General Manager’s Update

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General Manager’s Update

30 April

In the GM’s update this month:

• Board Update
• 2019 Annual General Meeting
• The Hon Stephen Conroy retires
• Second Annual Affiliate Awards
• Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Championships

Board Update

2019 Annual General Meeting
The Volleyball Victoria Inc Annual General Meeting was held Saturday, 27 April at the State Volleyball Centre @ Dandenong Stadium with a large contingent in attendance representing, Affiliates, State League Clubs, Life Members, and other interested stakeholders.

The Board presented the 2018 Annual Report and Financial Statements with the motion to adopt carried unanimously.  The Report and Statements are available in both electronic and hardcopy, on request.  The 2019 Budget, already adopted by the Board, was also presented with an extensive outline on the variations from the previous year, and was subsequently endorsed by the Meeting.

Three nominations were received for three Board positions, being Officer Director – President, with Paul Freckleton elected unopposed, and two Ordinary Member positions, with Ian Jenkins (returning) and Dr Peter Hertan (new) also elected unopposed.

The Hon Stephen Conroy retires

The election of Paul Freckleton saw the first change in President for 20 years with The Hon Stephen Conroy retiring after two decades of service, first joining the Board in the late 1990s and shortly after being elected President.

A former State Junior representative and State League player with Heidelberg Volleyball Club, Stephen retires with Volleyball Victoria incredibly well-placed, having navigated previously turbulent periods, participation, member satisfaction, and financial reserves are at all-time highs and reflect Stephen’s leadership and the contribution of the many Board members who have served during his time.

The Meeting also considered one Special Resolution, that of Life Membership for Stephen, the Resolution was passed unanimously.  The Resolution read as follows:
“Stephen was elected to the Board as President in 1998 and for 20 continuous years has provided a powerful figurehead for Volleyball Victoria.  Stephen’s influence and contacts have been critical to the success of the organisation and secured Volleyball Victoria’s viability at a time when it confronted serious existential challenges.  Stephen continued in the role as one of the most significant figures in volleyball, his understanding of the stakeholder environment and governance have enabled the organisation to transition between eras and maintain Board stability.  This has resulted in a sustained period of success.  Stephen retires at a time of great strength for the organisation, with participation, membership, satisfaction, and financial reserves at all-time highs.  He remains a passionate volleyball fan and can often be heard offering advice, such as that he provided from the stands to the Volleyroos at Volleyball Nations League”.

Relevant documents:
•2018 Annual Report, including Audited Financial Statements

Second Annual Affiliate Awards

Following the AGM, the Board hosted the second Annual Volleyball Victoria Affiliate Awards.  Affiliate Presidents, Award finalists, and Life Members were invited to attend as guests of Volleyball Victoria.

Board members in attendance included newly elected President Paul Freckleton, Elizabeth Tupper, Ian Jenkins, and Elizabeth Pollock (Life Member).

It was a great pleasure for the organisation to welcome and acknowledge several other Life Members, including Russell Newman, Malcom Qualtrough, David Berry, and Tom Saario.

The Award winners were:

I. Most Outstanding Junior Program
The Most Outstanding Junior Program have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of junior volleyball in their community through the establishment of an accredited Spikezone or Sporting Schools program. It provides tangible recognition for the efforts of individuals in improving and developing volleyball at grassroots level.

Special Mention: Murtoa College

Winner: Eastside Hawks
Hawks Women’s Junior Programme has developed into a robust, inclusive, and highly achieving Club programme.  Commenced in 2012 when Hawks introduced a fledgling junior programme into the Club’s regular training environment.

Without sufficient numbers to enter as a team, the participants were embraced as key bench players, capitalising on windows of opportunity to play.  Subsequent years have seen a steady growth in the Junior program with multiple teams consistently entered into Junior State League.

The success of the Junior Programme is evident in the senior teams, most notably five of the current Premier team were introduced in the original 2012 Junior Training group.

II. Most Outstanding Teacher

Awarded to the teacher who provides outstanding leadership and supports growth and development of volleyball in the education sector.

Special Mention: Shaun Bray (Murtoa College)

Winner: Christopher Nunn (Merbein P-10)
During his 38-year teaching career Chris has introduced countless students to the sport of volleyball.

Chris coaches every Tuesday afternoon in his own time, with additional sessions when preparing for competition.  He coaches students for interschool volleyball and lead the only team from the Sunraysia District to participate in the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup.

Currently three 15 year old students from the Sunraysia region have been selected to represent Australia with the Men’s and Women’s Volleyball Australia Development Tours to Thailand, all three athletes have been coached by Chris; two of them attending the school where he teaches and coaches
His genuine interest in the wellbeing of his students, makes him a very popular teacher and his passion for volleyball is infectious.  Chris has previously coached the parents of some of his current volleyball players, when they were his students.

III. Most Outstanding School

The Most Outstanding School has demonstrated their contribution and achievement in the sport of volleyball across Victoria.

Special Mention: McKinnon Secondary College and Rowville Secondary College

Winner: Billanook College.
Billanook College has 22 years history with volleyball and during this time has accrued numerous medals and awards at both the Victorian and Australian Schools Cups.

In 2018, Billanook College placed eight at the Beach Schools Cup, second at the One Day event, secured title of Champion School at the Three Day event, including two individual Most Valuable Player Awards and fifth overall at Australian Volleyball Schools Cup and top=placed Victoria School.

Billanook College has a proud culture striving for excellence, whilst maintaining a focus on participation, enjoyment, and developing life-long volleyballers.

