Hello from the new Chair of PNSW – Annette Mathews

In accordance with the 8-year sunset clause in the PNSW Constitution, Kiaran Lomas stepped down from the Board at the AGM in September. Kiaran was the Board Chair during 2022/23 and has been an integral member of the Board for eight years. Joy Robinson and Bob Turner also stepped down. I’d like to thank Kiaran, Joy and Bob for their contribution to PaddleNSW and paddling across NSW & ACT. This gives us the opportunity to introduce three new members of our paddle community to the Board – Andrew Pearce, Jeff Cottrell and Mark Bretag. Laura White has been re-elected as Vice Chair.

Many of you will know me from the Harbour Racing Series or from the Sutherland Shire Canoe Club / Dolls Point Paddlers. My favourite places to paddle my surf ski are Cronulla, Botany Bay and the rivers around the Sutherland Shire. I enjoy putting my Paddle Guide qualification to good use leading club social paddles and supervising trial paddlers. You’ll usually find me at the Harbour races and my local marathon events in the race official’s area as the Race Manager or assisting the timekeepers.

I’m looking forward to working with our CEO, Peter Tate and the Board to build on the great work of our previous Boards. We’re currently reviewing the PNSW Operational Plan to identify our priorities for the next 12 to 24 months. We’re committed to creating a sustainable future for PaddleNSW by delivering benefits to our members (present and future), our clubs and the broader NSW & ACT paddling community.

Your current Board members are, myself and:

  • Andrew Pearce from Lane Cove River Kayakers
  • Jeff Cottrell from River Canoe Club
  • Kate Eckhardt, world champion slalom canoeist
  • Laura White (Vice Chair) is from the NSW Sprint Committee
  • Mark Bretag from Newy Paddlers
  • Tom Nolan from Shark Island Paddlers

I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate two of our awesome volunteers:

  • Bob Turner on being made a Life Member of PaddleNSW. 
  • Darren Forbes from Newy Paddlers who is a finalist for the Paddle Australia Volunteer of the Year award. Dazza is PNSW’s First Nations Advisor, Chair of our RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan) Committee and a member of the Harbour Racing Committee.

Finally, I’d like to welcome our two new clubs, Sea Cliff Paddlers and Five Islands Outrigger Canoe Club to the PaddleNSW family of clubs. A growing network of clubs is a key component of a strong paddling community.

Annette Mathews

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