Paddle Australia and State Paddle Associations Collaborate to Implement the United Paddling Management Project

Paddle Australia © Photo by Salty Dingo 2020

In June 2019, with the support of Sport Australia, Paddle Australia and its six State Paddle Associations committed to pursuing the ‘United Paddling Management’ (UPM) project.  The purpose for undertaking the UPM project was to introduce consistent whole of sport processes, procedures and systems that reduce duplication and improve efficiency across the workstreams of strategy, finance and workforce.

It was agreed that by reducing duplication and improving efficiency across the sport, a greater focus could be placed on delivering strategically aligned initiatives, in the areas of participation, sport development, marketing and promotion and advocacy.

“There are many reasons for undertaking the United Paddling Management Project, but overall it was about using our limited combined resources in the most effective, efficient and strategic manner so that we could achieve our goals for paddling in Australia,” Andrea McQuitty, President Paddle Australia said.

To date, the UPM project has delivered the following outcomes:


  • Refinement and alignment of the whole of sport strategy including key strategic pillars, and performance measures at both national and state level
  • Defined and documented roles and responsibilities for key stakeholders in delivering the whole of sport strategy
  • The implementation of an enhanced framework to monitor and evaluate progress against the whole of sport strategy


  • The implementation of an aligned whole of sport finance system
  • A standardised chart of accounts across Paddle Australia and the State Paddle Associations
  • The ability to undertake whole of sport financial budgeting and performance reporting, and present this information at both whole of sport and State Paddle Associations level
  • Increased efficiency through increased automation and the adoption of standard policies and procedures


  • The adoption of consistent, fit for purpose employment contracts and HR policies and procedures
  • Defined role descriptions aligned to the whole of sport strategy
  • The implementation of a whole of sport HR information management system to support alignment and enhance the ability of the sport to engage and manage people, improve compliance and safety and maintain appropriate records

“UPM has been extremely worthwhile with a range of benefits, especially for a small organisation like ours,” John Borojevic, Chair of the Board Paddle Tasmania, said about the benefits for the state paddle associations.

“The National Strategic Plan was developed cooperatively by Paddle Australia with all of the states and so it has national applicability.  So, Paddle Tasmania no longer needs to duplicate the work of Paddle Australia and the other states.”

The United Paddling Management project was a joint effort with Paddle Australia and its six State Paddling Associations working through the three workstreams collectively and collaboratively.

“Initially, the Paddle WA board and I were unsure and definitely cautious.  We did not agree to all the original initiatives put forward at the beginning of the process by Paddle Australia.  But Paddle Australia accepted our point of view and we worked through them,” Rosalie Evans, Paddle Western Australia Executive Officer, described the process.

“Now almost 18 months down the UPM track, the benefits for our sport have been fantastic. What has made this process so successful is the communication, transparency and hard work, not just from our national office, but from all the state offices working together.”

The UPM project also assisted Paddle Australia and its six State Paddle Associations to collaborate and develop a Paddle Support Package designed to help Clubs and Members in response to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Key elements of the Paddle Support Package included:

  • A 25% discount on 2020/21 State and Paddle Australia fees for Club members on renewals and new memberships
  • The establishment of the Paddle On Foundation to assist those in need to keep paddling and remain members of their Club
  • Free member access to a new online Introduction to Coaching course
  • A three-month extension for Paddle Australia qualification holders

Highlighting the development of the Paddle Support Package, Paddle Australia Chief Executive Officer Phil Jones commented: “The trust and collaboration developed through the UPM project between Paddle Australia and the State Paddle Associations facilitated a willingness to work together to find solutions and offer support to Clubs and Members in response to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Sport Australia congratulates Paddle Australia, and its six State Paddle Associations on the progress of the UPM project and the collaborative approach adopted to deliver whole of sport initiatives and support the paddling community.

To find out more about the United Paddling Management Project, click here

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