The name of the association is the ‘Child Protection Party’ hereafter referred to as the ‘Party’.
The following definitions are used in this constitution:
- ‘Executive’ means the committee of management of the Party.
- ‘General Meeting’ means a general meeting of members of the association convened in accordance with these rules.
- ‘Member’ means a member of the Party.
- ‘The Act’ means the Associations Incorporation Act 1985.
- ‘Special Resolution’ means a special resolution defined in the Act.
- ‘Month’ shall mean a calendar month.
3. Objects and Purposes of the Party
The objects and purposes of the Party are:
- To ensure that all children are protected, under the law, from all forms of abuse and neglect.
- That the rights of children are maintained under all circumstances to their benefit.
- To ensure a more equitable, fairer and transparent child protection system.
The Party shall fulfil the objects and purposes of the Party by:
- Seeking legislative changes where children and parents and their caregivers are disadvantaged.
- Seeking the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Australian legislation.
- Advocating on behalf of children and their parents and caregivers for their right to equality, fairness and transparency when involved with the child protection system.
- Conducting and curating research on all aspects of child protection.
- Endorsing and promoting candidates for election to the lower or upper houses (where applicable) of the South Australian, Northern Territory, Tasmanian, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victorian, Western Australian, Queensland or Federal Parliaments.
In seeking to fulfill their objects and purposes, the Party shall not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, sexual orientation etc.
4. Powers of the Party
For the purpose of carrying out its objects, the Party may, subject to the Act and its rules:
- acquire, hold, deal with, and dispose of, any real or personal property; and
- administer any property on trust, and
- open and operate any Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) accounts, and
- invest its monies in any security in which trust moneys may, by Act of Parliament, be invested; or
- in any other manner authorised by the rules of the association; and
- borrow money upon such terms and conditions as the association thinks fit; and
- give such security for the discharge of liabilities incurred by the association as the association thinks fit; and
- appoint agents to transact any business of the association on its behalf; and
- enter into any other contract it considers necessary or desirable.
Membership of the Party:
- Shall be open to any person interested in helping the Party to achieve its purposes and objects and who is willing to abide by the rules, and adhere to the policies and procedures, of the Party.
- Every member shall have 1 vote at General Meetings.
- Any person who wishes to become a Member of the Party must fill out and sign a Party Membership Form (this can be done manually or online). This Form constitutes a Declaration of Intention by the person to be a Member of the Party.
- On receipt of an application to join, the Membership Coordinator shall:
- Confirm that the applicant has completed all the required sections of the Party Membership Form.
- Confirm that the applicant is eligible to vote by virtue of their age.
- Confirm that the applicant is enrolled to vote by reference to the electoral voting register.
- If the applicant fails to meet the conditions of membership above, the Membership Coordinator shall advise the applicant in writing (by email or postal service that the application is refused and citing the reasons. The applicant may resubmit their application upon correction of details where this is the reason for rejection of membership.
- If the applicant meets the conditions of membership above, the Membership Coordinator shall:
- Advise the applicant in writing (by email or postal service) that the application has been successful.
- Add the applicants details to the Membership Register.
There are no differing types of membership in the Party.
A membership fee of $12/year applies for all new members.
It is not applicable to existing members unless the member decides they wish to support the Party by paying that fee at which point they shall be invoiced.
The fee is subject to change. Any such change must be advertised to the membership prior to implementation.
Any member may resign their membership and any representative of a member organization or section may resign such position by giving written to that effect to the Secretary or the Public Officer of the Party.
5.4 Expulsion of a Member
A membership may be suspended or terminated:
The Executive may, by resolution passed at a meeting thereof, terminate or suspend the membership of any member if, in its opinion, that member’s conduct is prejudicial to the interests and objects of the Party, provided that:
- Particulars of the charge are communicated in writing to that member at least 1 month (28 days) before the meeting at which the matter will be decided.
- The Executive decision shall be communicated to the member in writing and, in the event of an adverse finding, subject to the next sub-paragraph, cease to be a member 14 days after the determination of the Executive has been communicated to that member.
- In the event of an adverse finding, the member shall have the right to appeal the expulsion at a general meeting. The intention to appeal the expulsion shall be communicated to the Secretary or Public Officer, in writing, within 14 days after the Executive decision has been communicated to that member.
