I wish you all a very happy and relaxed festive season.

GMA Corporate Partners