Federal Update

29 June 2020

Dear Members
I write to you today on behalf of Federal Council to provide an update on two important matters. First on how your Society is being managed during this pandemic and second on related decisions your Committee has made on membership subscriptions.

Managing the ACDS As you know Federal Council has the responsibility of managing the ACDS. Federal Council cancelled its face to face meeting in late March 2020 following the announcement it made of the cessation of driving activities. Since that time, Federal Council has been using Zoom to meet and have been meeting fortnightly, so that it can continue to deal with the business of the Society on a regular basis. Obviously the key item on the agenda each fortnight has been COVID-19 and how we have needed to deal with it. Federal Council has found meeting via Zoom on a regular basis has been constructive and has decided to continue with Zoom meetings on a monthly basis and reduce the number of face to face meetings accordingly.

This will be a saving to the Society and allow Federal Council to make decisions on a more timely basis.

To emerge successfully from this pandemic, we need to make sure that our Society stays in a healthy financial state and is ready to return to sport as usual when this is permitted.

Member Subscriptions for 2020-2021
As you know the Society’s membership year runs from August 31 each year.
Following our announcement in mid March 2020 of the cessation of driving activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, members’ ability to drive has been significantly reduced due to competitions, rallies, etc being cancelled. In light of this, Federal Council has considered whether the Society can offer a subscription discount.

In deliberating on this we have considered the following:

– ACDS membership is not simply a ‘fee for service’ to attend activities. The Society belongs to the members and we are all custodians of the Society for the benefit of all members, current and future. We must therefore consider the affordability of any subscription discount in the context of the Society’s financial position, both as it stands today and as it may evolve in the future.

– Many of our members will be suffering significant financial stress as a result of this crisis, with job losses anticipated to rise further over the coming months. Most of our members treasure their membership and keep it for a lifetime.

– We also know that some members have not been financially impacted by the crisis and have indicated that they want to support the Club and fellow members at this time.

– The annual membership subscription is an amount determined by resolution of the ACDS at the Annual General Meeting. As Federal Council has previously advised, our ability to hold an AGM at the current time is impacted by a number of State borders which are still closed and as such, to hold the AGM would not be appropriate as all members, if they wish to do so, cannot attend the AGM.

-Thus, Federal Council believes it does not have authority to change the fees, even with a proposal to reduce fees.

-We have also considered whether we can provide some relief to members by either changing the renewal date for memberships or allowing the fees to be paid at a later date.

-Our Rules (Constitution) set out the membership year, which concludes on 31 August each year so Federal Council does not have the authority to change that date – that can only be done by a special resolution at a General Meeting.

– Accordingly, Federal Council cannot provide any relief by changing the renewal date.

– The flow on effect of this is that members who do not renew their memberships by 31 August will not enjoy the benefits of membership, and those benefits will only be restated from the date they do re-join.

In considering all these factors, your Committee has decided that there will be no change to the Federal component of the membership fees for 2020-2021.
We hope that all members understand the complex environment in which these decisions were taken. Our overarching aim has been to ensure the financial viability of the Society, while at the same time recognising that some of our members will be suffering financial distress.

Yours sincerely
Federal President

Letter to members 29-06-2020

Restrictions on driving will be eased

16 May 2020

Dear Members
On behalf of Federal Council, I would like to advise that restrictions on driving will be eased to allow Clubs to hold Club rallies, effective Saturday 28 May 2020.
Federal Council will distribute to States, for forwarding to Clubs and members, two documents which are fundamental to the easing of restrictions, namely

  1. Risk management rules to follow for all Club rallies (and in time, other activities). Please note that this means that only Club members can drive at the rallies; and
  2. Bio-security form for completion by all persons at a rally.
    In preparing the risk management rules, Federal Council is conscious that the age demographic of the ACDS means that many members are in the high risk area. Our main purpose in preparing these rules and the form is to ensure that the Club rallies are conducted within government guidelines and to ensure the health and safety of members and any other persons at Club rallies.

Yours faithfully
Federal President

Club rallies announcement 16-05-2020


13 May 2020

Dear Members
Federal Council would like to take this opportunity to update members on several matters that have been affected due to COVID-19 cessation period.

  1. Federal Conference
    As a result of the current cessation period based on Federal and State government laws, Federal Council has made the decision to cancel the Federal Conference for The Federal Conference takes several months to organise and given the uncertainty with the period of social distancing and ban on gatherings, it is not possible to plan and hold a Conference at the current time.
  2. Federal Annual General Meeting
    The Federal Rules state that the annual general meeting must be held in June or July each year. The ACT Associations Incorporation Act requires an association to hold its AGM within 5 months of the end of the financial year (in the case of the ACDS, this means by 30 September). The Rules require a quorum of 20 members present in person. Furthermore, both our Rules and the Act, together with the model rules for associations in the ACT, do not allow the ACDS to use technology to hold the AGM.
    All members are entitled to attend the AGM and at the current time, a number of the borders within Australia are still closed which means all members cannot attend the meeting (whether they wish to do so or not).
    Accordingly, Federal Council believes it cannot hold the AGM under current laws relating to COVID-19 restrictions and has decided to hold over the AGM until the law allows it to legally convene the meeting.
    Once all restrictions on holding the AGM are lifted, Federal Council will convene the meeting.
  1. Annual Financial statements
    The annual financial statements have been prepared and are being sent to the
    auditors. Once the audit report is completed, the statements will be available to
  2. Nominations For Office Bearer Positions For The 2020-2021 Year
    In accordance with Rule 16.1 of the ACDS Rules and Regulations, at the close of
    nominations for candidates for election as office bearers on 15 April 2020,
    nominations for the following positions had been received by the Federal Secretary:
    Federal President Peter Lee
    Federal Vice President Kate Wholagan
    Federal Treasurer Leonie Hartshorne.
    In accordance with Rule 16.3, as there is only one nomination for each of these
    positions, those nominees shall be deemed to be elected.
    Subsequent to the closing date of nominations and prior to the date of this
    notification, a nomination for the position of Federal Secretary has been received
    from Tom Dowling.

