President’s Message to Members and Supporters – November 2021
Our footy Club is indeed a very diverse organisation. Among other things, it develops quality young people through football, it provides wonderful employment opportunities, it gives communities a venue for gathering and interacting, and it promotes friendship and fellowship amongst mates. It brings out the very best in individual and team endeavours. But do we really know why the Club exists?
In recent months the Board and staff have started to refocus our attention on the real reason why we have a Club. What is the single purpose of our Club’s existence? What binds us all as members and supporters and keeps us coming back as a collective group, day in and day out?
To discover the answer, we turned to the Constitution of the Club. We decided that it was time to listen again to the words of the founders of the Club from more than 130 years ago. And this is what they said:
“The object of the Club is to encourage, promote and foster the playing of Australian Football”.
Surely it couldn’t be that simple, we thought. It must be more complicated than that. The founders of the Club must have missed something. But they didn’t. And who are we to argue? Luckily the Constitution sets out some very clear guidelines on how the Club will achieve its object. Guidelines like; “promote unity and good fellowship among the members of the Club and between members of the Club and other sporting clubs” or; “promote the Club’s activities in the wider community and among the Club’s members”.
So, after much discussion, we decided that the Club needed an updated statement of purpose. One that would honour the legacy of the founders and which would give all members, staff and supporters a “guiding light” for our daily activities. We decided that our Club will be:
United in Our Pursuit of Premiership Success
We believe that this statement captures all the elements of the Club’s purpose and provides a tool for all stakeholders to check whether they are on the right track. In recent weeks the Board has held information sessions with key leaders of the Club and staff to explore ways to realign our culture towards achieving this Club purpose. There is much work to be done. But we have begun the journey and we now must hold each other accountable to the task. As a start, you will begin to notice a “One Club” flavour to much of what we do in order to focus on the “united” part of our purpose. We are currently exploring having a combined Best and Fairest event to include all playing groups next season. I encourage you all to get behind these initiatives, and most importantly, to provide your feedback along the way.
At the last meeting of the Board there were several important items discussed. These are summarised below for your information:
Tom Winter WAFC Life Member, long term volunteer for a range of football operation activities
Kristen Demetriou Former WAFC Board Member, Member Westonians Committee
David Leydon Special Counsel at Minter Ellison, long term member of WAFC
John Levy (Chair) Former WAFC Board Member, current Honorary Solicitor of WAFC and Chair of WAFC Governance Committee
As we begin preparations for the 2022 season I want to congratulate and thank the entire football department for their relentless work in recruiting and development of players. Much of the work in recruiting happens over a long period and behind the scenes, and it’s great to see some of that work coming to fruition.
I also want to acknowledge the work done by Kayla and her team in the bistro and venue area. There is no doubt that Westies provide very high quality food and beverage, and always with a smile.
Finally, I want to pay tribute to all my fellow Board members, along with all members of staff. The Club has operated without a CEO since 15th September and everyone has done a great job keeping things rolling along as we await Conny’s commencement date on 22nd November.
I look forward to catching up with members and supporters in the weeks ahead. I often receive very helpful and honest feedback from stakeholders on a wide range of topics about the Club. I welcome this and hope that you continue to provide it.