IV. Excellence in Coaching

The Excellence in Coaching Award recipient has excelled in providing support, development, and growth of both coaches and athletes within their Club, Association, and/or Volleyball Victoria.

Special Mention: Andrew Papalaskaris (GMVA), Steve Purcell (Sunraysia Volleyball Inc & Sunraysia Academy of Sport), Sue Rice (SERVA, Eastside Hawks, Victoria, Australia)

Winner: Steve Holder (Victoria & University Blues)
Steve is an accomplished coach holding numerous and diverse roles, including within school programs through to the national league.  He is a noted advocate for young coaches and seeks opportunities to foster the aspirations of young coaches, often as a mentor in the State Team Program.

Steve has enjoyed unparalleled success in 2018; as part of the Yarra Ranges coaching group that lead a young playing group to both the Warrnambool Seaside Tournament and State League Division 2 Women’s titles.

Before leading the Volleyball Victoria U19 Women’s State Team to the national crown at the Australian Junior Volleyball Championship, and then finishing the year by taking the mantle at University Blues and leading the Women’s Team to their sixth consecutive and seventh overall Australian Volleyball League Championship.

V. Volunteer Achievement Award

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognises outstanding services to volleyball in the areas of administration, officiating, and volunteering at Club, Association, and/or Volleyball Victoria level. It provides tangible recognition for the efforts of individuals in improving and developing volleyball.

Special Mention: All nominees will be recognised and presented with a unique certificate

Winner: Joanne Baker (Volleyball Horsham)
Joanne Baker was the behind the scenes driving force of the Murtoa College volleyball team in 2018.  As Team Manager, Jo isn’t just the wash-lady, she also plays the role of team psychologist, counsellor, mediator, and conduit between players and coaches.

Jo has always been prepared to put up her hand when help is required, not just for Murtoa teams, but also for the Volleyball Victoria State U17 Girls’ Gold team, and the Volleyball Horsham Country Championships Women’s Team.

Jo voluntarily fulfilled these roles without fuss or fanfare all year to ensure the teams she managed gave themselves the best opportunity to perform and achieve their goals.

The gold medal achieved by Murtoa at the 2018 Australian Volleyball Schools Cup was just and due reward.

Winner: Jessica Sanders (South Gippsland Volleyball)
Jessica spends each competition evening preparing the courts for both the junior and senior leagues at South Gippsland.  She is the first to put her hand up to do conduct the Sporting Schools Program and is keen on assisting local Schools with resources.  As a coach in the junior training program, Jess has been a driving force in the current success of the South Gippsland Junior Program.

In addition, Jess has been the South Gippsland Club Secretary for five years.

On State League mornings Jess arrives early at the State Volleyball Centre from South Gippsland to undertake a venue inspection before juniors commence.  She then moves on to Springers, to assist Tom Saario.  The work Jess has undertaken explaining scoresheets has been adopted as a State League resource by Volleyball Victoria.

On a side note, playing State League was on Jess’ bucket list so along with several other local ladies put together a Team, entered Division III and went on to win the Grand Final in their first year.  Jess was awarded Player of Match in the Grand Final.

VI. Most Outstanding Association
The Most Outstanding Association is a compliant affiliate who is innovative, progressive, and achieves growth through the provision of quality experiences, including for coaches, officials, volunteers, and participants.

Special Mention: Maroondah Volleyball, Sunraysia Volleyball Inc

Winner: Volleyball Horsham
Volleyball Horsham has enjoyed a very successful 2018, on court the crowning glory was achieved at the annual Horsham tournament when the Men’s Division One team won the title over seven-time winners Mazenod.  To put the win in perspective, it had been 10 years since the last Horsham team won the title.

In addition, the Men’s Division Two team claimed victory at the Country Championships, while Men’s Division One achieved bronze.  At the same Championships, seven Horsham players were named in the All Star Sevens.

In State honours, six Horsham players represented Victoria at the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships, winning silver and bronze medals.  Coach Kara Johnson also secured bronze in her capacity.  Two further members received invites to Volleyball Australia talent camps.

Development wasn’t limited to the playing group, with eight members gaining their referee accreditation and four their coach accreditation. Two members participated in the Female Administrators Network, a regional initiative for outstanding female leaders in sport.

The Volleyball Horsham Board has achieved 50/50 male:female quota, whilst fundraising opportunities benefitted St Brigid’s, Murtoa, and Horsham College volleyball programs.  Grants were secured to support members that played State League and at national juniors.

In the community, over $3600 was raised for Beyond Blue at the Association’s Harry’s Match tribute to former member Harry Denson who passed away in August.  The initiative was successfully staged a State Team camp weekend in Horsham, where participants trained, enjoyed a Trivia Night, and then competed in an eight team mini-tournament to gain valuable match play.

Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Championships

The 2019 Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Championships concluded on the weekend with Victoria placing third in the Andy Burdin Shield behind Queensland and Western Australia.

Victoria secured a full complement of medals, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, and doubled the medal tally from 2018.  As the program continues a period of transition this result is positive and we look forward to greater stability and continuity amongst all personnel in the future.


Volleyball Victoria would like to thank the State Government of Victoria for their support and also Tony Strong and the team at helloworld Travel – Helensvale Plaza, our uniform supplier Joust, and Melbourne Beaches Volleyball Association and VicBeach for their continued support of the Beach State Team program.

In preparation and during competition, we were also assisted by the following organisations to whom we also extend our thanks:

• StrapIt Medical & Sport Supplies
• Victoria University
• Coburg Osteopathy & Health Services
• Radford Athletic Group

Geoff Rietschel
General Manager

VV Social Competitions

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State League Website

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School Cup Events

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