The 2015 ISO committee has called an Extraordinary General Meeting to discuss a motion of no-confidence against 2015 Inward Bound Race Director Geoffrey Sykes. Sykes was appointed as the Race Director in May by the 2014 ISO executive.

The motion to remove Sykes, lodged by Unilodge, has come particularly late in the IB planning schedule; by this time, the IB race director should have already chosen a course, chosen the committee, and most importantly, set the endpoint. So what has made Unilodge go to such lengths to seek to dispose of the appointed Race Director?*

Last Wednesday the 2014 ISO Committee handed over their duties to the new 2015 Committee. The 2015 committee, under the Presidency of Unilodge resident Rebecca Jellie, called the EGM. The announcement was made by the 2015 ISO secretary Ben Harris however questions on the meeting have been directed to Jellie and the 2014/15 ANU Sport Interhall Intern Callum Fryer.

No reason has been provided by Unilodge for the proposed motion of no confidence. However, it is known that Fryer, Jellie and Megan Lane, the 2015 ANUSA General Secretary and 2014 UniLodge IB Coordinator, met on Monday. Lane was on the IB committee in 2012 and 2013 and also ran for the position of 2015 IB Race Director against Sykes. As a motion of this kind can only be put forward by a member of the ISO Committee, and neither Lane nor Fryer are technically committee members, it was submitted under Jellie after discussions occurred between the three.

Woroni contacted Lane regarding discussions surrounding the motion. Informed by her previous experience on the IB committee, Lane contacted Fryer “to raise some concerns residents at various colleges had about the organisation of Inward Bound 2015”.

“Key amongst these are that no call has yet been made for applications for the Inward Bound committee – something usually done months before now – and reports that stakeholder negotiations are currently in their infancy stage – again, a process that should have been well underway by now”.

“Mr Fryer raised similar concerns…we discussed [them] with [Rebecca Jellie] and Mr Fryer advised her that the most efficient way of confronting these concerns by calling an Emergency General Meeting at ISO”.

Lane has emphasised that the EGM “is in no way an attempt to simply remove Mr Sykes from office”, but rather has been moved out of “serious concerns of the poor management of Inward Bound”.

“It is right that ISO investigate reports…given the high risk of the event. This move has been made in the interests of safety for competitors next year and for the longevity of the event in general.”

Yet despite Lane’s concerns, Sykes has told Woroni that he is “comfortable with progress to date”.

“We have an endpoint, the bulk of the course setting is done, the course is going through the required stages of approval, stakeholder engagement is progressing as expected and we have the bulk of a committee”

“In short,” writes Sykes, “I have not been given any reasons for the motion and have everything underway that I had aimed to by this stage.

Should the motion of no confidence be upheld then applications would open for a new Race Director. Considering that Lane has met with two members of the six-person selection panel, it appears she is a frontrunner to take over from Geoffrey Sykes. Whether or not Lane gets the position, the successful applicant would be in for a rough ride: they are likely to have to organize the race from scratch, and with only five months left until IB, it would place incredible pressure on the Race Director.

The EGM is to be held this coming Monday night. Previous Race Directors and Race Committee members will give their opinion on the organising of IB. Sykes will also be questioned about the current state of play for IB15. Following this, the eight colleges’ sports representatives will vote for or against the motion to displace Sykes. At the conclusion of the meeting, it will be known whether Sykes has lost the support of the ISO Committee or if they’ll back him to deliver a successful IB in 2015.

*Clarification (: The motion was lodged by Rebecca Jellie on behalf of her college UniLodge as per section 17.5 of the ISO Constitution.

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