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SYC Ordinary General Meeting 15 March 2022

February 2022

Dear Members

Notice of Ordinary General Meeting & Notice of Motion

19:30hrs Tuesday 15 March 2022

I hope you are managing to stay safe and well.

SYC is hosting an ordinary general meeting (OGM) at 19:30 hours on Tuesday 15 March and all Members are welcome and encouraged to attend. You will receive a comprehensive update on Club matters and it’s also a great opportunity to meet and catch up with fellow Members. The meeting will be held in the Port Phillip Room in the clubhouse.

In the meeting we will be delivering brief presentations from the Commodore, Treasurer and our three boating club captains. We are also putting one motion (special resolution) to the meeting. The motion proposes to amend the SYC Constitution to improve the complaints handling and member disciplinary process. If you have any queries on the proposed changes, please send them through prior to the meeting so that we may respond in full.

The duration of the meeting is normally circa 75 minutes and will be followed by complimentary refreshments.

We hope to see you on the night.

OGM Agenda

  1. Welcome
  2. Apologies
  3. Mark of Respect
  4. Confirmation of the Minutes of the previous General Meeting
  5. Matters arising
  6. Commodore’s Report
  7. Treasurer’s Report
  8. Club Captains’ Reports
  9. Chief Executive’s Report
  10. Notice of Motion (Special Resolution to Amend the Constitution)
  11. Life Membership
  12. General Business

Warm Regards & Stay Safe

Richard Hewett

Chief Executive Officer


The following motion is proposed to amend the Constitution to improve the complaints handling and member disciplinary process, and bring them up to date with current best practices. It has been proposed by Phil Gomez (3468) and seconded by Cathryn Furey (2084) and General Committee recommends this motion to Members.


The Club’s complaints handling process starts with the Code of Conduct as set out at Section 2 of the By-Laws. If disciplinary action is required, then Section 13 of the Constitution is applicable. Following a thorough review of the Club’s complaints handling and member disciplinary process, a number of improvements have been identified. In addition to some modifications to the By-Laws, changes to the Constitution are required in order to implement the proposed improvements. (N.B. Legal advice has been taken to ensure that the proposed changes are legally compliant.)

Overview of proposed changes to the Constitution

  • incorporation of the ability for the Flag Officers to impose interim orders
  • more flexibility on the forms of discipline
  • simplification of the appeals process, to be decided by an appeals sub-committee instead of by a general meeting of Members
  • clarification of the benefits lost upon suspension
  • introduction of a new Three Strikes rule with mandatory expulsion
  • updating the mediator appointment process
  • provision for By-Laws to include alternative processes for resolution of grievances or complaints

The full detail of these changes to the Constitution are set out in the Motion below.

SYC OGM 2022 Motion (Special Resolution)

Members approve the proposed changes to the Constitution as set out below:

Insert new Rule 13.3 (the subsequent paragraphs to be renumbered accordingly) – to enable an interim order to be made due to safety concerns/ gravity of the matter:

“13.3 Interim Order

Where a Flag Officer deems it reasonably necessary to protect a vulnerable person, the Flag Officer may immediately impose interim arrangements (including suspension or other limitations of a Member’s rights) that will apply to a Member:

(i) where the Member is the subject of a disciplinary procedure, until the conclusion of that procedure; and

(ii) in all other cases, for a maximum duration of one calendar month.”

Insert new Rule 13.3(a)(vi) (which will become Rule 13.4(a)(vi)) to include Interim Order, if applicable, in notice

“setting out any Interim Order made under Rule 13.3”

Amend existing Rule 13.4(b) & (c) – to introduce a decision by simple majority and to clarify and expand the list of disciplinary measures

“(b) After complying with subrule (a), the disciplinary sub-committee may vote by simple majority to:

(i) take no further action against the Member; or

(ii) impose one or more of the following disciplinary measures it considers appropriate (“the Disciplinary Measures”):

(A) reprimand the Member;

(B) suspend the Membership rights of the Member for a specified period;

(C) fine the Member;

(D) expel the Member from the Club; and

(E) any other disciplinary measures the disciplinary sub-committee considers appropriate.

(c) Unless otherwise specified in the Disciplinary Measures, the Disciplinary Measures (including any the suspension of Membership rights or the expulsion of a Member by the disciplinary sub-committee) under this Rule take effect immediately after the vote is passed.”

Amend existing Rule 13.5 Appeal rights – to clarify and simplify the appeals process, to be decided by an appeals sub-committee instead of by a general meeting of Members

“(a) A person against whom Disciplinary Measures have been taken may lodge an appeal in relation to the decision of a disciplinary sub-committee on one or more of the following grounds:

(i)  that a denial of procedural fairness has occurred;

(ii)  that the sanction imposed is unjust and/or unreasonable;

(iii)  that the decision was not supported by the information/evidence provided at the mediation or to the Disciplinary Meeting;

(b) A person wanting to appeal must lodge a letter setting out the basis for their appeal with the CEO within seven (7) days of the decision being made.

