CEO Insights & Annual Reports

CEO Insights

Over the last week we have kept a few things normal, conducting the Glass Jar Australia, West Coast Fever and Netball WA Annual General Meetings. This was a time to reflect on the amazing achievements across our sport in 2019, both on and off the court. At the Netball WA AGM I had the opportunity to speak with some Delegates of our sport, representing our Tier 1 Member Associations across our State to outline the challenge we face from COVID-19 and how we are looking at this challenge as both a threat AND an opportunity. I would like to share this information with all Member Associations and stakeholders of Netball WA. 

The last few months have certainly been the most challenging period our sport has ever encountered, and I know we are not alone in this. Through this crisis, our purpose has remained at the forefront of all our decisions, Advancing Netball, Advancing Communities. We have maintained this by continuing to focus on three areas:  

	•	the health and safety of our people, including postponing competitions, events and activities as well as transitioning our workforce to work from home;  


	•	 the wellbeing and livelihoods of our people through constant communication with all stakeholders, our staff, our members and the participants and partners of our sport; and 


	•	the sustainability of our sport to be able to recover quickly. Netball WA established a Crisis Action Team made up of the Netball WA President, Chair of West Coast Fever, myself, our General Manager of Operations and General Manager of People and Culture to act quickly in determining actions that sit above operational delegations without requiring the full endorsement of our Boards.  


To this end, we have recut budgets to understand the worst-case scenario and to then plan for re-engagement, ensuring we are well placed as a sport to support our stakeholders through this crisis.  

Netball WA 
As of Monday 6th April, Netball WA underwent a number of staffing and structural changes to ensure the sport remains sustainable through this challenging period including: 
	•	More than 50% of our staff were stood down; 

	•	The remaining 25 staff have taken pay cuts of 20% and working 3-4 days a week with other days as annual leave or leave without pay, equating on average to 40-50% reductions. 


The remaining staff are in the key areas of Community Member support, Commercial Partner support, Communications and Corporate Services such as HR and Finance.  

With Government initiatives like the Job Keeper allowance, we are working hard to alter this impact over the coming weeks.  

West Coast Fever 
The impact of COVID-19 on West Coast Fever has been similar with a number of structural changes. All high performance and coaching staff saw their commitments with the club reduced, with many of these staff being stood down and/or taking leave. In addition, all West Coast Fever athletes took a 70% salary reduction as a league-wide initiative.  

Glass Jar Australia 
Whilst Glass Jar Australia are not impacted at present, the staff have taken pay reductions and extended leave to support their colleagues until mid-May. Many Glass Jar Australia staff are also looking to undertake roles in Netball WA that support our collective delivery requirements over this period.  

Our Netball Family 
This situation has been a tough time for everyone for a number of different reasons and I can truly appreciate the pain, stress and suffering that everyone is going through in their unique ways due to this pandemic.  

I am extremely proud of the staff at Netball WA as they have rallied around each other, to support each other and the sport in which they work. Many of our staff who have taken leave, had reduced hours or been stood down, have reached out and asked how they can help in this time even though we are unable to pay them. 

I can reassure you we are doing everything possible to make this time as short as possible and the impact as low as possible so we can move forward as quickly as possible.  

It’s important to note that, when we talk about our people, we think of three key groups in the Netball Community.  
Our Staff family – working tirelessly to ensure we are well placed to support the running and delivery of the sport at various points in time, now and into the future.  

Our Netball family - our Associations, Clubs, our members and participants who we represent. 

Our Partners and Stakeholders - this group are currently playing a key role in funding our sport and ensuring our sustainability. 
In these times of uncertainty, more than 90% of our revenues are reliant on our corporate partners and stakeholders so please, wherever you can assist us in promoting our partners and supporting them through their offers in this time, it would be greatly appreciated.  

