9 June 2020
The Board of Equestrian Australia has taken the difficult decision to place Equestrian Australia Ltd into Voluntary Administration.
Craig Shepard and Kate Conneely of KordaMentha have been appointed Voluntary Administrators.
This follows the withdrawal of funding by Sports Australia, which had formed a view that, until the organisation is both representative of the membership and stable in governance and operation, they could not in good faith continue to contribute public funds.
Combined with the impact of COVID-19 on our forecast revenue, this places the organisation at risk of trading insolvently.
Clearly, the current EA model does not work. The intent of entering Voluntary Administration is to avoid insolvency, which would be disastrous, and to create the conditions for a successful and sustainable equestrian community into the future.
Effective immediately the High-Performance (HP) program will be transferred under the oversight of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
The HP Panel will remain in place, funding returned to the AIS, and the program will continue unabated in pursuit of equestrian gold at the upcoming Olympics. We have been advised that there will be no change to HP staffing arrangements.
The Administrators will take control of the remainder of EA. The constitution is effectively set aside in favour of their powers under the Corporations Act. The operations of EA continue without change at this stage and there is no planned loss of jobs.
The Administrator will work with the creditors of EA to determine the conditions for exiting Voluntary Administration.
This process is intended to be rapid, envisaged by the Corporations Act to take about a month. This will enable EA to rebuild as a viable, representative, democratic and stable national sporting organisation that is retuned to a focus on sport as quickly as possible.
In our sport of so many diverse interests, rarely do our branches, committees, and members share a cohesive view. Disagreement, however, should not be destructive.
We should strive to improve the structure, the culture, and the performance – all in the interests of greater opportunity, participation and enjoyment.
The current Directors have agreed to work with the Administrator to rebuild the organisation as quickly as possible.