Georgina Collin v Paddle Australia

National Selection appeal.


Georgina Collin v Paddle Australia

Matter number:
Date of decision:
Dispute type:
Selection and eligibility dispute
Dispute resolution method:

The Applicant was not selected by the Respondent in certain events for the 2023 Canoe Slalom Senior World Cup. Having placed 4th overall in the relevant selection competition events, the Applicant was eligible for selection - but was not selected - as a Reserve, at the discretion of the Respondent. After a selected athlete withdrew from the events, the Applicant was not selected as a replacement, again at the discretion of the Respondent.

The Applicant appealed the non-selection decision on the ground that the selection criteria has not been properly followed and/or implemented. In doing so, the Applicant submitted that, notwithstanding the words “absolute discretion”, the Selection Policy required the Selection Panel to exercise its discretion having regard to all relevant matters, and the Respondent did not consider relevant matters relating to her selection as a replacement that would have arisen if the Selection Panel had turned its mind to the matters listed in the Selection Criteria.

The Tribunal considered case law relating to discretion, including the NST decision in Hogan v Triathlon Australia, and agreed that “absolute” discretion is to be informed by the objectives and aims of the selection policies, as well as the factors to which the Selection Panel may have regard as articulated in the policies, and that its discretion must be exercised in good faith, in accordance with the terms of the selection policy, and in a manner that is not unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious. In the circumstances of this case, this required the Selection Panel to consider matters relevant to the decision before it. The Tribunal did not have before it evidence that the Respondent had considered such matters at the relevant time and found that the Respondent did not consider the matters specified in the policy. The appeal was allowed and the decision was remitted to the Respondent with directions.