Welcome to this quarter’s President’s Newsletter. With the international rowing season about to start for our Senior, U23, U21 and Junior Australian Rowing Teams, I thought it appropriate to update the community on a key item Rowing Australia has been working on and also to wish our teams the best of luck for the season.

Firstly, outside of the competition space, Rowing Australia is undertaking a culture development program, working with Composure Group, to enable it to successfully achieve its vision – To be the world’s number one rowing nation and Australia’s leading Olympic sport. This program involves evaluating the current culture, determining what culture RA needs in order to successfully execute its strategy, and then putting a plan in place to develop the necessary culture.

As with any organisation, culture is a critical component of success and a purposeful investment of time and resources is necessary to ensure real progress is made. Importantly, the most critical part of any culture development program involves engaging people across the organisation in the journey.

As many of you know, RA has ambitious goals over the next few years. In order to truly set the organisation up for success, it is critical for us to take purposeful steps to develop and align our culture to what we are trying to achieve.

Culture develops in all organisations, whether they like it or not. The best organisations take meaningful steps towards shaping their culture and ensuring all members of the organisation feel empowered to contribute and are committed to the mission. When organisations don’t invest in their culture, they often fail to achieve their objectives and get the best out of their people and this is the last thing Rowing Australia wants to happen.

The culture program aims to enable us to execute our strategy as an organisation and achieve our vision of being the best in the world. Our investment in our culture will translate to getting the best out of our athletes, members, staff, and support.

Ahead of launching the culture piece, a group of representatives from across the organisation, including athletes, coaches, professional staff, an RA board member, and a state association CEO – known as the Culture Champions – have been working hard to define the culture we want at RA, putting a plan in place to build the culture (known as the Culture Roadmap), and developing ways to engage and involve the entire organisation in this exciting program. Over the coming months, we will be sharing the work we have done and inviting everyone to become a part of the change. We are counting on our shared passion for the sport and collective energy to make this happen.

This year’s senior Australian Rowing Team, that recently departed to Europe for World Rowing Cups 2 and 3, are a young and developing group of athletes. A mixture of youth and experience, including first time Olympians and senior team debutants, I have no doubt that these crews will give it their all as they compete at World Rowing Cup 2 in Poznan and World Rowing Cup 3 in Lucerne.

This group of young athletes are being developed by our two head coaches, Ian Wright and John Keogh and their team of coaches, as we build towards the World Rowing Championships later this year in the USA and, of course, ultimately for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The U23, U21 and Junior teams have a busy few months ahead of them also, as they prepare for their various events. The World Rowing U23 Championships will take place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, while our Junior team will travel to Trakai in Lithuania for their World Rowing Championships. The U21 team will once again compete in the Trans-Tasman Regatta against New Zealand and will no doubt be keen to retain the Rusty Robertson Trophy.

I am sure, like many in the rowing community, we will be eagerly following the performances of all our young teams as they take to the world stage this season. We wish them the best of luck as they pull on the green and gold and represent our country.

Kind regards,

Rob Scott
President and Chairman, Rowing Australia