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What is Governance?

Governance is just a fancy word for how we get the job done!  State Council believes there is a better way for our organisation to do business. 

The State Council have been developing these changes for over 18mths and are confident the changes will create a brighter future for our organisation.

Six information sessions were held during July to help explain the proposed changes, these sessions were well attended and we thank you for your interest and support. 

Got a question?  Please call the State Office on 03 8685 8925

Information about the changes

ButtonBoard     ButtonStateCouncil     ButtonManagement

New Constitution and Summary of Changes         

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Other Information

GovRoadshowPresentation     Gov Org Chart    Gov Info Sessions 


GovNomsCom     GovRoadshowRecorded



The Board will be a new version of State Council.

The Board will have as its focus the strategy and the future of the sport and will be managed in conjunction with the office.  PCV committees will report to it via the EO.

Most State Sporting Associations, of which PCV is one, are run through a board of directors.  The former way, which is reflected in the operations of the current State Council, was as a committee of management which was just to manage.  Modern good governance dictates that the board focus on strategy in its broadest sense, rather than on day to day matters best left to management.


The Board is responsible for the overall governance, management (including financial management) and strategic direction of Pony Club Victoria (PCV) and for delivering accountable performance, to itself and to its members, in accordance with PCV’s goals and objectives.

B. People

The Board exists by virtue of the PCV Rules and is comprised of a number of people, the majority of whom are elected and other appointed, for specific periods or terms.  The role of Board members is to act in the best interests of PCV in meeting its purpose and discharging the Board’s roles.

It is proposed that the Board comprise 6 people elected from the PCV community with up to 3 people appointed from outside the sport.  This, too, is common best practice, to ensure there are plenty of ideas around the table and that those from the sport are challenged not to do things the way they have always been done.  As we all know no organization can stand still.


The Board’s role is set out in the Rules/Constitution, governance and/or board charter or by practice developed over the years.

  1. Provide PCV with strategic direction and decide upon the strategies and objectives in conjunction with the EO (or CEO)
  2. Monitor the strategic direction, short, medium and long term, of PCV and the attainment of the strategies and objectives against measurable objectives in conjunction with management on an annual basis.
  3. Monitor the operations and financial position and performance of PCV generally.
  4. Drive the performance of PCV to deliver value or benefit for its members.
  5. Act ethically and with prudence.
  6. Identify the risks faced by PCV and implement and manage an appropriate control and monitoring system to manage the effect of the identified risks.
  7. Review and approve internal compliance and control systems.
  8. Ensure that PCV’s financial and other reporting mechanisms can provide adequate, accurate and timely information.
  9. Appoint the EO (and if circumstances dictate remove the EO), determine the EO’s remuneration, monitor executive appointments made by the EO and plan for management succession.
  10. Oversee and evaluate the performance of the EO and receive reports from the EO on the performance of staff in the context of PCV meeting its objectives.
  11. Approve PCV’s budgets and business plans, monitor income and expenditures generally and ensure timely and accurate reporting of financial results.
  12. Ensure PCV operates transparently and accountably and in accordance with the law.
  13. Oversee the content and implementation of policies, processes and codes for PCV with respect to member conduct, ethics and values.
  14. Advocate, where possible, on behalf of PCV and its members to government and other funding or sponsorship organisations.
  15. Bi-annually review the skills of board members and plan for succession.




State Council has decided that in its new form State Council will be a board committee, also referred to as a subcommittee of the board.

This means that the same people will be doing the same things that they do now.  The only difference is that they will no longer have responsibility for the overall strategy and big picture thinking that is the domain of the board. 

Not to say, of course, that any bright, clever and creative thoughts coming from the new State Council will go to waste:  they will be gratefully received by the Board which will consult regularly with, and take advice on numerous operations matters, from State Council.

A. Purpose 

State Council is a committee of the Board and is created specifically for the purpose of utilising the knowledge, experience and skills of State Council members for the support of the Board. 

It will:

  1. be a conduit to the Board with information, advice and recommendations about the needs of the Clubs and individual members,
  2. liaise with clubs and individual members about PCV programs, and
  3. liaise with and review the PCV participation rules submitted to it by the Technical Committee (formerly the Rules Committee) and make recommendations to the Board as to the adoption, variation, revision or amendment of the Rules so submitted.

