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Project Update - Assistant Secretary's Message

26 April 2016 Jill Connell

Melbourn forum day

"Melbourn forum day"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,

At the Members’ Forum in January, the Executive Committee announced that it would initiate three projects including a survey of members, a strategic plan, and updating the IECAA constitution. We also mentioned these projects in the February newsletter. This time, here is a brief update on these projects:

1) Membership Survey

The purpose of the membership survey project is to provide relevant and objective information to help the IECAA Executive to both plan and take actions that are in the best interest of the IECAA membership.

More specifically, this project involves implementing a survey to ask IECAA members about your priorities/preferences when sailing in the Etchells Class, and what you want from the Association.

In forming this project team, we have tried to balance the need for:

  • Representation of the broad range of IECAA member views,
  • Has the skills to plan and implement this project,
  • Is of a workable size.

Accordingly, we have formed a team of nine IECAA members, including the Fleet Captains of the four largest fleets. So the survey team consists of:

  • Fleet Captains of the four largest Australian Fleets. Namely;
  • Noel Patterson of the Brisbane Fleet
  • Peter Coleman of the Melbourne Fleet
  • Bruce Maloney of the Perth Fleet
  • Richard Hammond of the Sydney Fleet
  • Roger Gain – Roger was instrumental in implementing the Sydney Fleet’s 2015 survey
  • Tom King, OAM – Olympic Gold Medallist
  • David Edwards – General Manager, Club Services and Operations at Yachting Australia
  • Dave Clark – Vice President IECAA
  • Jill Connell – Assistant Secretary IECAA and survey project leader.

We have emailed Fleet Captains and Australian based International Governors to ask for their suggestions on what topics/questions to include in the survey. Thank you to everyone who has responded with suggestions.

The project team is currently collating the responses and preparing a questionnaire. We are planning to use an online questionnaire, and to email a link to all IECAA members by May 30th.

When you receive the questionnaire, please complete it by June 19th so that your views are included in the results, help guide decisions taken at National and Fleet levels, and consequently help guide the future development of the Etchells Class and Association. We seek your response by June 19th, so that we can analyse and communicate the results by the end of July.

We anticipate sharing the survey results with members at the AGM and through newsletters, as well as the IECAA website and Facebook page. The results will be important input into the strategic planning project, and to decisions taken by the IECAA Executive, and by Fleet Committees.

2) Strategic Planning Project:

The purpose of the strategic planning project is to provide the Association with a strategic plan that will provide an overall direction for the Class over the next few years.

The background work for this project is underway, and involves collection of information and development of a project plan. Our priority is to develop a good plan through consultation with members, including seeking your views through the membership survey, discussing a draft plan at the AGM, followed by further consultation and work to develop a final plan and subsequent specific implementation/action plans.

We are inviting members of the Survey Project Team to participate in the Strategic Planning Team, so that there is broad representation across the membership, and the results of the survey are fully considered in development of the strategic plan.

3) Constitution Update Project:

The Association’s constitution was developed many years ago, and best practice in governance has evolved considerably since then. A project team is being formed to develop a more suitable Constitution for the Association. The project team will include members of the Association’s Executive Committee, consulting closely with one or two members who are preeminent lawyers.

Some elements of a revised Constitution can be developed in parallel with the first two projects, however the constitution should reflect the updated, longer-term objectives and strategic direction of the Association. We hope to provide a status update and seek members’ views at the next AGM, however finalising an updated Constitution to propose to Association members may take longer.

Again consultation with Association members is critical to guide development of a Constitution that can be proposed to, and accepted by, the Association’s membership.

Finally then, we are also planning to hold another interactive Members Forum at Mooloolaba, coinciding with the Australasian Midwinter Championship in June. We will advise time and venue details closer to the time.

If you have any queries or suggestions regarding these initiatives, please discuss them with your Fleet Captain, and/or email me at

Jill Connell

Assistant Secretary

International Etchells Class Association of Australia Inc.

Jill, Ben and Wade on Odyssey at the Nationals

"Jill, Ben and Wade on Odyssey at the Nationals"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,


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