DULWICH HILL BICYCLE CLUB – PRESIDENT 2018-2019 REPORT
Dr Marc Rerceretnam
7 June 2019
I would like to thank the following DHBC Committee members and supporters for their support over the last 12 months. Simon Berry, Andrew Belford, Jonathan Wong, Colin Williamson and John Caley. I believe we have made the DHBC a better, richer and more diverse club. I would also like to thank Doug Kirkham, Simon Sharwood, Alli Prior, Faye Hopkins, John Hatt and their gang, Lindsay Munks and even Simon Llewelyn, for showing me that positivity and goodwill can be fostered within a club like the DHBC.
Enhancement of opportunities
I believe as President, I provided leadership to steer the Committee to reinvent itself. There has been little to no complimentary growth in club programs and services, which did not keep pace with the growth of club membership. Essentially, considerable parts of the club needed urgent revival and direction. Without this, club members began feeling disengaged. Within the last few years, it became very clear that the DHBC was in dire need of reform. Please see my attached report for a list of programs and initiatives (some completed and others on-going) which were begun during the tenure of the 2018-19 DHBC Committee.
Negative culture of exclusion and bullying
I joined the DHBC in 2011 and have continuously worked with many groups in and out of the club over the last 8 years. Especially so with our large retro bike group. When I was asked to consider nominating for the position of DHBC President around March 2018, I was in two minds. Over the years, I knew of many people who left because of inexplicable hostility from certain powerful quarters in the club. Many left, even several promising and high achiever women. In addition, in 2017 (in the previous Committee), squabbling between some committee members was carried out in the public domain, and this was extremely distressing for myself and many fellow club members. However, I was positive and hopeful. I had worked with many club members for over the last 8 years and naively believed I could turn this around. This turned out to be a challenging task, but believe the 2018-19 committee did hold together well. For most of the year we were a positive and cohesive group. However, it began to fray around May 2019. Rogue actions taken by one committee member, divided loyalties and opinions.
Taking this difficult scenario, I have discussed this matter with club members and family, and I have made the difficult decision to not re-stand for the role of DHBC President. I do this with a heavy heart. I joined the DHBC to be happy and positive. I would like to continue feeling that way.
However I have come to realise, for some, that old habits die hard. An element of unaccountability continues to thrive within hidden enclaves of our otherwise open and happy club. The inability to properly consult and inform, and the inability to follow constitutional processes were extremely disconcerting. Taking such short cuts, in my experience, eventually leads to favouritism for some and exclusion for others. As one person stated at a meeting, “we are the Committee, we can do anything we want”; my answer to that is a defiant, NO! Our mandate must ensure we remain accountable to all our members, irrespective of whether we ‘like’ them or not. We cannot make up rules to keep our friends happy or to suit our own personal agendas.
DHBC President, 2018-19
Club began growing after 2008, and by early 2010s membership had reached the 400-450 mark. However, complimentary growth in club programs and services did not keep pace. Essentially, considerable parts of the club needed urgent revival and direction. Without this, club members began feeling disengaged
Immediately after the 2018 AGM the following initiatives were introduced:
1. May 2018 (Completed) - Revival of the club Ride Leader program
a. Ride leaders were getting burned out because there were 4 of them.
b. Increase of numbers from 4 to 16 ride leaders
c. Initiating internal ride leader training sessions
2. Oct 2018-Jan 2019 (Completed) – Retrieval of over TwoMonkeys $7,300 jersey sales debt.
a. Took TwoMonkeys Inc to NSW Local Court due to non-reimbursement of DHBC jersey sales revenue going back to at least 2016.
b. DHBC jerseys sold via TwoMonkey’s shop in Alexandria, for several years, with no written or formal agreement for reimbursement of sale monies.
3. May 2018 (on-going) – ongoing ‘Mandatory Passing Distance’ (MPD) advocacy campaign
a. There was no direction on how to deal with traffic infringements (MPD issues) nor coordination with NSW Police, CNSW or Bicycle NSW on this issue.
b. Formation of the DHBC MPD Sub-Committee (David Maywald chair)
c. Direct complaints to NSW Police, Ministers
d. Making strong public statements on issue
e. Supporting and advocating on behalf DHBC members
f. Via David, introduced a successful pro-MPD Notice of Motion at 2019 CNSW AGM
4. May to July 2018 (Completed) - Creation of a Code of Conduct for club members http://dhbc.org.au/about-dhbc/code-of-conduct.html
a. To address potential harassment and issues relating to sexism, racism and bullying.
5. Aug 2018 (on-going) – Revival of Juniors program
a. Juniors program has fallen on the wayside in comparison to other local clubs. Juniors leaving the club for St George CC and other training entities from 2014 onwards.
b. Most DHBC juniors migrated to St George and other clubs especially from 2014 – issue never acknowledged.
c. Renewed commitment to revitalise program
6. June 2018 (on-going) – Publicising DHBC in public space
a. Ran a day stall at the Marrickville Festival Day and Bike Day, Leichhardt.
7. June 2018 (on-going) – Searching for new criterium and race courses
a. Initiated by the Public Officer, Jonathan Wong, feelers were put out to Canterbury Bankstown Council and Inner West Council for possible changes to their respective Masterplans, to incorporate cycle racing.
8. March 2019 (on-going) – Rebuilding of the DHBC official website www.dhbc.org.au
a. Website forum not functioning since late 2017.
b. Removal of irrelevant info such as old sponsor logos from 2015.
c. Total refurbishment of website handed over to professional website builder.
9. Oct 2018-July 2019 (on-going) - National MPD poster and sticker design competition –
a. DHBC received a $10,000 grant from Transport for NSW to run a pro-MPD campaign.
10. May 2018 (on-going) - Inner West Council History Grants
a. DHBC is a recipient of an Inner West Council History Grant.
b. DHBC received a $5,000 grant from Inner West Council.
11. June 2018 (on-going) – Revival of the Women’s Sub-Committee and activities
a. The club has always had a reasonable female component, however there was little coordination in recruitment and especially in fostering group competition potential.
b. Formed the DHBC Women’s Sub-Committee from June 2018.
12. Dec 2018 (on-going) - Reformation of the organised DHBC 17-strong race team
a. Many Masters and Elites were beginning to leave for SUVelo and other clubs with a stronger racing culture.
b. With Justin Hillis’ and co., the formation of a 17 members, 3 reserve team by May 2019.
c. Across the board, from all grades.
d. Supported by club. No sponsors to be beholden to and no exclusion of other potential club sponsors.
13. Dec 2018 (on-going) – Encouraging DHBC participation in club racing events
a. Club racing had become a fringe activity, with little DHBC representation at weekly crit events.
b. Holding and organising internal introductory and masterclasses on how to race.
c. General number of DHBC participants has increase many times over in the last few months.
14. Opening up the club to ideas and initiatives (on-going)
a. There were no initiatives to identify and harness talent to enliven and enrich the club.
i. Justin Hillis – race team and initiatives (completed)
ii. Manny d’Souza – criterium masterclasses (completed)
iii. Lindsay Munks – Sydney Classic Bicycle Show (completed)
iv. Special thanks to Simon Bolton and Adam Farrer for work on the CNSW coordinated Christmas Track Carnival. (completed)
v. Justin Hillis - Club Trivia night (on-going)
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