16 Mar 2023 | Women and girls |
Brisbane Golf Club: First Queensland club to sign
by Golf Australia
The Brisbane Golf Club has become Queensland’s first club to sign the R&A’s Women in Golf Charter.
The Charter, developed to create a more inclusive culture for women and girls in golf, is backed by the R&A and the Australian golf industry.
The Brisbane Golf Club has a long history of advancing women’s golf. Big strides have occurred in the last 10 years since the language of associates was removed and all golfers were known as members. The Charter signing process is assisting the club to work out the next steps and plan ahead.
“The Charter has given us the opportunity to look back, reflect and celebrate everything we have achieved so far,” said Deb Kember, Vice-President of the club.
“We are thrilled to have signed off on the baseline requirements such as adopting a multiday club championship where all women have access to play. We are now looking forward to the Charter guiding us on what we can do next to open up more opportunities for women working, playing and leading aspects of the game.”
One development the club is striving to achieve is inspiring and supporting more women to step into the club’s committee and subcommittee roles.
Understanding the positive impacts associated with greater diversity on a committee, such as better range of thought and experience resulting in better decision making and problem solving, Brisbane is adopting a mentoring program to support women into leadership positions.
“In 2021, our members endorsed the adoption of the women’s and men’s captain as co-captains and office-bearers of the club committee,” Kember said.
“Our mentoring program will support women who are either considering standing for a committee position, starting their term on the club committee or considering standing for an office bearer position.”
Early thinking about the mentoring initiative includes connecting women with current and past club committee members to discuss valuable leadership expertise and how to build board readiness.
Storytelling and information sharing conversations may be useful within and beyond the golf club context for women considering board roles. Tapping into the advice of members who serve on other boards may also be useful in developing board readiness.
Women interested in being involved in the program will be sourced through informal conversations and club communications, annually calling for expressions of interest.
An opt-in social media-based information sharing service will draw on resources such as:
Golf Australia’s clubs and facilities support resources.
The Startline - A free Director training program offered by Sport Australia.
Australian Sports Commission - Executive program, leadership workshops and grants
Australian Institute of Company Directors Scholarships A not-for-profit focused scholarship
Women sport Australia – Mentoring program
Networks - The Golf Leaders Network
Geoff Kuehner, CEO of the club, is fully supportive of the mentoring strategy and the Women in Golf Charter process.
“The ultimate for a golf club is to become a community where people stay members for longer and participate more often,” he said.
“To be a community however you need a mix of age, genders and so forth. This is where the Charter and action plan will help us to get closer to our goal and bring more women and girls to the club.”
Last year, the club appointed Asha Hargreaves as Women’s and Junior Development Manager. Hargreaves has significantly grown and enhanced the club’s women’s and girls’ development pathway and programs and demonstrates the influence a female lens can bring to a decision-making position.
“Asha has taken the program to a new level, as she understands how women and girls may feel and caters to their needs,” Kuehner said.
“We aim to copy this simple philosophy and encourage more women onto our main committees so their voices are heard and may help steer our club in the direction we want to go.”
Adrian Hewat, Head of Participant Journey’s at Golf Australia, is elated by the proactive nature of Brisbane having been active in development programs for some time.
“The club has a highly successful women’s beginner program and pathway plus a junior and schools’ program that both have a strong focus on girls’ engagement,” he said.
“These participation initiatives have helped the club to now focus on upskilling women into leadership positions.
“We are excited to see what is next for Brisbane Golf Club and look forward to seeing many more QLD clubs signing up.”
Kember also encourages clubs to sign-up to the R&A Charter.
“The Charter process is a terrific opportunity for clubs to develop an improvement plan for supporting women and girls in all aspects of golf,” she said.
“There are no right or wrong answers, we are all learning what works, given our club context.
“The first step is to consider where your club is at in relation to the fundamental improvements recommended by Golf Australia.
“The second step is to discuss how men a women can work together better, honouring the traditions of both genders.
“The third step is to get started on a plan that will take the club into the future with men and women golfing and leading together.”
The adoption of the Women in Golf Charter in Australia provides an excellent opportunity for clubs, organisations and communities to join forces and collectively attract more women and girls to golf.
To submit an expression of interest for your club to become a Women in Golf Charter signatory, please register here.
From there Golf Australia will arrange a brief meeting with your local Golf Australia or Clubs and Facilities Support Manager, and the Women and Girls Engagement Team.
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