Presidency election comments – Graeme “Charlie” Walker
This is an edited précis of the comments by Graeme “Charlie” Walker
after being nominated and elected as President of the Moonee Valley
Cricket Club at the 2007/08 Annual General Meeting.
Thanks to the members and the club for the support they have shown in electing me as President, and the trust they have placed in me to do the job.
This will be my eighth year on the senior committee, in my position as the junior co-ordinator, so I at least have a grounding and understanding of how the committee and the Club works.
I have been on the junior committee for 12 years.
I have a fairly solid grounding in three sections of the Club – with the juniors over 12 seasons, with the women’s section through involvement in establishing and setting up the team, and with the lower-graded and one-day teams through involvement in their development and as a player over recent seasons.
The area where I don’t have as much hands-on experience is in our top teams, and as president I will need to establish credibility in this area.
I understand that the success of the top teams is the measurement of a Club, and commit to working on this aspect of our Club.
Towards the end of last season two key issues were being voiced by members – securing the long-term future of Arosha Perera, and some stability in the coaching of the Club. In recent years we have resembled Richmond and St Kilda in coaching changes.
We are well advanced in achieving success on both these priorities.
We have worked directly with Arosha’s employers in putting together a joint package which looks like enabling him to stay in Australia long-term, and have secured a handshake agreement-in-principle for him to continue at Moonee Valley Cricket Club.
We have gone through the coach advertising process and are in the final stages of agreeing to terms and conditions with our preferred candidate, Lou Raffaele. A second season for Lou will provide us the continuity and stability which our members were wanting.
Cricket Victoria has advised us that Moonee Valley is one of the four biggest clubs in Melbourne, putting 270 players on the park each week.
As such, we are a small enterprise and legitimate business, and need to run as such by further developing our systems, processes and procedures. This will be done.
Our combined junior and senior budgets mean that we are an enterprise with an annual turnover of more than $80,000, so we have to ensure we are run professionally and efficiently.
We need to recognise and understand the separate sections and priorities that make up such a large club, and be in a position to respond to their separate needs and priorities.
These are the seniors, the women, the lower grades, the junior players and the junior parents.
One of the things I picked up early in my job as junior co-ordinator was the outcome of a survey from Cricket Victoria on why kids play cricket – and it was overwhelmingly to play with their mates. That has guided the way MVCC has run the juniors during our time.
In my view this is also a key reason why many of our older players have come back to cricket – to play with mates. We will continue to take this into account in our policies and procedures.
As one of the biggest clubs in Melbourne, Moonee Valley is an important voice in cricket, and we will continue to push our views and make our voice heard in our associations and forums.
In recent years we have been in the vanguard in developments in cricket, including women’s cricket and Sunday cricket for both seniors and juniors.
We will continue to be innovative.
Thanks to my wife Adele and sons Murray and Nigel for their support for me as my role in the cricket club has developed and expanded over the years.
Thanks to Darren Nagle and John Talone for tapping me on the shoulder eight seasons ago when I was happy just sitting as a scorer in junior cricket, and convincing me that I needed to step up to a greater role in the Club. It’s due to their push and their encouragement that I have taken the path that now leads to the role as president.
Thanks to my predecessor Sandro Capocchi, as the Club has developed and expanded and continued to grow in his two years as president, and continued to be innovative.
Thanks to Kevin Gardiner for taking over my past job of junior co-ordinator.
As is well known, development of the juniors has long been my passion at the Club, and this will continue to be a focus.
I will remain as a member of the junior committee.
We need to note that the juniors have won eight premierships since the seniors last won a flag.
We have got the talent to do better, and it will be a priority to redress this situation and again win some senior premierships.
Graeme “Charlie” Walker.
Incoming 2008/09 President,
Moonee Valley Cricket Club.