In my short time at the helm of Club Marine, I have come to appreciate the insight of the company founders when they chose the name nearly 40 years ago. In particular, as I visit our various state branches and our New Zealand office, I am coming to realise that the ‘Club’ in our company name was chosen with a clear and sincere intent. The concept that we are all part of a community, comprising employees and our close to 150,000 members, has hit home as I realise how much of our activities and many sponsorships and other support are focused on keeping our fantastic boating lifestyle buoyant and vibrant.
I feel like I’m just as much a custodian as I am the CEO of a leading insurance company. Well before I slipped into the skipper’s chair, those before me established the tradition of investing a proportion of company profits back into the lifestyle from which Club Marine was born, and on which it depends.
Over the past two months, which happen to be the height of the boating season for much of Australia and New Zealand, I have come to see first-hand the sheer number and variety of events and activities that our investments help to support.
Probably of most significance from my point of view was the Variety Splash in Melbourne in late February, which is run to generate funds for Victoria’s special needs children. Club Marine is a sponsor and our own staff members became actively involved in the event this year, which raised over $120,000 for a very worthwhile cause. You’ll see coverage of the Splash elsewhere in this edition.
Club Marine has always been a prominent supporter of sailing events and the year’s racing calendar kicked off with the biggest one of all, Audi Victoria Week. It was great to be involved in the event, producing the Official Program, plus being able to view the event first-hand.
From a peak professional sailing event, I also found myself just recently at the other end of the spectrum, attending the Lidgett Trophy, run by the Davey’s Bay Yacht Club at Mt Eliza on Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay. A training event for junior sail competitors and other youngsters who just want to experience the thrill of sailing, it was fantastic to see so many young people having fun on the water and knowing that Club Marine was actively involved in supporting their activities.
Also from a sporting perspective, the Club Marine Southern 80 Ski Race rates right up there with Australasia’s premier sporting events. Run by the hard-working volunteers from the Moama Water Sports Club, it would easily rival other peak sporting events run by full-time professional organisations. The spectacle of more than 500 competitors competing over 80 winding kilometres of the Murray River draws thousands of people to the Victorian-NSW border each year and provides another colourful aspect to our boating lifestyle.
Tragically, this year’s event also saw the death of long-time competitor, skier Tim Driver, and the sympathies of myself and everyone at Club Marine go out to his family and friends.
Being a participant at many of these events and being able to see first-hand where and how our financial backing is being utilised has reinforced my commitment to ensure that we provide backing for as many of these boating activities as we possibly can.
I think I’d be right in stating that not too many other companies with the prominence of Club Marine plough as much of their capital back into the community in which they do their business.
So, my message to our Club Marine members is that I will continue the tradition and, from a personal point of view, I am delighted to be able to support so many worthwhile and positive activities within the Australasian boating scene.
Hope to see you on the water some time soon.
CEO and Publisher,