This Committee is a standing committee of the Board.  Its role is enshrined in the new constitution which means it can only be removed by a vote of 75% or more at a PCV AGM.

B. People

State Council will be comprised of no more than 10 members drawn from each of the 10 Zones.  State Council members will provide advice and recommendations to the Board based on the best interests of PCV.

The Board may decide to appointment one of its number an ex officio member of State Council with a right to speak but with no voting rights.  This is simply to ensure an effective means of communication.

The Board will also, as it wishes, invite a member or members of State Council, to present at board meetings and will, through the EO, accept reports from State Council at board meetings.


  1. Oversee the process of rule change for PCV by discussing rule issues from around the state, suggesting changes to the Technical Committee and reviewing all rule changes before submission to the PCV Board for ratification.
  2. Recommend to the Board changes to the Pony Club program following consultation with the State Coaching Panel and relevant Committees as required.
  3. Recommend to the Board the implementation of new initiatives/programs.
  4. Participate in strategic planning for PCV.
  5. Actively promote and recruit Zone Officials, Zone Coaches, Zone Administrators.
  6. Promote Pony Club Programs throughout the state.
  7. At the request of the Board recommend strategies to assist with issues, problems or changes to the Pony Club program.
  8. Seek opinion from Member Clubs about issues affecting Clubs or individual members.
  9. Select, train and support PCV teams to participate in National Championships.
  10. Select and/or endorse riders as required by Pony Club Australia for participation in international teams.
  11. Anything else that is or becomes relevant and is referred to State Council by the Board.




Management has always been there, doing an amazing job to support everyone involved in Pony Club. 

This description of what management – the office – is to do is to clarify the extent of its responsibilities.


To enable the strategic objectives of Pony Club Victoria to be achieved by providing management support and resources to the, Board, State Council, Members and Committees in day to day administration and policy implementation.

B.Role – Organisation

Produce operations plans to support and enable effect to be given to the PCV strategic plan.

Maintain and implement management policies for the effective and efficient operations of PCV including but not limited to office administration, staffing and insurance.

perform and manage financial transactions for all aspects of the business including membership subscriptions, event subcommittees income and expenditure, PAYG payments to staff and reimbursement to volunteers

Maintain the membership data base, update the website and all manage electronic communication to members

Compile and edit the PCV Magazine ready for publication and distribute in either hard or soft copy in accordance with the Board approved schedule.

Maintain regular contact with various groups and individuals including

  1. PCV members and clubs
  2. Peak bodies including Government agencies, Vicsport and VicHealth
  3. Other equestrian bodies such as Pony Club Australia, Equestrian Australia, HRCAV
  4. All sponsors and funding partners

Obtain and acquit grant funding as required by the funding agency

Manage and implement Board approved marketing and sponsorship proposals

Ensure PCV and Member compliance with mandatory and legislated risk mitigation requirements including

  1. Associations Incorporation Reform Act
  2. Working with Children Act;
  3. Child Safe Standards
  4. Mandatory Board Quotas
  5. PCV competition safety and compliance Rules and Regulations
  6. PCV Member Protection Policy, codes of conduct and other Board policies as may exist from time to time
  7. Any other legislation, regulation or mandatory requirement as may affect the activities of PCV.

Comply with PCV Rules.

Manage and support PCV education and competition pathways

  1. Provide training and assessment for PCV Coaches through the State Coaching Panel and PCA NCAS training resources
  2. Provide training for officials and volunteers through the State Coaching Panel
  3. Participate in PCA Syllabus reviews as required and ensure implementation of any new initiatives
  4. Select and Train teams and support personnel for National Championships including entry and uniform requirements
  5. Select riders for International Exchange opportunities offered by PCA

Support all event organising sub committees in the planning and running of their events and activities.

