South Coast embracing diversity with Two Lady Club Presidents
Lesley Ashton and Cathie Flynn are breaking new ground on the South Coast, both women are the first lady presidents of their respective Golf Clubs: Bermagui Country Club (BCC) and Catalina Country Club (Club Catalina).
Lesley recounts how after returning to Bermagui from Sydney, she became the Ladies’ Captain for five years during which time she instigated the BCC Week of Golf – the combination of the Men’s and Ladies Open events. Lesley states: “The cooperation between the men and ladies committees was something new, hosting mixed and medley events throughout the week.”
Lesley had been asked to join the Board back in 2008 at BCC. This experience gave her immense insight into the Club as a whole. “We had 12 sub-clubs all with their own Committees, fund raising and organising their own events under the umbrella of BCC”, Lesley recalls. This presented many challenges, not least was the combination of needs and personalities across the various committees. Lesley then became instrumental in bringing the Club together as one, knowing that this would ensure the Clubs’ continued success. The Club’s focus was set on being the social hub of the town and providing the activities and sporting facilities that members expected.
Lesley then graduated to Vice President for a few years before being elected to the role of President. Lesley explains, “I am now in my second term. There have been many changes at BCC during that time, and we still have a lot of work to do. The changes made were successful in attracting a wider age range of patrons to the Club which will help to ensure that BCC stays financially viable well into the future.”
“Another key change is that we now have three women on our Board of seven who each represent a variety of sports and activities and bring more diversity. I am grateful for the opportunity in this role to encourage any woman who feels they can make a difference to get involved supporting the management and the success of their Club.”
Cathie Flynn, has recently been elected to Club Catalina in October after serving as Vice President since 2016. She is the first lady President of the Club. Cathie claims “Being part of a Board of Directors that are leading change in the direction of our Club, for the benefit of our members and visitors, is an especially important and rewarding role.” Cathie explains that she would like to see more women who have the skills and experience to step up and enjoy the sense of achievement that she has had and continues to have serving on the Board.
Having experienced the disastrous year on the beautiful South Coast of NSW with the impact of the Bushfires and floods earlier in the year, compounded by COVID-19, Cathie has experienced the challenges that it has brought to Club Catalina and its members which comprises of a large section of the Batemans Bay community. In spite of all that 2020 has thrown her way, Cathie remains optimistic: “I believe we have come out of it as a much stronger community with a greater connection to our members. I look forward to successfully leading our Club into 2021 and tackling whatever challenges that may present.”
“Club Catalina is a beautiful 27 hole Championship Golf Course that caters for both the elite and social golfers. We invite visitors to come and enjoy a game of golf with us, relax and enjoy a drink and a meal afterwards in our recently refurbished Bar, Lounge and Restaurant areas.”
Above: Lesley Ashton, President of Bermagui Country Club and Cathie Flynn, President of Catalina Country Club.