Your Board

CNSW Board of Directors

Nerida Taylor - Chair

What brought you to being a member of the Board?
My involvement in croquet extends over many years and I have had immeasurable enjoyment from my participation. Over those 25 years there have been times in my life when I have been able to give back to croquet through my involvement with clubs or the national (ACA) or state administration (CNSW). Now is such a time again, and I sought nomination on the CNSW Board. My experience across the community sector as well as all levels of Government- local, state and federal, and across a wide range of portfolios means I have a sound governance, policy and programme background which I will draw upon in my work with CNSW Board, the ACA, Clubs and the player community.

What is your Board portfolio and what is your key focus for this for the next 12 months?
The Board will be discussing specific portfolios and priorities. My personal interest is ensuring we meet our legal and financial responsibilities, that we work in a transparent way and that our policy and programmes are well-targeted, soundly based and properly funded. We need to distinguish what is needed to support the sport- competitive mallet sports, and the game- our social base. Our elite players need support, as do our developing and talented players. We could follow the approach taken by Victoria- and establish on-going structured training and mentoring for elite, talented and developing players. Our social players need to be encouraged to enjoy their games, appreciate the validity of competitions and contribute to the quality club life. On a different note, the new regions are units through which a range of training and support programmes for Clubs, Officials and players can be delivered and this a priority.

What is your vision for croquet in NSW and what do you think Clubs and individual members can do to support that?
When preparing a draft vision statement for the ACA several years ago, I suggested "many people of diverse ages and backgrounds playing croquet in the parks, backyards and croquet Clubs of Australia". Perhaps-head-in-the-clouds stuff, but if we did take that approach, and make mallet sports more visible and fun, something to be played pretty much anywhere, our potential player base would build. So- don't wait to have people come to us, go to the ovals, quadrangles, parks, schools, and get people seeing other people play a version of the game. There are people who have pioneered this approach but more is better. Our game can accommodate the very youthful- think of the age of the Fletcher Brothers, Chloe Aberley, Claire Bassett, Trevor Bassett and others when they started- to the bloke/sheila in a wheelchair after a car accident - to the very elderly.

Tell us a bit about your local club and what you like best about it?
Toronto Croquet Club is my local Club and it is the people who make it a wonderful Club- friendly, inclusive, fun, but also responsive. When I was in the AC state team three years ago, I needed a faster lawn so that I didn't dislocate my shoulder practicing long shots. Although the GC players' preference was for less pace, the Club accommodated me with Ted the Groundsman and his team working tirelessly to improve the lawns. My other favourite group is our Wangi Wangi pop-up croquet group of friends who mow a bit of grass locally, play GC, taste wines and eat delicious food. Some of them will join Toronto in due course.

Steve Thornton - Secretary

What brought you to being a member of the Board?
The Secretary at the time decided to resign and CNSW needed someone to step into the role. I'd recently left the ACA Executive so felt I could help CNSW and achieve some of the ACA strategic goals. Having been one of the drivers in the introduction of the new constitution and on the Executive at the time I became one of the First Directors on the new Board. Next AGM I must retire and nominate for re-election.

What is your Board portfolio and what is your key focus for this for the next 12 months?
I have been Secretary now for over 3 yrs and have a couple of years left in me, perhaps. I have several focus areas but the most critical is encouraging the member clubs to continue down the road of `self help' and increase their acceptance of on-line systems and social media so that CNSW can communicate with them more efficiently. In a perfect world CNSW would be able to distribute information to any member who had an email address.

What is your vision for croquet in NSW and what do you think Clubs and individual members can do to support that?
My vision is that croquet in CNSW is that its best players are successful in state and international competitions and members who are not competitive enjoy their croquet. Also that CNSW has an administrative system that does not provide an excessive burden on its Directors and Officers who are volunteers. Members can support this by understanding that the top players spend much of their holidays, spare time and spare cash in pursuit of croquet excellence and should be given our support, and that clubs can help CNSW by reacting quickly to its requests.

Tell us a bit about your local club and what you like best about it?
My local club is Maitland and the lawns are located in the very picturesque Maitland Park in the Lower Hunter. It has been a strong club, supportive of CNSW and CNSW Events and has 4 lawns which are usually up to competition standard. Playing GC, AC and Ricochet there is a pleasure and the club runs several quality competitions through the year.