Again, I thank everyone for their tolerance, understanding, commitment and care. Over the past 3-4 weeks the competition postponements, recut of budgets and management of our staff have been critical steps.  
Over the next 4-6 weeks we will be committing our attentions to our members.  Below is an outline of a number of the key areas we will be focussed on: 
	•	Investigating the use of our Facility Fund as a hardship fund, including utilising the 2020 Community Raffle to play a key support to our Clubs and Associations through this time; 

	•	Determining any further postponement dates from 31st May by the end of April/early May in conjunction with Netball Australia and the Federal and State Government;  

	•	Working with each Association to develop competition scenarios for the back half of the year; 

	•	Developing a whole of sport position on refunds and credits across membership and participation programs with Netball Australia and the other Member organisations. We recognise that Membership is the life blood of our Clubs, Associations and indeed of our own organisation, but that we also need to be able to support individuals on a needs basis through these difficult times, and as a result we will; 

	•	Exploring the reduction of our membership and participation fees for 2020 and continuing to work on our membership model review over this time; 

	•	Continuing to keep connected and build on the opportunity to focus on learning and development over this time across all parts of our sport, governance, coaches, umpires, players and volunteers; 

	•	Continuing to work with Netball Australia on the next version of My Netball with Play HQ so we are well placed to transition into 2021; and 

	•	Working with the State Government and Netball Australia to understand the stimulus and support packages on offer to our sport and how these can be accessed to support each layer of our sport from participant, club and association to Netball WA. 

We want to be there to support each of you, we want to come out of this with stronger relationships with our members to truly be connected to our purpose of Advancing Netball, Advancing Communities and our values as a sport, and for you to know that we are here to help, assist and guide you through this crisis.   

Fever’s campaign for 2020 is built around GRIT, or ‘Greatness Rises In Togetherness’, and I couldn’t think of a more apt analogy for the opportunity that lies ahead of us. 

Thank you for your support, understanding and care over this time. And please make sure you continue to practice social distancing to ensure your personal health and safety over this time.  

On behalf of everyone at Netball WA, have a safe Easter at home with your family and please remember to reach out to enable us to play our role in supporting you too.  
 
Simon Taylor 
Netball WA Chief Executive Officer 

Having recently presented at Netball Australia’s annual members forum on our ‘2019 moments of pride’, it was inspiring to reflect upon everything we have achieved across our sport in the last 12 months. At all levels we’ve achieved success; from the rollout of our new Regional Office Structure to the launch of the revamped Gold Industry Group WANL and Metro League competitions, but most significantly, we have truly evolved our collective organisations of Netball WA, West Coast Fever and Glass Jar Australia to become more than the sum of our parts.

2019 in review
The year began with the rollout of our Regional Office Structure, which saw more than 20 new staff members employed across the State. This represented one of the most significant reforms in our history and has allowed us to further engage with the grassroots of netball from the North West to the Great Southern and everywhere in between. Our landmark partnership with the Gold Industry Group, which saw them become the Principal Partner of Netball WA, played a critical role in funding this reform. This partnership was announced in April and represented the most significant investment in West Australian women’s sporting history. In addition to joining Netball WA as Principal Partner, the Gold Industry Group also joined West Coast Fever as an Elite Partner and become the inaugural Premier Partner of Shooting Stars. On behalf of Netball in WA, we again thank the Gold Industry Group for their incredible support of netball.

The year also saw us launch the inaugural Metro League season, which underpins the Gold Industry Group West Australian Netball League (GIGWANL). Excitingly, more than 50 teams took part in the pilot competition, which saw Associations both metro and regional descend on the Gold Netball Centre. We’ve had wonderful feedback from our Associations around the competition, and we are confident that Metro League will continue to grow in the coming years. Metro League operates with a clear purpose to bridge the gap between club netball and GIGWANL, and I would like to congratulate all teams who took part in the first year of competition.

One of the most significant changes in 2019 was the reform of the Gold Industry Group West Australian Netball League. We welcomed seven new Clubs to the competition in the Warriors, Roar, Rangers, Sharks, Demons, Jets and Comets, and next year we look forward to adding an eighth team, Peel Lightning. I would again like to congratulate the Warriors on winning the Open and Men’s premierships and the Roar for taking out the 20 and under title. This competition again cemented itself as the preeminent netball competition in our State, and I am confident it will continue to grow in the coming years.

