Gosnells Golf Club becomes the first Western Australian club to sign The R&A Women in Golf Charter
It has been an eventful and very busy first year for Fiza Errington, General Manager of Gosnells Golf Club, in the south-east suburbs of Perth.
Upon moving home to Perth after years as General Manager at numerous Melbourne-based golf clubs, Errington recognised the opportunity that existed at Gosnells.
“It is a great club, with great people, and a great course,” she said.
“Coming from clubs that had already taken some positive steps towards gender equality, there was work I wanted to pursue to mirror this in WA."
This work included updating the club’s constitution, changing committee structures, streamlining reporting processes and Club managing its own golf operations.
With change however comes uncertainty, and at times push-back from within the club. Errington appreciates the timing of the Women in Golf Charter as ‘this helped drive the change needed’.
“Going through the signatory process has helped reassure, and in fact convince key stakeholders that we are on the right track,” she said.
Creating a clear action plan
Errington worked with Megan Carr, Women and Girls Operations Manager at Golf Australia to identify where the club is currently at, then create a clear action plan. From there, she felt empowered and had the resources to make change. She also worked with Golf WA who supported the process.
“I appreciate that ‘gender equality’ in the golf industry is not just all talk - there are surveys, templates, a dedicated website, staff and resources to help us in the process," Errington said.
“I think some members also feel reassured knowing suggestions I was making was not just coming from me and my point of view. These are best practices endorsed by Golf Australia and the R&A but with the ability to tailor things as required by each individual club.”
Another key ingredient to the club’s signatory success has been ‘having a Board who understands the bigger picture and is very supportive’.
Having the backing of the board
“No General Manager can do it alone,” Errington said.
“You need a supportive Board who can then filter messaging down to further committees and membership."
Some examples of change that have been made in recent times include the abolishment of associates. Women now are full members with the same membership categories and playing rights as men.
Terms of References for committees are currently being revised to streamline processes and provide opportunities for women to have a direct voice to the Board and working with the Match Committee.
“We have always had the Junior Coordinator sit on the Match Committee that governs golf operations but not the women’s – why not?” Errington said.
We now have the Women’s Golf Coordinator and another woman committee member that sits on the Match Committee to ensure that golf operations are effectively managed from one committee.
Errington acknowledges that lots of significant and important change has occurred at the club in recent times, with the outlook that change is gradual and continuous.
“We must constantly ask ourselves ‘are our members happy and staying? Are we attracting new members? Is our club a fair and equitable place to be?”
Read the original article via the Golf Australia website here.
The Metropolitan Golf Club signs The R&A Women in Golf Charter - find out more here.