- In the event of an appeal under the sub-paragraph above, the appellant’s membership shall not be terminated unless the determination of the Executive to expel the member is upheld by the members of the Party in a general meeting after the appellant has been heard by the members of the Party and, in such event, membership shall be terminated at the date of the general meeting at which the Executive determination is upheld.
5.5 Register of Members
The register of members contains:
- The name and address of each member
- If applicable, the date and reason(s) for termination of membership.
6. The Executive
6.1 Powers and Duties
- The affairs of the Party shall be managed and controlled by an Executive which, in addition to any powers and authorities conferred by these rules, may exercise all such powers and do all such things as are within the objectives of the Party and which are not by the Act required to be done by the Party in general meeting.
- The Executive shall have the management and control of the funds and the property of the association.
- The Executive shall have the power to interpret the meaning of these rules and any other matter relating to the affairs of the Party on which these rules are silent.
- To set up teams/sub-committees as deemed necessary who shall be accountable to the Executive.
- The Party shall be administered by an Executive of not less than 5 people and not more than 12 members elected at the annual general meeting. Executive members must be at least 18 years old. The Executive shall include the following positions:
- Vice President
- Public Officer
- An Executive member shall be a natural person.
- The first Executive of the association shall be appointed from the promoters of the association, or be comprised of such persons as hold office prior to incorporation. All Executive positions shall be subject to re-election at each AGM.
- No other person shall be eligible to stand for election unless a member of the association has nominated that person at least 1 month (28 days) before the meeting by delivering the nomination of that person to the Secretary of the association. The nomination shall be signed by the proposer and by the nominee.
- Notice of all persons seeking election to the committee shall be given to all members of the association with the notice calling the meeting at which the election is to take place.
- The Executive may appoint a person to fill a casual vacancy, and such an Executive member shall hold office until the next annual general meeting of the association and shall be eligible for election to the committee without nomination.
Specific duties include but are not limited to:
- Chair Committee meetings ensuring that they are run efficiently and effectively
- Act as a signatory for the Party in all legal purposes and financial purposes
- Regularly focus the Committee’s attention on matters of Party governance that relate to its own structure, role and relationship to any paid employees
- Periodically consult with Committee members on their role, to see how they are going and help them to optimize their contribution
- Work with the Committee to ensure:
- The necessary skills are represented on the Committee and that a succession plan is in place to help find new Committee members when required
- Goals and relevant strategic and business plans are developed in order to achieve the goals of the Party.
- Work with the Executive to manage any paid employees of the Party including recruitment, retention, salary and performance reviews, etc.
- Serve as a spokesperson for the Party when required
- Communicate regularly and systematically with the Presidents of the member parties, the league, association and or parent body
- Assist in the development of partnerships with sponsors, funding agencies, local and state government, shared facility users and organisations that are relevant to the goals of the Party.
6.2.2 Vice President
Specific duties include but are not limited to:
- In the event of the President being unable to fulfill his/her duties to step into that role
- In the absence of the President, chair Committee meetings ensuring that they are run efficiently and effectively
- Be an alternate signatory for the Party for legal purposes and financial purposes
- Assist the President in deciding which matters are dealt with by the Executive, the full Committee and delegated to Committees
- Coordinate Party planning to ensure appropriate plans are developed, presented to and reviewed by the Committee, and enacted as required
- Represent the Party at meetings and forums as agreed with by the President
- Other duties as nominated by the President and / or Committee
Specific duties include but are not limited to:
- Maintain records of the Committee and ensure effective management of Party's records
- Manage Minutes of Committee meetings, including either recording the Minutes or ensuring the Minutes Secretary does so, and ensuring minutes are distributed to members shortly after each meeting and no later than 7 days
- Development of the agenda in consultation with other Committee members and distribution prior to the meeting
- Is sufficiently familiar with all current Party documents to note applicability during meetings
- Is responsible for ensuring that accurate and sufficient documentation exists to meet legal requirements
- Enable and authorise people to help with the Committee's business. This includes signing a copy of the final approved Minutes and ensuring that the signed copy is maintained
- Ensure that the records of the Party are maintained as required by law and made available when required by authorised persons. These records may include founding documents, lists of Committee members, Committee meeting Minutes, financial reports, and other official records
- The Secretary ensures that official records are maintained of members of the Party and Committee. He / she ensures that these records are available when required for reports, elections, referenda, other votes, etc.