(c) If the letter of appeal is not received by the CEO within this time, the right of appeal will lapse.

(d) The letter of appeal and the notice of the disciplinary sub-committee’s decision will be forwarded to the CEO and Flag Officers to review and to decide whether there are sufficient grounds for the appeal to proceed.

(e) If the appellant has not shown sufficient grounds for an appeal in accordance with (a) above, then the appeal will be rejected. The appellant will be notified in writing, including the reasons for the decision. 

(f) If the appeal is accepted, an Appeal Meeting with new panel members will be convened to rehear the complaint.

(g) The Disciplinary Meeting procedure shall be followed for the Appeal Meeting.

(h) The decision of the Appeal Meeting will be final and binding.

(a) A person whose Membership rights have been suspended, has been fined or who has been expelled from the Club A Member who has had disciplinary action imposed under Rule 13.4 may give notice to the effect that he or she wishes to appeal against the suspension, fine or expulsion disciplinary action.

(b) A notice must be in writing and given:

(i) to the disciplinary sub-committee immediately after the vote to suspend, fine or expelimpose disciplinary action on the person is taken; or

(ii) to the Chief Executive Officer not later than 48 hours after the vote.

(c) If a person has given notice under subrule (b), a disciplinary appeal meeting must be convened by the General Committee as soon as practicable, but in any event not later than 21 days, after the notice is received (“Appeal Meeting”).

(d) Notice of the disciplinary appeal meeting must be given as soon as practicable to each Member who is entitled to vote under Rule 23 and must:

(i) specify the date, time and place of the meeting; and

(ii) state:

(A) the name of the person against whom the disciplinary action has been taken;

(B) the grounds for taking that action; and

(C) that at the disciplinary appeal meeting, the Members present must vote on whether the decision to suspend, fine or expel the person should be upheld or revoked.

13.6 Conduct of disciplinary appeal meeting

(a) At a disciplinary appeal meeting:

(i) no business other than the question of the appeal may be conducted;

(ii) the General Committee must state the grounds for suspending, fining or expelling the Member and the reasons for taking that action; and

(iii) the person whose Membership has been suspended or who has been fined or who has been expelled must be given an opportunity to be heard.

(b) After complying with subrule (a), the Members present and entitled to vote at the meeting must vote by secret ballot on the question of whether to suspend, fine or expel the person should be upheld or revoked.

(c) A Member may vote by proxy at the meeting pursuant to Rule 20.2.

(d) The decision is upheld if a majority of the Members voting at the meeting vote in favour of the decision.” 

Insert new Rule 13.6 – to clarify the impact of disciplinary suspension of membership

“Rule 13.6 Disciplinary Suspension of membership

A Member who has been suspended as a result of disciplinary action is not entitled to any of the benefits of membership, including but not limited to:

(a) access to the carpark, clubhouse, marina, hardstand, boat yard, off-the-beach, storage lockers and other Club facilities;

(b) participation in racing and any other Club events; and

(c) voting and any other privileges,

for a period of up to two (2) years, after which he or she can apply to General Committee to have their membership rights reinstated.

During the period of suspension, the Member will not be liable for membership fees (but will not be entitled to a refund of fees paid in advance) but will be liable to meet obligations as a rental tenant or licence holder.”

Insert new Rule 13.7 – to clarify the impact of membership termination

“Rule 13.7 Termination of Membership

A Member who has been terminated or expelled as a result of disciplinary action is not entitled to any of the benefits of membership and cannot apply for Membership (as if a new Member in accordance with Rule 7 of the Constitution) for a minimum period of five (5) years.“

Insert new Rule 13.8 – to introduce the three strikes rule

“13.8 Three Strikes

The Club will not tolerate ongoing or repeated breaches of the Club’s Constitution, By-Laws or Policies.  A Member who has on two occasions, at any time, had formal written disciplinary action of any form imposed by a disciplinary sub-committee, will be expelled from the Club if a disciplinary sub-committee determines that the Member has for a third occasion breached any of the Club’s Constitution, By-Laws or Policies.”

Amend existing Rule 35.6 – to bring in line with current best practice

“35.6 Failure to resolve dispute by mediation

(a) If the mediation process does not resolve the dispute, the parties shall may seek to resolve the dispute by arbitration conducted in Melbourne before an arbitrator appointed by the President of the Australian Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators, or otherwise in accordance with the Act or otherwise at law.”

Insert new Rule 35.7 – to make provision for alternative procedures if required

“35.7 Alternative procedures in By-Laws

Without limiting this Rule 35, the By-Laws may make provision for alternative procedures and processes for the resolution of grievances or complaints.”

If you cannot attend the OGM, then please note, in line with the Constitution, proxy voting is now provided for (click here to download the proxy voting form).

If you would like to view the proposed changes and addition to the By-laws, please click here