ABF Mid-Term Council and Board Meeting, November 19 & 20, 2022


ABF Mid-Term Council and Board Meeting, November 19 & 20, 2022

ABF Secretariat

Jane Rasmussen, the ABF Secretariat, has had a health scare and is making pleasing progress on her road to recovery. The ABF Board, Council and bridge community wish her all the best and look forward to welcoming her back to ABF Headquarters in 2023. In the meantime, Lizzie Thomson will be in the office from 9.00am-4.00pm Monday to Friday to answer any calls. For all other enquiries please email secretariat@abf.com.au and cc treasurer@abf.com.au and president@abf.com.au. We thank you for your understanding.

ABF Council changes

Robina McConnell has retired as a BAWA delegate. During her time on Council, Robina was an active member of the Governance and MyABF Steering Committees. As Tournament Organiser of the 2023 ANC and BAWA Executive Officer, she will continue to be actively involved in bridge. On behalf of the ABF Council, I thank Robina for her valuable contribution to ABF Council and wish her well in his future endeavours.

Welcome to Chris Mulley who replaces Robina as a BAWA delegate. Chris is Chair of the BAWA Tournament Committee and a member of the BAWA Management Committee. Chris was lecturing in law at the University of Notre Dame from 2002 to 2021 and he is now taking a break. Although he taught in numerous areas, he has a particular interest in Criminal Law, Evidence and Legal Philosophy. I look forward to Chris’ contributions to Council.


Joan Butts will continue to oversee teaching until the end of 2022. Council discussed options for how best to continue supporting teachers in 2023. Board member Richard Ward has been asked to liaise with a small group of experienced teachers whose aim will be to review the role of the ABF in providing ongoing support for teachers Australia-wide. A draft proposal will be circulated more widely shortly, and comments will be welcome.

Funding options for future operations

The Treasurer presented a discussion paper outlining options for funding to cover future operations. The Treasurer and the Finance Committee will provide detailed modelling and proposals, for consideration at the ABF AGM in 2023.

Gold Points

A resolution to Increase the cost of gold points to match the cost of red points, starting in 2024, was carried by council. The ABF Treasurer will provide more information early in 2023.


Online Bridge

Council discussed the development of the laws for online bridge as some will be different to face-to-face bridge. Dr Laurie Kelso has been asked to drive the development of these laws. There will also be a review of the by-laws relating to cheating which will consider the proposed WBF changes.


TBIB presentation

Steve Weil and Sean Bemrose from Tony Bemrose Insurance Brokers spoke to Council. TBIB have been a great partner of the Australian Bridge Community, for over 10 years. The ‘ABF Members’ Travel Insurance Policy’ was launched to members more than nine years ago. Members up to age 90 can join and most pre-existing conditions are covered. The ABF Members’ Travel insurance policy is still going strong. The policy now includes a range of inclusions for Covid related illnesses.

Information can be found at www.abfinsurance.com.au.

ANC Trophies

The trophies are being shipped to ABF headquarters for storage. Transport of the trophies to ANC’s is expensive and damages the trophies, and it was recommended that an alternative solution be found. Council asked the ABF to develop a virtual trophy presentation, with acknowledgement of previous winners. Board to initiate development of a virtual trophy presentation, to be implemented at the 2023 ANC.


Youth Bridge

Youth Week 2023 will be held in Canberra f rom 7th-13th January. All information and entries are on MyABF.


ABF Constitution, Governance and Strategic Plan

Council approved the current direction of the proposed organisational model. Rob Ward will incorporate the feedback f rom the discussion and present an updated version of the paper and a draft of changes to the constitution at the Presidents meeting in February. The Presidents’ Meeting will be held at the Gold Coast Congress on Saturday 25 February, 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Topics of discussion will include proposed changes to the ABF organisational model, ABF support for teaching, marketing, and the review of the ABF Tournament Calendar.

Feedback and Future Meetings

The Board welcomes feedback and suggestions on the above matters or other subjects. The next Board Meeting is Friday 17th February 2023 Gold Coast.



ABF Board:

Allison Stralow (President), Stephen Fischer (Secretary), Ian Thomson (Treasurer), Rob Ward, Richard Ward (Board Members)

Phil Markey (General Counsel), Michael Bryant (Deputy General Counsel) Jane Rasmussen (Executive Secretary)

December 2022

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