Rules in an incorporated association
The association’s rules should be clear and help the association be inclusive, fair and open with its members. The rules must cover the association’s:
- name and purpose
- powers and responsibilities
- membership, including:
- register of members
- funds and property management
- powers, duties and committee appointments
- committee structure
- terms of office of members
- notice of proposed appointments/elections
- casual vacancies
- barring of members
The rules need to be submitted when you apply to incorporate and a copy kept for the association’s records.
Changing the rules
Association rules can be changed if committee members agree by a special resolution or by a membership vote.
If the association's rules don't cover a situation, consider:
- using the principle of the rule (within context) to guide the outcome
- seeking legal advice – especially if the outcome looks like it favours a member or subgroup over other members
- changing the rules by special resolution at a committee meeting.
At meetings, members should be able to:
- speak freely
- express concerns
- vote on motions.
Minutes need to be taken at all meetings, signed by the chairperson – in public if possible – and saved as a record of the association’s activities.
Disputes can be resolved at a meeting or through mediation with an independent third party. If the problem isn’t solved, legal action can be taken through the Supreme or Magistrates Court.