B.Role – Event Committees (EC) - See Below

  • Create Event Schedule in consultation each EC
  • Post each event to Calendar, website and via social media
  • Create on-line entry on MyPonyClub, including entry fee, and extras such as yards, dinners and merchandise
  • Allocate payments received via the on-line entry system to the relevant event and pay all outgoings on receipt of invoice or endorsed reimbursement request from club or EC.
  • Order ribbons, sashes and ensure trophies engraved
  • Order Trophy Rugs with correct embroidery from Sponsor
  • Organise and engage First Aid Provider
  • Wash event Official bibs
  • Post entry draw to website and create and photocopy event Program
  • Post results to website and social media
  • Create Financials against Budget provided by EC

Committees & Panels managed by Management

  • State Coaching Panel
  • Rules Committee
  • Dressage & Showjumping State Championships
  • Horse Trials Festival
  • State Tetrathlon Carnival
  • State Games, Flat & Musical
  • Management Cttee - National Mounted Games
  • Management Cttee – Nationals Advisory Panel




Constitutions, or Rules, are not your every day go-to documents; they do not make good bedtime reading. 

However, they are essential to the good governance of each and every organization and need to be drafted so as to enable answers to be given before the question is asked.

The following is a summary of the main clauses, or Rules, in the Rules which affect the day to day management and administration of PCV.

Not all Rules will be summarized as the large majority are essentially pro forma, based on the requirements of the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic) which regulates bodies such as PCV.

And to avoid confusion the references below are to Rules (clauses) as eg R8.1




Membership is divided into 3 categories: individuals, clubs and life members.

Life membership is unchanged.


R 8.5

This Rule means that everyone who joins a club automatically joins PCV and is bound by the rules and regulations of PCV,  and PCA where they apply.


Each parent and/or guardian of a minor also automatically becomes a member when signing up on behalf of a child.  The definition of parents and guardians can be found in the definitions at 7.1


No person can be involved in PCV without being a member.  This is especially important because of the Child Safe requirements mandated by the State Government for all sports.

Pony Clubs

R 8.4

Pony Clubs are called Member Clubs


Nothing has changed about the need for a pony club, wanting to apply for membership of PCV, or indeed to continue membership, to be engaged in pony club activities.


In the definitions section at R 7.1 you will find reference to Compliance Criteria.  These are the criteria set by the Board, in conjunction with management and State Council, by which applicants for membership of PCV will be assessed.  Many of these criteria are set out in the PCV bylaws already.





Pony Clubs

R 8.6(1)(a)

Clubs need to complete an application form and comply with the compliance criteria

R 8.6(2)

The Board will ultimately approve the admission of a new pony club after the compliance process is administered by the EO.

R 8.6(3)

A proposed new pony club will be a probationary member of PCV until the Board approves its membership.  If it is knocked back it can apply again at any time – see R 8.6(5).


R 8.6(1)(b)

Complete a membership application form and pay the fee which is no different from current practice.






This Rule sets out a simpler procedure for dealing with complaints and grievances.

Importantly it takes any decision-making capacity away from Board members who may have conflicts of interest (ie knowing the person involved) and who won’t have first hand knowledge of the evidence against the person being disciplined.





R 22.2

This Rule deals with the composition of the Board.  The Board will create its own charter and code of conduct, which will be the documents which govern its behaviours.

Number on the board

R 22.2(2)

Up to 6 people will be elected to the Board and up to 3 will be appointed by the Board to fill skills and experience gaps – see Paper 1 on The Board.

3 year terms

R 22.2(4)

It is now generally accepted that 3 year terms are desirable.  Anyone who has been on a board understands it takes the first year to get the hang of who’s who and what’s what, the second to get going and the third to start making a difference. 

Maximum term 9 yrs

R 22.2(8)

The rule of thumb is that 9 or 10 years on a board is sufficient.  Thus it is proposed that 3 terms each of 3 years is about right.

Two hats barred

R 22.2(9)

One of the greatest impediments to the making of good decisions is when a board member (or anyone in a decision-making role) has a conflict of interest by the wearing of two hats.  People think they can juggle two or more but in reality they are often making choices, and not necessarily in the best interests of the organistion they’re at the table for.  So this rule is to ensure that any board member has only that hat only at PCV meetings.





State Council

R 27.2

As has been said State Council is adamant that State Council continue, more or less, in its current form though in a new guise:  that of board committee or subcommittee of the board.  Its role and function will remain largely unchanged.


The insertion of State Council into the constitution, as a standing, or permanent, committee of the board means that it cannot be removed unless there is a 75% vote against its retention at an AGM or SGM. 




What is a nominations committee?


