[Linux-aus] Updated constitution - Explanatory notes

David Newall davidn at davidnewall.com
Tue May 10 23:14:38 EST 2011

Hi Donna,

I originally sent this message on Sunday, however due to size it was 
held back pending moderation.  Much time has passed without it being 
approved, so I'm now sending it in multiple messages.

I don't agree that the current constitution is unimportant. I also 
disagree that we need to adopt the new model rules. As with our original 
constitution, a modified version of the model or anything else that 
meets the requirements of the act is okay.

Having nothing better to do this weekend, I made an extensive comparison 
of our constitution with the new model constitution; not to mention I 
read the act and regulations to see what is required and where we are 
short. We don't fall far short, and this is not surprising as our 
constitution is a modified version of the previous model constitution.

To meet the requirements of the act, a constitution must address the 
following matters:

     * The qualifications (if any) for membership of the association.
     * The register of the association’s members.
     * The entrance fees, subscriptions and other amounts (if any) to be
       paid by the association’s members.
     * The liability (if any) of the association’s members to contribute
       towards the payment of the debts and liabilities of the
       association or the costs, charges and expenses of the winding up
       of the association.
     * The procedure (if any) for the disciplining of the association’s
       members and the mechanism (if any) for appeals by members in
       respect of disciplinary action taken against them.
     * The mechanism for the resolution of disputes between members (in
       their capacity as members) and between members and the association.
     * The constitution and functions of the committee, including the
       election or appointment of the committee members, the terms of
       office of the committee members, the grounds on which, or reasons
       for which, the office of a committee member is to become vacant,
       the filling of casual vacancies occurring on the committee, and
       the quorum and procedure at meetings of the committee.
     * The intervals between general meetings of the association’s
       members and the manner of calling general meetings.
     * The time within which, and the manner in which, notices of general
       meetings and notices of motion are to be given, published or
     * The quorum and procedure at general meetings of the association’s
       members, and whether members are entitled to vote by proxy at
       general meetings.
     * The kinds of resolution that may be voted on by means of a postal
     * The sources from which the funds of the association are to be or
       may be derived.
     * The manner in which the funds of the association are to be managed
       and, in particular, the mode of drawing and signing cheques on
       behalf of the association.
     * The custody of books, documents and securities of the association.
     * The inspection by the association’s members of books and documents
       of the association.
     * The association’s financial year.

Ours already does most of this.

I've prepared a proposal derived from our constitution, which I will 
forward separately, which I believe meets the requirements. It is based 
upon the differences between what we have and the new model 
constitution. Where differences represent something new, I've taken text 
from the model; status quo for most other differences; plus the change 
to the financial year; plus a couple of errors that I noticed.


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