The WHiteside Bequest

Enhancing participation and engagement in our Australian Championships events

About The Whiteside Bequest

Whiteside Bequest logo

Orienteering Australia is the beneficiary of a magnificent bequest by Moira Whiteside of Garingal Orienteers (NSW).  Her career was in education, which took her all over New South Wales to witness the best in sports education.  Moira saw volunteering as the indisputable backbone of the sport of orienteering.  Moira’s wishes were that our largest national event, the Australian Orienteering Championships, benefit from her estate.

Since 2014 Australian Championships carnivals have benefitted from the first tranche of Moira’s bequest.  This has resulted in several innovations including:

  • Cutting-edge eventing technology during competition to provide real-time live results displays on site.
  • Live streaming of results to the web.
  • Live GPS tracking displays and in-forest video streaming.

Flow-on effects have included a transfer of this technology to other major events across every state and territory in Australia.

In keeping with Moira’s spirit, we have extended the second tranche of the bequest more widely to cover projects which will result in greater participation in, and enjoyment of, Australian Championships Carnivals: planning, execution, competitor involvement and participation growth. Australian Orienteering Championships Carnivals include the Australian 3-Days Championship Carnival, the Australian Championships Spring Carnival and the Australian MTBO Championships Carnival.

Moira Whiteside

Moira Whiteside

Moira Whiteside was introduced to Orienteering in 1975 and joined the Sydney club, Garingal Orienteers after a gap of over twenty years since having played cricket and softball and represented NSW at hockey. It did not take Moira long to understand what the sport of Orienteering was about. As an Inspector of physical education in schools, Moira confessed she was not fit, but she quickly became hooked and moved to improve her fitness. Moira read everything she could about Orienteering. She attended any event she could get to, including overseas when on holidays in the UK and Finland. Moira soon went on to arguably become a very successful masters orienteer.

The achievement Moira is particularly remembered for, is her W50 win in the 1977 Jan Kjellström International – one of the UK’s two premier events each year. Moira went on the next year to be the W50A Australian Champion for seven continuous years! By the time she was in W60A, Moira had also won the Easter 3-Days on five occasions. Over those years she also won the NSW Championships on five occasions and the ACT Championships on four, plus won in Victoria and Queensland, and represented Australia in several trans-Tasman competitions.

Moira’s work did not lend itself to allowing her to take on the bigger organisational roles, however she never lost sight of the large manpower requirements to put on Orienteering events. In a Garingal Orienteers newsletter she said: “The most important group in Orienteering are the workers who accept office in the organisation and who run the events. Nothing is too small for them or too big. A select group form a core that provides small recreational events for all comers to enjoy. The same people prepare highly competitive events at State, National and international levels. An examination of names over many years reveals who these people are. Because of them the public can discover the joys of being self-reliant in the forests of the world. To put it in a nutshell these workers give their lives to Orienteering. The sport thrives because of them. Without them the sport would wither away. We can never thank them enough.”

We should not be surprised then, that Moira left a portion of her estate to benefit Orienteering? In recognition of Moira’s philanthropy, two perpetual trophies are awarded in her name to the M and W21E class winners of the Australian Middle Distance and Australian Sprint Orienteering Championships. The Director of every Australian Orienteering Championships Carnival is extremely grateful for Moira’s vision!

Adapted from an article by Barbar Junghans, published in the December 2018 issue of The Australian Orienteer.

Who Can Apply for a Grant?

Any Australian orienteer, group of orienteers, orienteering club, state orienteering organisation or OA itself to submit a grant proposal for consideration and recommendation by the Whiteside Grants Committee to the Board of OA.

While OA remits funding amounts from the Whiteside Bequest to the Member State/Territory who is organising a future Australian Championships for the provision of event services such as arena production, real-time live results displays on site, live streaming of results to the Internet, GPS tracking, radio controls etc. we are encouraging grant applications which will result in greater participation in, and enjoyment of, Australian Championships Carnivals such as planning, execution, competitor involvement and participation growth.

A grant application, over and above the provision of event services should focus on one or more of the following:

  1. Active promotion to, and involvement of, local communities in the region an Australian Championships is being held to encourage local participation.
  2. Increasing participation and engagement of the Australian orienteering community in Australian Championships such as growing participation across all Championship age classes and enhancing the Championships experience for participants.

Such a grant application must align with the ‘Great Opportunities’ aspect of OA’s strategic priorities which is:
To nurture opportunities to increase participation in orienteering, and for every orienteer to grow and contribute to our community – whether as recreational participant, competitor, volunteer, coach, or administrator.

Proposals that have positive spillover effects for orienteering outside the Australian Championships and/or are of an innovative bent will be considered favourably.

Grants of between 2K and 20K will be awarded for periods of up to 2 years. 

Find out more by checking out the “Apply for a Grant” area of this page.