President's Email - May 2017

Presidents Email – May 2017


Dear Members,


In my last President’s email to members, I updated you on a comprehensive review of our skills training and grading system. I want to update you on the current state of play with this important review, as well as a number of other issues the Club Committee is progressing.


Skills training and grading review


The Training Review Reference Group (convened by myself) has now met twice. I hope all members have had a chance to read the Issues Paper that the Review Group developed. It is available on the website if you have not seen it. I thank all members who provided their comments by way of feedback.


There are three important issues under consideration: our Grading Model, Skills Development Processes and Instructor & Trip Leader Sustainability. These areas must all work well in order for our system to be sustainable. We have concluded that maintaining the status quo in these areas is not viable. Change is required.


The Review Group has developed specific recommendations for consideration by the Club Committee, which will occur early June. This includes a recommended Grading Model that will entail sensible changes from what we currently have place, and will best position the Club for the future.


Once the Committee has been briefed, the Review Group will convene a meeting of all Grade 2 and 3 members to explain proposed changes and receive feedback (July). This will then be followed by final Committee consideration (August) ahead of a formal approval process (September). Members will be kept informed as these processes unfold, but I want to flag again that sensible changes are likely.


Importance of self-assessment


I want to stress to all members the importance of self-assessment. The Club is built on a model of self-assessing – i.e. do I have the skills required for a planned paddle, if there is an incident then can I be part of the solution rather than the problem. Please be frank and honest with yourself with your self-assessments, and if in doubt please discuss trip requirements with the Trip Leader. Bear in mind that the Club’s insurance cover depends on robust application of this approach.


Club merchandise


We are establishing a working party to progress development of refreshed Club merchandise. The working party will be led by Kate Alberico, and if you would like to join the working party, please contact Kate at We are aiming to have a new range of Club badged apparel available for perusal at the AGM weekend in November.



AGM Weekend


We are developing exciting plans for the AGM weekend at Barwon Heads, so please keep the dates of 10-12 November free. We have arranged two fantastic speakers for Friday and Saturday nights, we will also have an exciting paddle and skills program, the auction, great food and socializing, our photo and video competition and commercial displays. In particular I want to reinforce that we will be making the inaugural Mick MacRobb Photographic Excellence Award so get those shutters shuttering!


Best regards


Richard Rawling

President, VSKC