John Eddes - Treasurer

In nominating for election to the Board for a second term in 2017 John Eddes, from Sutherland Croquet Club, shared the following information with members:

"I started playing croquet in 1982 and was sorry not to have taken it up sooner. I have represented both NSW and Australia in Croquet and was the Australian Open Singles Champion in 1990. I was a foundation member for the new Board having been part of the governance of CNSW since 2003."

John is the CNSW Treasurer and has a key focus for his current term to finalise some of the financial governance arrangements that have been underway under the new Constitution. John is also on the Tempe Working Group.

Tricia Vierra

What brought you to being a member of the Board?
Before coming to NSW and to the CNSW Board, I served in various roles within the larger croquet community: Secretary of my first club (Sandy Bay CC), Secretary of Croquet Tasmania, Chair of ACA Strategic Plan Working Group and most recently Director, ACA Board. When we moved to NSW, I was encouraged to nominate for a position on the CNSW Board. What I bring to CNSW is a commitment to good governance principles, experience in croquet policy development, and recognition of the importance of our social, recreational playing members.

What is your Board portfolio and what is your key focus for this for the next 12 months?
We now have a CNSW Strategic Plan for 2017-2019 which will provide direction for the Board and the organisation. Within this framework, I will focus on working with our appointed officers to support them in developing sustainable statewide programs for accreditation of coaches and referees. I will work to update our Member Protection Policy and complaints management process to align with recent ACA changes. Another area of concern is our communication strategies: how can we be sure that our news and messages reach our members? I look forward to supporting the recommendations of the newly established Communication Committee.

What is your vision for croquet in NSW and what do you think Clubs and individual members can do to support that?
My vision - NSW croquet players, coaches and officials feel equally supported, regardless of geographic location, preferred game code or playing level. The CNSW Board has made a start at addressing the concerns of members by developing a regional strategy for trial over the next 2 years. The regional approach will enable our appointed officers and others to build statewide programs that can be delivered on a regional basis by coaches, referees and others in their region. What Club and individual members can do is give this trial a ‘fair go’ and give the Board their comments at the end of the trial.

Tell us a bit about your local club and what you like best about it?
One of the reasons we moved to Maitland was because we were impressed with the Maitland Croquet Club. The members range from top players to social players (of a good standard) and everyone is respected. I am impressed by the spirit of volunteerism amongst its members, who put their hand up for hosting local events, state teams and administrative roles in CNSW and ACA. Most of all, I like Maitland Croquet Club because during social play, I always hear someone, on some court, laugh out loud or praise a good shot! This is, for me, the joy of croquet.

Brenda Wild

Brenda, from Mt Sugarloaf Croquet Club, started playing croquet in 2009 and was selected to the state GC team in 2015. She has played GC, AC, RC and Gateball and is a registered coach for GC & RC.

Brenda has been involved in many sports and is keen to understand the sport’s administration and decision making processes and for this reason has volunteered to be involved in administrative positions. Because of this she has a broad understanding of sports administration.

Brenda also performs the role of membership officer for CNSW and is responsible for promoting Ricochet Croquet in NSW.

Roberta Flint

What brought you to being a member of the Board?
I am filling a casual vacancy on the Board with a view to determining what I may be able to offer. I have been involved with the communications committees of CNSW for a few years and am known for having a point of view on a need for better communication from the Board to membership, so am sort of putting my money where my mouth is to see what I can contribute.

What is your Board portfolio and what is your key focus for this for the next 12 months?
I have not yet attended a meeting and am not sure that I will have a portfolio. I would guess that if I do it would relate to communications!

What is your vision for croquet in NSW and what do you think Clubs and individual members can do to support that?
My vision is that croquet continues to grow as a sport; that all three forms of croquet, AC, GC and RC have healthy player bases; and that there is an increased cross over with people playing across the codes. I think individuals can contribute by putting up their hand to do something/anything to support either the administration of their local club; engaging more broadly to support the development of the regional approach to coordinating activities; or engaging with the broader CNSW community through volunteering for a role for CNSW.

Tell us a bit about your local club and what you like best about it?
Marrickville, in the Inner West of Sydney, is my local club. It is a small one lawn club nestled in the corner of Marrickville Park, opposite a rose garden and children’s playground. It was established in 1926. I like that when you are at the club you are very much much a part of the activity of the park and all the activities happening there. It is particularly lovely of a summer evening when the jacaranda is in flower above our clubhouse and I love the quaintness of the clubhouse, which is like stepping back in time.