ABF AGM and Board Meeting April 17, 18 and 19, 2021


ABF AGM and Board Meeting April 17, 18 and 19, 2021

Major Items and Decisions

ABF Council changes

Roy Nixon (A.C.T), and Malcolm Sherlock (TAS) retired from Council. Council thanks them for their valuable and generous contributions.

Council welcomed Stephen Fischer (A.C.T) and Sue Falkingham (TAS) as Councillors.

Council elected Michael Bryan as Supplemental Councillor. Michael provides expertise in contracts and corporations law and complements the expertise of the General Counsel.

Retiring Committee Member, Official and Contractor

John Brockwell has resigned as Chair of the National Directors Accreditation Committee. In one capacity or another, he has served the ABF continuously since 1971. John was elected to the Committee of Honour in 1986 as recognition of his outstanding service to bridge. Council thanks John for his many years of dedicated service to the ABF.

In 2018 Mark Guthrie agreed to take on the role of ABF National Technology Officer. Mark has decided to leave this role at the end of March 2021. Council thanks Mark for his professionalism and his vision to build a platform to support states, clubs and members into the future.

After eight years of service to the Ethics Committee, Julia Hoffman has decided to hand over the reins as she feels the committee will be well served by several new, and younger, members. The Committee and the ABF appreciate her wisdom, experience and service over many years. Julia is also stepping down as ABF Public Officer as this position is redundant now the ABF is a Company Limited By Guarantee.

General Counsel

The President recommended that Geoff Chettle be re-appointed as Legal Counsel for a further term. The Council unanimously accepted the recommendation.


As of 15th April My ABF has 1,285 users with more users coming online as use of the system expands. Four Congresses have been completed and 16 are listed or in draft. The next major release, expected later this year, is to extend ‘Bridge Credits” so that players can use them to pay for club sessions. The My ABF team welcome feedback and suggestions for system improvements. These suggestions may be made via the My ABF forum.

ABF Constitution and Governance

The Council passed the amendments to the ABF By-Laws. A copy of the By-Laws can be found on the ABF Website www.abf.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/ABF-Ltd-By-Laws-2021.pdf. The Council reviewed the composition of the Governance Committee to ensure compliance with the By-laws. The new composition of the committee is: Robina McConnell (Chair), Roy Nixon, Geoffrey Chettle and Christopher Leach.

Capitation and Masterpoint Fees

Council agreed to a recommendation from the Treasurer that there will be no annual increase in Masterpoint and Capitation fees. Capitation fee for 2022 will return to the pre-Covid level of $16.10 and the Masterpoint levies will remain unchanged with no CPI increase applied for 2022.

Strategic Plan

In March 2019, the ABF Management Committee, Head of Marketing and National Technology Officer, took part in a workshop to review and update the ABF Strategy Strategic Plan. The existing strategic plan is now out of date as many issues have either been addressed or are no longer relevant. The Council agreed to conduct a review of the strategic plan on October 24th, the 2nd day of the Mid-Term Meeting, Board member, Rob Ward has volunteered to facilitate the session.

Growing our Business

Largely due to Covid the number of ABF registered players declined by 8% from March 2020 to March 2021. Peter Cox facilitated a group session to discuss how the ABF can help clubs to grow their business. Council urges clubs to take advantage of the many services the ABF has to offer. Our Head of Marketing and National Teaching Coordinator are available to run face-to face or Zoom sessions and there is funding available for grants and subsidies. The Board acknowledge the outstanding work of Joan Butts and Peter Cox who have continued to support clubs and teachers in the past twelve months.


A Youth Development Plan for 2021-2025 was discussed. Council was enthusiastic about the options put forward to reinvigorate the youth scene with an agreed goal of achieving 1000 youth members by 2025.

Risk Management

In response to COVID-19, the Board recognised the need to identify and manage the risks and activities that are critical to ensuring the survival of the ABF. Adel Abdelhamid developed a risk profile and Council were asked for input. The risks were further refined and evaluated by Council. The next steps are to identify risk mitigation strategies where necessary and assign owners for each risk. Adel will now work on a Risk Strategy Plan to present to the Board.

ANC Perth 2021 and Adelaide 2022

The Tournament Organisers of both events reported on the progress of planning for the events. The Board noted the excellent work undertaken by Robina McConnell to organise the event in the timeframe available. Players are encouraged to support this event and enter the Butlers and/or the Congress events. www.myabf.com.au/events/congress/view/7

Inclusion of Mixed Teams at ANC

The inclusion of Mixed Teams at the ANC was considered. The Secretary will write to the States and Territories inviting comment on a proposal to include a mixed team’s event at the ANC from 2022.

Feedback and Future Meetings

The Board welcomes feedback and suggestions on the above matters or other subjects.

The next Board Meeting is via Zoom on May 23rd and 24th 2021. The draft agenda will be circulated. ABF Council confirmed the mid-term General Meeting date as October 23-24 2021 in Sydney.

The 2022 Annual General Meeting will be held on May 3-4, 2022, in Adelaide.

2020-2022 ABF Board:

Allison Stralow (President), Kim Frazer (Secretary), Ian Thomson, (Treasurer), Adel Abdelhamid, Rob Ward, Jane Rasmussen (Executive Secretary), Geoff Chettle (Legal Counsel), Michael Bryan (Deputy Legal Counsel)

26 April 2021

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