- Provide an up-to-date copy of the Constitution and bylaws at all meetings.
- Ensure that proper notification is given of Committee and Party meetings as specified in the bylaws
- Manage the general correspondence of the Committee except for such correspondence assigned to others
- Help and lead the Committee in providing systematic communication from the Committee to Party members and other relevant stakeholders
- Provide a summary of Committee Minutes for distribution to all Party members via website and noticeboards
- The Secretary may also be the nominated person to receive and file relevant Police Check records or Working with Children documentation.
Specific duties include but are not limited to:
- Provide advice to the Committee in their management of the Party finances
- Administer all financial affairs of the Party
- Lead the annual budget process and ensure an appropriate annual budget is provided to the Committee for approval
- Ensure development and Committee review of financial policies and procedures
- Support any required auditing processes
- Receipt of all incoming monies
- Bank all monies received
- Pay all accounts
- Maintain accurate records of all income and expenditure
- Ensure that all receipts and payments concur with bank deposits and withdrawals
- Monthly financial reports – present at monthly committee meetings
- Arrange and dispatch invoices for periodical payment
- Issue yearly or ½ yearly membership fee
- Keep accurate record of all membership payments
- Be a signatory on party account
6.2.5 Public Officer
Specific duties include but are not limited to:
- Notify the Registrar of appointment as Public Officer or a change of the Public Officer’s address within 14 days of the change by lodging a Change of Association Details form. No fee is required
- Notify the Registrar of a change of the association’s registered address within 14 days of the change by lodging a Change of Association Details form. No fee is required.
- Within 1 month after the annual general meeting, lodge with the Registrar an Annual Statement by Public Officer and other required financial documents with the prescribed fee.
- Obtain from Treasurer Annual Income and Expenditure Statement and Assets and Liability Statement
- Within 14 days of the association becoming trustee of a trust, lodge with the Registrar the particulars of the trust and a copy of any relevant documents. No fee is required.
- Apply to the Registrar for approval to alter the statement of purposes or rules within 28 days after the alteration was passed by special resolution. An Application for Alteration of Rules or Purpose must be lodged with the prescribed fee.
- Apply to the Registrar for approval of a change of change within 1 month after passing a special resolution to change the association’s name. An Application for Change of Association Name must be lodged with the prescribed fee.
- Notify the Registrar of special resolution relation to the winding up and distribution of the assets of the association within 28 days of passing the resolution. A Notice of Special Resolution for Distribution of Assets on Voluntary Winding Up must be lodged with the prescribed fee.
6.3 Proceedings of the Executive
- The Executive shall meet together for the dispatch of business at least monthly.
- Questions arising at any meeting of the Executive shall be decided by a majority of votes using a show of hands, and in the event of equality of votes the chairperson shall have a casting vote in addition to a deliberative vote.
- A quorum for a meeting of the Executive shall be half of the members of the committee plus one.
- A member of the Executive having a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a contract or proposed contract with the association must disclose the nature and extent of that interest to the Executive as required by the Act, and shall not vote with respect to that contract or proposed contract. The member of the Executive must disclose the nature and extent of his or her interest in the contract at the next annual general meeting of the association.
- All meetings shall have minutes documented and made available to any interested party.
- All Executive members shall be given at least 7 days’ notice of a meeting unless it is deemed an emergency meeting.
6.4 Disqualification of Executive Members
- The office of an Executive member shall become vacant if a committee member is:
- Disqualified from being an Executive member by the Act.
- Expelled as an Executive member for failing to adhere to the Executive’s Code of Conduct and a failure to follow the Policies and Procedures of the Party as follows:
- A Special Meeting is convened.
- A quorum must be present.
- The person under consideration for expulsion must be offered the opportunity to defend himself/herself.
- A motion to expel is presented.
- The motion is debated and voted upon.
- In the event of a tied vote, the Chair holds a casting vote.
- In the event of a vote to expel, the member concerned my appeal that decision by writing to the Secretary with 14 days of being advised of expulsion.
7. General Meetings
7.1 Annual General Meetings
- The Executive shall call an annual general meeting in accordance with the Act and these rules.
- The first annual general meeting shall be held within 18 months after the incorporation of the association, and thereafter within five months after the end of its financial year.