A nominations committee (which will be abbreviated to nomcom) is a ommittee of the board, or a board subcommittee, which is set up specifically for the purpose of “vetting” people for election or appointment to the board.


Is it a standing or ad hoc committee?


It is usually a standing, or permanent committee of the board, though its membership may change from year to year.  It is not an ad hoc committee as they are usually formed for a specific purpose.


Who is on the nomcom?


The nomcom will consist of 1 board member and at least two to four other outside members from outside the organisation who are there to bring their skills, experience and, general knowledge of sport, to do the “vetting”.


Why do you call it “vetting”


This word is simply used as a catch-all to describe the process of determining whether a candidate for the board has the right character, experience, credentials, knowledge, skills, interest and commitment to the task of being a board member who will read the board papers and attend meetings.


Who decides who is a member of nomcom?


The board makes the decision as to who is on the noncom.


What if you are on the nomcom and are up for election yourself?


Membership of the nomcom will probably change from year to year because people will come up for election and, quite clearly, they can’t self assess as a member of nomcom.  The next question deals with the number of people on the nomcom and a larger number, including external people, will ensure there is a greater consistency simply because fewer people will turn over each year or two years. 


How many people are there on nomcom?


Usually 3 to 5 depending on the size of the organization and the inclination of the board. 


How long are the members’ terms?


Whilst a nomcom is a standing committee its job arises only when there are elections or an independent person needs to be appointed (or re-appointed) and perhaps where there is a casual vacancy.  For most boards it will need to meet once a year before the elections at an AGM.


Do people who are already board members, and who are standing again, need to go through the nomcom process?


Yes.  To be fair to the voting members (clubs) they need to know that when they are voting they are doing so on a current assessment of PCV’s needs.


How does PCV know what its needs are?


Most boards do reasonably regular reviews of their performance to see how they’re going against the objectives set out in the strategic plan, whether targets are being met (is membership decline in reverse? for example) and whether there are any skills missing such as a lawyer, an accountant, a marketer, a digital expert.  This determines the type of person or people who the board would want to have elected and an incumbent might not meet the current criteria or may have been underperforming generally.  In essence the voting members need to know who and why they might vote for someone over and above personal loyalties/animosities.


How does the nomcom advise the voting members at the AGM of its opinions?


Again this is an imprecise science and depends on the maturity of the organization and the degree of direction the board wants to give the voting members as to who they should vote for because ultimately it is a decision of those voting members.  At the most basic level the nomcom might make recommendations based on whether or not a candidate has “met the criteria”.


What if someone doesn’t “meet the criteria” – can they still stand?


Yes.  It would be unfair if someone was prevented from running but if they did they wouldn’t have the stamp of approval.  That may not stop them being elected because of loyalties, service.


Who sets the criteria?


The board sets the criteria based on its assessment of its performance and needs.  Quite often the criteria will be general such as knowledge of governance, experience in the sport, knowledge of the sports industry generally and a commitment to the purposes of the organization.  If a more specific person is required then that can be highlighted by specifying a lawyer if one is needed or by “preferring a woman” if there is a need to increase the number of women on the board.  The criteria will vary from time to time to meet the needs of the organization.


Does the filling of a seat arising from a casual vacancy need to be “vetted”?


This is entirely up to the board depending on how much is left of the departed person’s term.  That is if an elected director leaves 6 months into a 3 year term then the replacement will hold the position for 2.5 years to the next AGM.  In this case selecting the right person is probably important for the good governance of the organization.  If the person leaves say 6-8 months before the next AGM the board will make a decision to replace or not.  If not the seat will be vacant until the AGM when a replacement will be voted on.


What about independent directors?


They are subject to the nomcom process when appointed and when time comes for their re-appointment.


How often does the nomcom meet?


As indicated above the nomcom needs to meet when elections or appointments come up.  For elections the nomcom needs to meet far enough ahead of the timeline set out in the constitution for the calling of nominations for election so that it can advertise for candidates, interview and assess.  This may be a total of 3 or 4 meetings in a reasonably short space of time.


Does the process have to start from scratch each time?


No.  Some sports encourage those who nominate but are unsuccessful to remain involved by having a role on a subcommittee or working group which is then used as a foundation for them to renominate in the future with some knowledge and experience of the sport behind them.



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