More broadly, netball in Western Australia has continued to flourish in 2019, with more than 230,000 participants involved in the sport from the introductory Suncorp NetSetGO program to ScoolNet and beyond. Our sport’s footprint across the State is ever-growing and we thank our Associations and Clubs for their hard work and continued advocacy. Our major events continued to grow in 2019. More than 13,000 participants attended the Fuel to Go & Play Association Championships across the June long weekend, while we also welcomed a record number of teams from Singapore to the event. Importantly, we continued to foster significant relationships with WA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the significant work of Shooting Stars, which is now affecting genuine change in the lives of almost 400 young Aboriginal girls in eight delivery sites across WA. The NAIDOC Netball Carnival enjoyed another strong year, with more than 110 teams competing, cementing its position as one of the largest Indigenous sporting carnivals in the nation. The Multicultural Carnival almost doubled in size this year, while the No Limits Division at the Fuel to Go & Play Association Championships was again a highlight for all involved and WA’s Marie Little OAM Shield team continued to show there are truly no barriers to our sport.

Netball WA Nomination Committee Update
I’d like to congratulate Suzanne Ardagh who was recently appointed Chair of the newly created Netball WA Nomination Committee. Suzanne has been a member of West Coast Fever’s Board since May 2018 and brings more than 30 years of international management experience in higher education, corporate and professional services associations. The Nominations Committee will assist in ensuring we have the right people to govern and lead our sport across Netball in WA.  Early in the new year, we will also be seeking expressions of interest for two elected Netball WA Board positions in finance and government relations, and I would encourage you all to consider appropriate applicants. You can view the Terms of Reference of this Committee here and the Policy here. Should you wish to get a further insight into the requirements please feel free to contact my office 08 9380 3748 or email simon.taylor@netballwa.com.au

Leadership, Learning and Development
At Netball WA, our people are our greatest assets. In late October, our Associations and Aboriginal All Stars took part in Leadership Camps, with the support of the Gold Industry Group. These camps coincided with final Constellation Cup Test match in Perth, with our Associations and Aboriginal All Stars witnessing the Diamonds’ series win. Our team at Netball WA, West Coast Fever and Glass Jar Australia, have also had the opportunity to undertake a range of personal and professional development programs in the areas of Governance, leadership, operations, time management and resilience across the year. I too, had the opportunity to undertake study at London Business School through their Executive Leadership Program in October. I have no doubt that this experience will last a lifetime and has enabled me to bring back a range of ideas and models to improve our operations and assist us to further advance netball and advance our communities.

2020 Life Member and Netball WA Service Awards Nominations
Nominations are now open for both Netball WA Life Membership and our newly formed Netball WA Service Award. Awarded annually, Life Membership is the highest individual honour currently bestowed by Netball WA, and is the recognition of the significant, sustained and lasting contribution to Netball WA. The Netball WA Service Award is in recognition of the significant, sustained and lasting contribution to netball by an individual in Western Australia at various levels over a sustained period of time. You can view the Policies, Criteria and nominate for the Netball WA Life Membership here and the Netball WA Service Award here.

2020 Budget Approvals
I am delighted to announced that the Netball WA Board has approved the Netball WA Budgets for 2020. At a recent Netball WA Board Meeting, the Board endorsed a Netball WA Membership Fee freeze for next year. A memo was disseminated to all Associations in September in relation to this decision. You can view the memo online here. As we continue to be innovative in this area, Netball WA will look to undertake a membership review in 2020, which will engage many of you and your Associations. I look forward to sharing updates on this review as we progress.

Conclusion
Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and advocacy of netball in Western Australia as we seek to continue to advance netball, advance communities. Your passion, energy and time have been instrumental in driving our sport to the great heights we find ourselves currently in. As the year draws to a close, I wish you and your families a safe and enjoyable festive season and look forward to working together closely once again in the new year.