- The Party shall hold an Annual General Meeting at no more than 15 month intervals.
- The order of the business at the meeting shall be:
- The confirmation of the minutes of the previous annual general meeting and of any special general meeting held since that meeting
- The consideration of the accounts and reports of the committee and the auditor’s report (if auditor’s report is required)
- The election of the Executive members.
- The appointment of auditors.
- Any other business requiring consideration by the association in general meeting.
7.2 Special General Meeting
- The Executive may call a special general meeting of the association at any time.
- Upon a requisition in writing of not less than 5%, (in some cases a lesser or greater percent may be appropriate or it may be on requisition of a specific number of members) of the total number of members of the association, the Executive shall, within one month of the receipt of the requisition, convene a special general meeting for the purpose specified in the requisition.
- Every requisition for a special general meeting shall be signed by the relevant members and shall state the purpose of the meeting.
- If a special general meeting is not convened within one month, as required by 7.2b above, the requisitionists, or at least 50% of their number, may convene a special general meeting. Such a meeting shall be convened in the same manner as nearly as practical as a meeting convened by the Executive, and for this purpose the committee shall ensure that the requisitionists are supplied free of charge with particulars of the members entitled to receive a notice of meeting. The reasonable expenses of convening and conducting such a meeting shall be borne by the association.
7.3 Notice of General Meetings
- Subject to 7.3b, at least 14 days’ notice of any general meeting shall be given to members. The notice shall set out where and when the meeting will be held, and particulars of the nature and order of the business to be transacted at the meeting.
- Notice of a meeting at which a special resolution is to be proposed shall be given at least 21 days prior to the date of the meeting.
- A notice may be given by the association to any member by serving the member with the notice personally, or by sending it by post to the address appearing in the register of members.
- Where a notice is sent by post:
- The service is effected by properly addressing, prepaying and posting a letter or packet containing the notice, and
- Unless the contrary is proved, service will be taken to have been effected at the time at which the letter or packet would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.
7.4 Proceedings at General Meetings
- Ten members (a lesser or greater number may be appropriate depending upon the size of the membership) present personally or by proxy shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any general meeting.
- If within 30 minutes after the time appointed for the meeting a quorum of members is not present, a meeting convened upon the requisition if members shall lapse. In any other case, the meeting shall stand adjourned to the same day in the next week, at the same time and place and if at such adjourned meeting a quorum is not present within 30 minutes of the time appointed for the meeting the members present shall form a quorum.
- Subject to 7.4d, the chairperson shall preside as chairperson at a general meeting of the association.
- If the chairperson is not present within five minutes after the time appointed for holding the meeting, or he or she is present but declines to take or retires from the chair, the members may choose an executive member or one of their own number to be the chairperson of that meeting.
7.5 Voting at general meetings
- Subject to these rules, every member of the association has only one vote at a meeting of the association.
- Subject to these rules, a question for decision at a general meeting, other than a special resolution, must be determined by a majority of members who vote in person or, where proxies are allowed, by proxy, at that meeting.
- Unless a poll is demanded by at least five members, a question for decision at a general meeting must be determined by a show of hands.
7.6 Poll at General Meetings
- If a poll is demanded by at least five members, it must be conducted in a manner specified by the person presiding and the result of the poll is the resolution of the meeting on that question.
- A poll demanded for the election of a person presiding or on a question of adjournment must be taken immediately, but any other poll may be conducted at any time before the close of the meeting.
7.7 Special and Ordinary Resolutions
- A special resolution as defend in the Act. A clause can be included repeating the definition in section 3 of the Act.
- An ordinary resolution is a resolution passed by a simple majority at a general meeting.
A member shall be entitled to appoint in writing a natural person who is also a member of the association to be their proxy, and attend and vote at any general meeting of the association.
- Proper minutes of all proceedings of general meetings of the association and of meetings of the Executive, shall be entered within one month after the relevant meeting in minute books kept for the purpose.
- The minutes kept pursuant to this rule must be confirmed by the members of the association or the members of the Executive (as relevant) at a subsequent meeting.
- The minutes kept pursuant to this rule shall be signed by the chairperson of the meeting at which the proceedings took place or by the chairperson of the next succeeding meeting at which the minutes are confirmed.
