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Chairman’s Address - November 2021

Dear Members, 
Welcome to this latest quarterly Chairman’s address which includes reports from the various Board Committees where meetings have been held and business conducted during this most recent period.

We have also introduced a new Life Membership Committee, with more detail explained below in this editorial.

You will also see at the end of this update a link to a questionnaire which asks you to answer a series of questions. Please take the opportunity to respond to our questionnaire and let us know your thoughts.

Again, we faced challenges to the business in continuing to battle through the Covid restrictions, however with Sharks at Kareela reopening and now with the state and country slowly returning to normality, we look forward to better times ahead.

The comprehensive remediation plan which was implemented by our management team put us in a very solid position to be able to cope with the setbacks and we have come out of the most recent shutdown period in reasonable shape.

We thank you once again for your patience and understanding throughout this period.

As mentioned in the October CEO Update, a Members Information Night was conducted via Teams Teleconferencing, and I thank the more than 150 members who took the time to join us, to hear reports as to the progress we are making and to listen to us speak to our strategic intent. We also thank those who posed honest and candid questions on the night. 

Much of what follows in this Chairman’s Address was covered off on that Members Info Night.

In further club related matters, Members who drive past the Woolooware Bay Town Centre Development will have noticed construction has ramped up and is on track for its 2023 completion. Designs and plans for the new Sharks Leagues Club are well advanced, with the construction phase for that facility to begin soon.

On football matters, we have welcomed our new coach Craig Fitzgibbon, who has hit the ground running, with pre-season training scheduled to begin this week. Craig has assembled a quality support staff, his new recruits are all impressive young men as well as being quality players and we are all positive about our prospects in 2022. 

Please read on, as I update you on the journey that continues as we lay down the foundations in setting our club up for an exciting future.


Board Sub-committees 

Building Committee
With the recent lockdown meaning tools were down in the construction sector for a number of weeks, work on the planning and development of our new Leagues Club was delayed but is continuing. The design is still not to the point where it can be signed-off, with this process being hampered by the recent delays, however we are confident we are not far away from getting the Club design to sign-off. We can then share that design with our members. As communicated previously, this will ultimately be a first-class facility, with works still on track for a completion towards mid-2023.

Football Committee
The committee has worked through a busy period finalising the 2022 roster, with still a few spots remaining. Now with new Head Coach Craig Fitzgibbon officially at the Sharks, the Football Committee boasts a very talented and well credentialed group, one which will get the best outcomes in relation to our recruitment and retention strategy moving forward.

Investment Committee
The Sharks Investment Committee (IC) continues to work closely with management in diligently reviewing the market for appropriate investments for our club across a vast array of potential opportunities. As mentioned in the last members update, the IC approved the first major investment in August within the Metrics Wholesale Investment Trust. Our first two months of returns generated have exceeded expectations that are above the targeted returns within our Group Investment Strategy.

The IC and management are always focused on our overall investment strategy. Management presents each opportunity in a consistent format to the IC for consideration, with the focus being on the investment fitting within the overall Board approved strategy, the forecast return on capital and also capital preservation to protect your Club’s future.

Life Members Committee
An important part of our Club is to recognise those that have been awarded a life membership, while it is equally important and a key agenda item to clean up the nominations piece of our life membership program. To this end I recently communicated to our members council of our intention to establish a committee to deal with the nomination criteria and the awarding of a life membership to either the Leagues or Football clubs. The constitution won’t change, with a nomination to be received by the Board and if recommended, to then be passed to the members for a vote at the pursuing AGM. This process won’t change. The committee is charged with developing a new framework to nominate an individual to become a life member and the criteria that supports the nomination.

Football and Leagues Club life members are not to be confused with perpetual memberships, with these memberships purchased and while they will be honoured for life, are not nominated and ratified life members of our Club.

Nominations Committee
The committee has the responsibility of also reviewing the Boards composition and effectiveness so it is timely with the members questionnaire that this will form part of the overall review.

With some significant strategic milestones planned over the coming years, a role of the committee is to regularly monitor the skill set of the Board. The committee will then make recommendations based on the Club’s strategic plan to ensure we have the appropriate skill set to compliment the Management. 

Remuneration & Appointments Committee
With no Executive appointments and all employee reviews completed the prior quarter there was no activity during this period.


Questionnaire – Performance review
I would also like to take this opportunity to commence what will be our Board Performance review. An inaugural review was conducted in 2020 and we were most appreciative of the feedback received.

Please click on the link below, which will take you to a series of survey questions. Please use this forum for constructive feedback to help us better serve you, our Members.

CLICK HERE to participate in the performance review

In closing
We hope you have managed to navigate your way through the recent Covid challenges while remaining healthy. With a new season set to be upon us before we know it, we look forward to your continued support of our great Club into 2022 and beyond.  

Steven Mace
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks