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President of Surf Life Saving NSW, George Shales OAM, has announced historic changes to the SLSNSW Constitution, unanimously endorsed by the State Council at a Special General Meeting held on Saturday 12 September 2020. 

The changes to Surf Life Saving NSW’s Constitution reflect a more modern and contemporary governance structure that meets the needs of the organisation into the future and the expectations of its key stakeholders. 

“The decision to change the constitution is monumental and will guide how our organisation is governed moving forward. This is the first time the constitution has been amended or updated since 2009,” said George Shales. 

The constitutional changes were recommended by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) which SLSNSW engaged in June 2019 to conduct a Governance Review of the organisation and provide assurance and advice on how it could improve its governance to maximise benefits to the membership. 

There were 33 recommendations from the AICD review that were tabled back to the SLSNSW Board to consider for adoption. The Board unanimously agreed to adopt all the AICD’s recommendations. 

The key changes to the Surf Life Saving NSW Constitution are: 

  • The introduction of up to two independent directors to the Board 

  • The introduction of a Nominations Committee 

  • The introduction of a Board Skills Matrix to ensure SLSNSW attracts and maintains a skills-based Board 

  • The introduction of a Board Charter to govern Board operations and functions 

  • Introduction of an electronic voting platform for director elections 

  • Amendments to tenure periods for directors 

  • The introduction of new Standing Committees including Lifesaving, Surf Sports, Member Services and Education. 

George Shales thanked the 11 Branch Presidents, representing the organisation’s 76,000 members, for their support in the endorsement of this constitution which places SLSNSW in a stronger governance position moving into the future. 

“We are commencing planning for the next phase of our organisation’s strategic direction, and underpinned by this platform of contemporary corporate governance, we have the opportunity to make what is a great organisation, even greater,” George Shales concluded. 

The new SLSNSW Constitution, adopted by the SLSNSW State Council on 12 September 2020, can be viewed on the SLSNSW website

Wednesday 16 September 2020