- Where minutes are entered and signed they shall, until the contrary is proved, be evidence that the meeting was convened and duly held, that all proceedings held at the meeting shall be deemed to have been duly held, and that all appointments made at a meeting shall be deemed to be valid.
9. Dispute Resolution
This rule provides for a procedure to settle disputes.
- The dispute resolution procedure set out in this rule applies to disputes under these Rules between –
- A member and another member
- a member and the association.
- The parties to the dispute must meet and discuss the matter in dispute and, if possible, resolve the dispute within 14 days after the dispute comes to the attention of all of the parties.
- If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute at the meeting the parties may choose to meet and discuss the dispute before an independent third person agreed to by the parties.
- In this rule ‘member’ includes any person who was a member not more than six months before the dispute occurred.
Section 40 of the Act provides that where the Executive exercises any power of adjudication in relation to a dispute between the members, or a dispute between itself and members of the association, the rules of natural justice must be observed.
Section 61 of the Act provides that an application to the Court for an order under the section may be made by a member of an incorporated association or by a former member expelled from the association (provided that the application is made within six months of the expulsion), who believes that the affairs of the association are being conducted in a manner that is oppressive or unreasonable.
10. Financial reporting
10.1 Financial Year
The first financial year of the Party shall be the period ending on the next 30 June following incorporation, and thereafter a period of 12 months commencing on 1 July and ending on 30 June of each year.
10.2 Accounts to be kept
The association shall keep and retain such accounting records as are necessary to correctly record and explain the financial transactions and financial position of the association in accordance with the Act. Refer to regulation 8 of the Associations Regulations.
10.3 Accounts and Reports
The accounts, together with the auditor’s report on the accounts, the Executive’s statement and the Executive’s report, shall be laid before members at the annual general meeting.
The annual (periodic) return shall be lodged with Consumer and Business Services within six months after the end of each financial year. It must be accompanied by a copy of the accounts, the auditor’s report, the Executive statement, and the Executive report. Refer to section 36(1) of the Act.
10.4 Appointment of Auditor
- At each annual general meeting, the members shall appoint a person to be auditor of the association. Refer to sections 35(2)(b) and 35(4) of the Act for qualifications of auditor.
- The auditor shall hold office until the next annual general meeting and is eligible for re-appointment.
- If an appointment is not made at an annual general meeting, the Executive shall appoint an auditor for the current financial year.
11. Prohibition Against Securing Profits for Members
The income and capital of the association shall be applied exclusively to the promotion of its objects and no portion shall be paid or distributed directly or indirectly to members or their associates except as bona fide remuneration of a member for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the association. Section 55 of the Act provides a prohibition against securing profits for members.
12. Winding Up
The Party may be wound up at any time if agreed by two thirds of those members present and voting at any general meeting.
13. Application of Surplus Assets
- If after the winding up of the association there remains ‘surplus assets’ as defend in the Act, such surplus assets shall be distributed to any organisation which has similar objects and has rules which prohibit the distribution of its assets and income to its members. The association may determine to distribute surplus assets to nominated charities.
- Such organisation or organisations shall be identified and determined by a resolution of members in general meeting. Section 43 of the Act prohibits the distribution of surplus assets at the completion of a winding up to members or former members, or associates of those persons.
These rules may be altered (including an alteration to the association’s name) by special resolution of the members of the association. This includes rescission or replacement by substitute rules.
Minor amendments may be issued upon authorisation by agreement of the Executive Committee.
Proposal for major amendments to the constitution and rules, or dissolution, must be delivered to the Secretary in writing. The Secretary, in conjunction with all the other officers, shall then decide upon a date of a general meeting to discuss such proposals giving at least 4 weeks (28) days’ notice.
Any changes to the constitution or rules must be agreed by at least 2 thirds of those present and voting at any general meeting.
The alteration shall be registered with Consumer and Business Services, Corporate Affairs Commission, as required by the Act.
The registered rules shall bind the association and every member to the same extent as if they have respectively signed and sealed them, and agreed to be bound by all of the provisions thereof.
The Act provides that an alteration to a rule may be made by special resolution of the association unless other provision is made in the rules.
Note requirements of Section 24(6) and 24(7): Subject to any provision in the rules or a resolution to the contrary, an alteration to the rules comes into force at the time that the alteration is passed. This does not apply to an alteration to the name of the association which does not come into force until registered by Consumer and Business Services, Corporate Services Commission.