Welcome to the penultimate CEO Insights for 2019. As Winter Netball winds down, we look forward to making the most of the warmer months. On behalf of Netball WA, we wish everyone competing in Association Grand Finals this weekend the very best of luck and extend a sincere thank you to the countless volunteers for their commitment across the 2019 season.

Membership Fees
At a recent Netball WA Board Meeting, the Board endorsed a membership fee freeze for 2020. A memo was disseminated to all Associations last week. You can view the memo online here. More broadly, Netball WA will look to undertake a membership review next year, and I will share updates on this as they progress.

Nominations Committee and Elected Nomination Committee
The Netball WA Board has established a Nominations Committee to assist in ensuring we have the right people to govern and lead our sport across Netball in WA. Over the coming months, we will be seeking expressions of interest for a number of appointed and elected Board positions, and I would encourage you all to consider appropriate applicants. You can view the Terms of Reference of this Committee here and the Policy here.

Gold Industry Group WANL Grand Finals
This year has seen the launch of the revamped Gold Industry Group West Australian Netball League, and tonight, we will celebrate the season as we host Grand Final Night at the Gold Netball Centre. This is an event that we certainly look forward to each year, and I know that we will have three closely contested matches once again. Aside from the action on the court, there will be plenty to see and do, as our Partners host a number of activations inside the venue. I strongly encourage you all to bring the colour, noise and passion to the Gold Netball Centre on Friday night. All three divisions will see the West Coast Warriors take on the Western Roar, and I wish all of our competing teams the very best of luck.

We will again celebrate the collective successes of the competition at the 2019 Jill McIntosh Medal on October 19 at Rendevouz Perth. This event provides us a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the season, while also counting the votes as we crown the 2019 Jill McIntosh Medallist.

Leadership Camp and Leadership Forum
In October, Netball WA will run two leadership camps, which are proudly supported by the Gold Industry Group. Both held over the same weekend, Netball WA will run a Grassroots Leadership Camp and an Associations Leadership Camp, which will develop the next generation of netball leaders in Western Australia. The camps will also engage a number of the sport’s partners, including the University of Western Australia, and also work with our Shooting Stars program and West Coast Fever. Working at a strategic level, the Associations Leadership Camp will see our Executive and Senior Management come together with our Tier 1 Association leaders to further develop their leadership skills and establish a collective approach to the growth of netball in Western Australia.

West Coast Fever
With the Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final held last weekend, the third instalment of the competition is now complete. From a West Coast Fever perspective, there’s no doubt we’re disappointed with our 2019 campaign. We’re in the process of conducting a thorough and honest review, and our planning for the 2020 season is in full swing. Excitingly, we have secured our full 2020 roster, which was finalised last week with the signing of West Australian shooter, Kaylia Stanton. This means we have the same 10 athletes as we did this season, and for us, stability is the key foundation of success and we’re looking forward to maximising the continuity within our playing roster, and optimising these relationships as we seek to improve our results next season.

In the past month, we have also welcomed Mick Doherty to the Club as the new General Manager. Mick brings a wealth of experience to the role, and replaces Morag Croser, who has been in the role since the beginning of the 2019 season. I would like to thank Morag for her tireless efforts in driving our high performance standards, and wish her the best for the future, and also welcome Mick to the role.

We have also launched a registration of interest portal for 2020 Memberships. We have seen good numbers so far, and we would love to have that number continue to grow, ahead of the membership launch in October. You can join the ever-growing list here.

Additionally, October 27, we will welcome the Samsung Diamonds to Perth for their Constellation Cup match against the New Zealand Silver Ferns. This is a wonderful spectacle for the West Australian netball community, and I know there are many public events on the agenda for the week they will spend in our city. From a Fever perspective, we’re very proud to have Courtney Bruce selected in the Constellation Cup Team, and eagerly await the announcement of the Australian Development Team.  

Conclusion
Our planning for 2020 is well underway, while we continue to deliver against the high standards we set ourselves. As winter netball comes to a close, we’re certainly looking forward to Spring Netball. We have a number of events coming up over the final months of the year, and I look forward to engaging with you at each of these.