Federal President

members update 13-05-2020

ACDS Policy on return from COVID-19 Cessation

11 May 2020

Dear Members
ACDS Policy on return from COVID-19 Cessation
Federal Council discussed last Wednesday night, on its regular Zoom meetings that have been instigated since the advent of COVID-19 cessation of driving activities, the return to driving activities.

A number of members from different States have contacted the Federal Executive to ask about a return to driving activities.

The Federal Executive has prepared some rules to observe at ACDS activities when driving can commence. These have been forwarded to Federal Council for approval and will be discussed on Wednesday night at our next meeting to be held via Zoom.

Our emphasis is to ensure the health and safety of our members.

In the meantime, I would ask that people check the rules in your State by reading official announcements from your State Government and State Medical Authorities as this is what our rules will be based upon. Many State directives on social gathering limitations and distancing are different.

Social gathering limitations and social distancing will be a key part of our rules.

Yours faithfully
Federal President

ACDS policy on return from COVID-19 Cessation

COVID-19 Cessation of Carriage Driving Activities in Australia – update

2 April 2020
Dear Members

On 15 March 2020, Federal Council announced the cessation of all carriage driving activities in Australia until 30 April 2020. At the time, we advised that Federal Council will monitor developments of COVID-19 over the next few weeks including advice from the Department of Health and the Government and will provide further advice before 30 April 2020.
Since that time, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to develop and the advice from the Department of Health and the Governments is clear to all about social distancing and stay at home other than in certain cases.
As such, Federal Council wishes to advise that the cessation of carriage driving activities in Australia will be extended indefinitely.
As previously advice, this relates to all activities including CDEs, dressage days, shows, pleasure and endurance drives, fun days, rallies, meetings and any other activities organised by Clubs or State Branches. Please note that it does not relate to use of technology for meetings however we recommend that any State Branches and Clubs wishing to use technology refer to the announcement on 26 March 2020 for guidelines.

Federal President

COVID-19 update 02-04-2020


The Federal Council of the ACDS has agreed to cease all carriage driving activities in
Australia until 30 April 2020, effective 9 am on 16 March 2020.
This decision relates to all activities including CDEs, dressage days, shows, pleasure and endurance drives, fun days, rallies, meetings and any other activities organised by Clubs or State Branches. This decision was made to ensure the ongoing health of all members, their support personnel, officials, organisers, volunteers and spectators.
Federal Council will monitor developments of COVID-19 over the next few weeks including advice from the Department of Health and the Government and will provide further advice before 30 April 2020.

Cessation all driving events 15-03-2020


2019/20 Junior Bursary Open Soon

Junior Bursary 2019-2020

The Junior Bursary Application period opens on 15 October 2019 and closes on 15 November 2019.

To help with your application the following documents are on the Publications page or click on them right here;

# ACDS Junior Driver Bursary Application Guidance Criteria 2019

# Junior Driver Bursary Application Form 2019

# Junior Driver Bursary Sub-Committee Terms of Reference.

Applications are to be sent to the Federal Secretary at ACDSfedsec@froggy.com.au

The New ACDS Clothing range is now available

Our new range of merchandise is now available through our dedicated supplier, Skye Park Equine Tailors. It was launched at the Federal Conference at Beechworth in July 2019.

The range includes a handpicked selection of quality garments and hats to suit a wide range of members tastes and needs. The range includes polo T-shirt’s in both men’s and ladies sizes to ensure a good fit.

Our range have a fantastic range of men’s and ladies vests. These include hardshell and puffer styles that will to keep everyone warm in this chilly winter weather. The fabulous waterproof ski jacket style coat and handy ever popular hoodie will ensure you are comfy and warm our driving or volunteering.

For our sunnier weather we have introduced a wide brim sun hat to the range to accompany the standard cap. We hope this range of ACDS merchandise will provide lots of different options to meet all members tastes.

Click on this direct link to the ACDS page of the Skye Park Equine Tailors online store.

Tips and hints for ordering your merchandise.

1. Get the tape measure out and measure yourself, check your measurements against the ones provided for the particular item you are planning to order. If your hip or waist measurement is larger than your chest measurements you will need to order a larger size or you will end up with a garment that fits tight in those areas.

2. The postage rates on the order website are fixed per order no matter how big or small your order is. Best value for money can be achieved by ordering a large group or club sized order rather than individual small items check direct with Skye Park for bulk orders.

3. If you would like your club logo on the garments you order in addition to the ACDS logo you can contact Skye Park directly to get costings and organise this.