2018 AGM Minutes for the Australian Backgammon Federation

3rd November 2018 at 8.30 am at The Persian Rose Restaurant Turramurra

Board Attendees: Eva Bitel (President)
John Symon (Treasurer & Public Officer)
Taeed Athari
Simon Woodhead
Mick Dyett
Greg Ash

General Member Attendees;

David Kinston
Gary Stavrou
David Reitzin
Ian Dunstan
George Avrimedes
Simon Ustick
Carol Wakelin (Acting Secretary)

The meeting opened with the acceptance of the minutes of the previous AGM at 9 am on the 11th of November 2017 at the Persian Rose Restaurant in Turramurra.

The acceptance was moved by Taeed Athari and seconded by John Symon.

It was noted that the previous secretary, Gemma Purves, had resigned and a suggestion was made by the President that a note of thanks for her service be sent to her.

Eva Bitel undertook to action this.

The President’s report listed the achievements of the Board over the last year including endorsing the NSW and Australian Opens, and getting the National Ratings up and running. The President thanked the sub-committee members Greg Ash, Simon Woodhead, Ian Dunstan for their great work.

The Treasurer’s report advised that we now have $3345 in the bank, an increase of $394.80 from last year.

It also advised that we currently have 8 member clubs and 39 individual financial members.

Eva Bitel thanked John Symon for his work and welcomed the general members to the meeting.

All Board member positions were then declared vacant and nominations were called for.

Eva Bitel was nominated for President by John Symon and seconded by Taeed Athari.

Greg Ash was nominated for Vice President by Simon Woodhead and seconded by Ian Dunstan.

Carol Wakelin was nominated for Secretary and a position on the Board by Eva Bitel and seconded by Taeed Athari.

Mick Dyett was nominated for a position on the Board by Eva Bitel and seconded by Taeed Athari.

David Kinston was nominated for a position on the Board by Gary Stavrou and seconded by Ian Dunstan.

All of these nominations were accepted.

There was some discussion as to how many Board members are allowed.

Greg Ash undertook to check the constitution and advise the Board.

David Kinston suggested that all States should have a representative on the Board.

Simon Woodhead felt that sub committees in the States with improved communication between the sub committees and the Federation were a better solution.


Eva Bitel had received a call from an unknown person asking if the Federation was offering lessons.

Gary Stavrou felt that this was a matter for the individual clubs rather than the Federation.

Mick Dyett mentioned that Grant Hoffmans’ Backgammon Learning Centre was good, but that the cost would probably be prohibitive for absolute beginners.

He also suggested that perhaps there could be some basic information on the website.

Ian Dunstan and Mick Dyett have offered lessons in the past and participants have only come two or three times.

Eva Bitel had had an enquiry about multiyear membership – this was not deemed feasible at this stage as convincing people to join for 1 year is hard enough. John Symon and Simon Woodhead concurred that this was too hard.

Eva Bitel asked Mick Dyett if he felt that the ABF could add any further value to today’s tournament. Mick did not feel that they could.
Gary Stavrou suggested that only ABF members should be able to view their position on the national ratings – all non members should have their names redacted until they were financial.
The ratings system has 170 names but only 39 are financial .

Simon Woodhead said that this is not possible with the current program we are using for the ratings and we cannot make this change as it will affect other data.

General consensus was that local clubs should be doing more to encourage their members to join and push the benefits of having their rating and access to more backgammon news in the future.

Local clubs to ask members if they mind their contact information being given to the federation to share more information on benefits and backgammon in general.
Simon Ustick was happy to do this.

John Symon will write to the member clubs requestion member contact details.

Simon Woodhead suggested each local club could write a small report every month to go on the ABF website. He would also like to resurrect the Australian National Championships

David Kingston requested clarification on the format of this.

Gary Stavrou suggested that Sydney Backgammoners run the NSW Open at North Ryde RSL in 2019.

Taeed Athari opposed this as using the Persian Rose does not involve any cost to the ABF, and historically the tournament has been held at the Persian Rose Restaurant.

Gary reiterated that if his proposal is successful, there will be no cost to the ABF, it will be fully funded by Sydney Backgammoners.

David Reitzin suggested using the Top Ryde RSL venue if they offered a free room, but Gary Stavrou declined to run the tournament in any other venue except the North Ryde RSL.

It was agreed that both Gary and Taeed should make submissions for consideration by the Board and that this would be discussed in more detail at another meeting within the next 3 months.

Submissions need to be delivered to the President by November 30th 2018 to be considered.

The meeting closed at 9.23 am.

ADDENDUM.  Due to an omission during the AGM, Taeed Athari was nominated for a position on the Board by John Symon and seconded by Eva Bitel on November 5th 2018, and was accepted by the board on November 7th, 2018.


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