Nominations for the Board will open soon and we are yet to receive a firm commitment from any club members who are willing to step up and join our committee of management. It is essential that we have experienced past or present club committee members on our Board to share their knowledge and expertise. If we fail to find sufficient numbers from within our clubs, we will be forced to seek external volunteers for key roles which will reduce club representation on the Board.
A Covid Rebate to Clubs
When further lockdowns were introduced in Victoria during the second half of 2021, invoices to clubs had already been issued and BWV were not able to offer a second rebate at the time. The financial year for BWV ended on 31st March and the result is a very reasonable surplus for the 2021-22 year. In light of this outcome, the Board decided at the April Board meeting to provide a $5.50 (per member incl GST) rebate to clubs.
The rebate will be based on last year’s member numbers and will be included on the annual member subscription invoices in July. Note that we anticipate a small increase in insurance premiums for clubs this year and hope that this rebate will more than cover that increase.
Time to review Club Vaccination Mandates
The Victorian Government announced that many COVID-19 restrictions were lifted from 22/4/22. It is no longer required to show your vaccination status when entering most hospitality venues or attending public events. If your club decided to restrict participation on activities to only those who were fully vaccinated, maybe it is now time to review this practice and progress to your ‘new normal’.
Consider how you may manage your activities in future, taking into account:
- Outdoor activities are low risk and it is usually easy to socially distance on a bushwalk. Participants may choose to wear a mask if unable to do so.
- Unvaccinated members may be feeling isolated and excluded – for many bushwalking is an important social outing which has been unavailable to them for some time.
- Whether it is reasonable to still be asking our members for their personal Covid vaccination status – it does not impact on their ability to participate in an activity.
- It is not the place of BWV or clubs to provide medical advice or opinion to members. We must respect the choice of individuals on the vaccination issue.
- Carpooling if necessary can be managed with a requirement to limit it to short distances and encourage the wearing of masks
We encourage you to discuss the issues with your members and consider your options.
Club questionnaires have now all been returned and the data consolidated and forwarded to Bushwalking Australia’s insurance officer for presentation to the brokers. We expect to receive premium advice in late June.
Insurance renewal time is a good time to look at your Club’s practices relating to the management of risk:
- Have you reviewed your risk management practices and reminded leaders of their responsibilities lately?
- Are you using the latest Acknowledgement of Risk wording provided by our insurers on your membership forms? Their standard and recommended templates are available on their website HERE
- Are your first aiders keeping their training up to date? Remember subsidies are available from BWV.
FedWalks Future Planning
Planning is well underway for FedWalks 2022 at Wangaratta on 1-2 October. We are putting out feelers for 2023 and encourage clubs, or groups of clubs, to consider hosting the event and showcasing their favourite area. If you would like to find out more about hosting the event, please contact our FedWalks Liaison Simon Mullumby: email@example.com