Event, Forward Thinking, Governance, Industry, News, Organisation

Bringing Victorian Sport Together Vicsport CEO Forum


11 and 12 May, 2016

Latrobe City was the host of this year's Vicsport CEO Forum (formerly Retreat).  35 leaders from various State Sporting Associations (SSAs) and Regional Sport Assemblies (RSAs) descended upon Traralgon for the event, in its third year.  The Forum's theme for 2016 was 'Leading as the face of your organisation'.

Day 1

Session one was conducted by Ron Gauci, CEO of Federation Square, and former CEO of Melbourne Storm.  During the session, Leadership in the Face of Adversity, Ron shared experiences from his career, providing not only the how he overcame the challenges but the tools he used.  Gauci's solution provoking presentation provided his 10 principles for success along with how to be a great manager and leader.  "You need to own your role and be accountable for it", said Gauci "and challenging times will always require a different approach".  Gauci's session prompted some great discussion and left the audience with some great food for thought when returning to their offices.

Ron Gauci

Gauci's 10 principles to success:

  1.  THE PEOPLE - recruit them, keep them & engage them - they will give back to you
  2.  THE ROLE - clarity is critical, be accountable, know the role
  3.  REMOVE THE DE-MOTIVATORS - acknowledge, reward & empower, allow those around you to do their best
  4.  THE PLAN - fail to plan to achieve success & you will succeed in achieving failure
  5.  NO DATA, NO DECISION - data is king. Remove emotion from decisions. Have good collection tools
  6.  IF YOU DON'T ASK, YOU DON'T GET - knowledge comes from investigation & questions
  7.  A CRISIS NEEDS A COOL HEAD -the most critical decisions are made in the most stressful situations
  8.  What's in it for me? - have a compelling value proposition. Address the client's needs
  9.  COMMUNICATION - get the language & message right
  10.  MEASUREMENT & IMPROVEMENT- define success. If you can't measure it, you can't improve it

Session two of the day was delivered by Gymnastics Victoria CEO, Jamie Parsons, who shared his experiences on some of the successes they have had generally and in particular with driving membership growth and participation.

The afternoon sessions consisted of workshops where CEOs had the opportunity to define some of the challenges faced by the industry.

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Day one concluded with Latrobe City hosting attendees on a tour of facilities on offer to sports who decide to host an event within the region.

Attendees joined Vicsport preferred suppliers and Latrobe City staff for a fabulous dinner in the barrel room at nearby Narkoojee Vinyeard, with some post-dinner wine purchases being made on the way out!

Day 2

Delegates continued the previous day's session bright and early on Day 2 by workshopping solutions to the challenges identified the day prior.

Meghan Albert, General Manager, Vicsport then provided a session on 'Reframing the VicHealth Innovation Challenge' where attendees were asked to come up with and present ideas on how to get 300,000 more Victorians more active with $1,000,000.

There was no chance of anyone being bored for the remainder of they day as self-proclaimed 'Mayor of Hootville' Brett de Hoedt kept everyone on their toes with his workshops covering facets of leadership communication.  He focussed on presentation skills and dealing with crisis situations with some interesting role playing skills coming to the fore!

The forum concluded with a 'What's important to you?' session, allowing members to identify their priorities and the areas in which Vicsport can assist them.

The forum, lauded by those who attended as the best yet, brought together the 'big hitters' in Victorian sport and provided a platform to share industry ideas and solutions as well as the opportunity to gain specifically tailored professional development.

Thanks to Latrobe City Council for their support - for more information contact Jessica Lloyd, E: Jessica.Lloyd@latrobe.vic.gov.au or P: (03) 5128 5630


Some key areas of discussion throughout the forum highlighted the challenges associated with;

  • Governance
  • Integrity
  • Collecting relevant data
  • Membership expectations and customer service
  • Facility access
  • Scarce resources and duplication of effort
  • Staff development and retention
  • Recognition of the value of community sport

"These challenges are not new and have been discussed before, but what was really pleasing was the motivation of CEOs in Victorian Sport to collaborate on tackling these issues and their willingness to share their experiences." Said Mark McAllion.

"Further discussions will now take place on tackling these key challenges in different ways than tried before.  There was also some interest in taking this a step further and exploring the possibility of shared services in some areas."

"Competition makes us faster, Collaboration makes us better" - FireFly London

See more images from the event:

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