The Founding Council and Climbing Governance recommendations

To all VCC members,

I write this in the wake of the recent Zoom meeting (Sunday 30th August, 2020) of interested climbing reps on the so-called “Founding Council” to keep you ‘in the loop’.

At this meeting, Phil Goebel (Sport Climbing Victoria) and Andrew Knight (Outdoors Victoria) talked to the draft options paper that had previously been distributed to various climbing representatives, including members of the Climbing Roundtable.

They talked briefly to the three options for a Peak Body that had been outlined in the draft paper, responded to questions on issues requiring clarification, and opened the discussion to the meeting attendees.
A number of points were made by these attendees including:

• possible/probable next steps.
In the end it was agreed that there needed to a few more steps in the evolution before individuals and clubs could make informed decisions about whether they wanted to be part of the sort of Peak Body being proposed (whatever it might look like). In particular there needs to be:

  • greater clarity about the aims and scope of the Peak Body (what will be its major areas of focus? What won’t it try to cover?) Feedback this far suggests that it shouldn’t organise indoor climbing comps – there is a perfectly good and capable organisation set up to do that (SCV). Nor should a Peak Body spend time and energy on such things as accreditation for climbing guiding – again, there is already a carefully conceived and structured organisation that does that. I, for one, suggested that it shouldn’t try to be all things to all people but should have a relatively narrow focus – e.g. advocacy for outdoor recreational climbing.

    • whilst there has been some attempt to articulate pros and cons of various models of a Peak Body, it was suggested and agreed that a more compelling case for a Peak Body needs to be clearly and more fully articulated (“what is the problem(s) for which a Peak Body is the solution?” – part of this case would need to be concrete examples of “runs on the board” by other recreational Peak Bodies (e.g. for caving, 4WDing, bush-walking, kayaking, etc.) as well as by Outdoors Victoria – how has OV’s advocacy for the recreational user groups who are affiliated with it been of significant help to those groups?

    • also needs to be some other options, as I had raised with the VCC committee (e.g. a “no Peak Body” option and an option for an independent Peak Body that was not saddled, at least in the first year or two or three, with the financial impost of having to pay a significantly large salary for a person(s) to do much of the work).

So, next steps?
Phil and Andrew will put a bit of work into providing more detail re the above points and then come back with another iteration of the draft.

Eventually, there would also need to be detail related to proposed governance of such a Peak Body.

As I had already raised in previous conversations with Andrew and Phil, VCC would be very wary of the setting up of a Peak Body that granted equal voting rights to micro-organisations with memberships measured in dozens, compared to larger organisations such as ACAV and VCC with democratically elected leadership positions and many hundreds of financial members.

Before VCC commits to a Peak Body, in whatever form it might take, the aforementioned sorts of details would need to be provided and the VCC membership furnished with such detail before they could be expected to ratify any particular option.