2 December 2022 | Tennis NSW

At the 2022 Tennis NSW Annual General meeting held on 24 November 2022, the Tennis NSW membership approved and adopted a new constitution for Tennis NSW which has replaced the previous Tennis NSW Constitution in full. The Tennis NSW Board considered that this change was necessary because the previous Constitution was outdated, difficult to read, and most importantly was not reflective of modern principles of good governance. Given this, the Board considered that if Tennis NSW did not modernise its constitution, the organisation ran the risk of being non-compliant with current governance requirements which in turn could expose the organisation to significant legal and/or reputational risk. Additionally, there was some concern that if Tennis NSW did not have a governance structure that reflected best practice, the organisation would be less likely to receive government funding or other partnerships/sponsorship which would ultimately be detrimental to the development and growth of the sport of tennis in NSW and limit our organisation’s ability to support our Members to develop and deliver on their initiatives.

Given these concerns, the new Constitution was largely adopted in full from the Sport Australia model constitution which is specifically drafted to reflect and implement the Sport Australia Sport Governance Principles (SGP) (March 2020) and Sport Governance Standards (SGS) (February 2022). In most cases in the new Constitution, whilst the wording of the clauses has been updated to ensure clarity and reflect modern good governance, the practical implications of these clauses remain unchanged from the previous Tennis NSW Constitution. Further, in certain clauses, the Board has resolved to retain the exact wording from the previous Constitution meaning the rights, responsibilities and powers under these clauses are unchanged. This is the case in respect of the objects of the Company, Membership categories and the voting rights of Members in particular.

Key changes from previous versions of the Tennis NSW constitution include the following:

  • Introduction of a constitutionally enshrined right of appeal for a Member who is subject to a hearing, investigation, or determination taken under a Policy adopted for the purpose of the constitution.
  • Introducing an ability for the Board to hold Director Elections electronically and prior to the relevant Annual General Meeting.
  • Removal of categories of Directors (e.g. Country, Metro, etc.) which has been replaced with a strict Regional vs Metro Director quota based on a Director’s place of residence at the time of nomination.
  • A gender diversity target whereby the Board will use “best endeavours” to ensure that no one gender has less than 40% representation on the Board (noting that this is not a strict quota and therefore has no impact on the Member’s ability to elect their preferred candidate as an Elected Director).
  • The introduction of a nominations committee with an independent Chair, whose role will be to make recommendations in respect of candidates to fill Director vacancies.

The full version of the new constitution can be accessed here.

For further information on the constitutional changes please visit A New Constitution for Tennis NSW | About Us | Tennis NSW or contact [email protected]