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Special Committees - Forming the committee

This section provides information on appointing committee members and office bearers, roles of office bearers, resigning from a committee, filling a vacancy and handover to new office bearers.

Appointment of committee members

Your Instrument of Delegation specifies the number of members the committee should have, the type of members required and the term of membership.

All committee members must be appointed via a nomination process. Existing committee members can be nominated to remain on the committee.

All nominations must be forwarded to Council. Council will review the nominations and approve the appointment of members to the committee at a Council Meeting. The committee will receive formal written notification from Council when members have been appointed.

Appointing office bearers

Once committee members have been appointed by Council, the committee can appoint office bearers, including:

  • a chairperson or president;
  • a secretary;
  • a treasurer

To ensure transparency and to reduce the risk of fraud, key office bearers (chair, treasurer and secretary) should not be related to one another.

A call for nominations for office bearers should be aligned with the public notification of the Annual General Meeting (AGM).Office bearer nominations called for at AGM > office bearers voted in at AGM > Eleected office bearers recorded in AGM minutes and sent to Council > council reviews nominations and approved the appointment of office bearers > Committee recieves formal notification of appointment of office bearers

Role and responsibilities of the chairperson or president

The chairperson or president is a key member of the committee. It is their role to:

• Liaise with the Council contact officer in consultation with the secretary;
• Ensure all members are familiar with, and adhere to, the Instrument of Delegation;
• Facilitate meetings in accordance with the Instrument of Delegation;
• Ensure all members are included in the decision-making of the committee;
• Work with the secretary to prepare agendas and approve minutes of the meeting;
• Exercise a second or casting vote when there is a tied vote during a meeting, and;
• Represent the committee in the public domain.

Role and responsibilities of the secretary

The secretary provides administrative support to the committee. It is their role to:

• Liaise with the Council contact officer in consultation with the chairperson;
• Receive and send all correspondence on behalf of the committee;
• Present a report of all correspondence to the committee at each meeting;
• Liaise with the chairperson to prepare agendas for meetings and minutes of meeting;
• Distribute the notice of meetings, agendas and copies of correspondence, reports etc. to all committee members and the community as required;
• Take minutes of all meetings, and liaise with the chairperson after the meeting to ensure actions are followed up and the minutes confirmed and provided to Council;
• Submit the Annual Return to Council at the end of financial year, and;
• Securely maintain all committee records and documentation for audit purposes.

Role and responsibilities of the treasurer

The treasurer is responsible for the financial management of the committee. It is their role to:

• Maintain the committee’s bank accounts;
• Record, bank and issue receipts for any money received;
• Pay accounts and invoices as authorised by the committee;
• Keep and file all invoices, receipts, bank statements, etc. for audit purposes;
• Provide a report to the committee at each meeting of current bank balances and the committee’s financial position;
• Prepare and present an annual financial report at the Annual General Meeting;
• Complete quarterly GST returns and the annual BAS statement and provide them to Council; and
• Provide bank statements and financial statements to the secretary to be filed with the Annual Return to Council.

Responsibilities of all committee members

All committee members share the responsibilities of the key office bearers and support them in making decisions and maintaining the facility. It is their role to:

• Support the office bearers in their roles and share tasks as required;
• Professionally represent the committee and Council in the community;
• Represent the needs and interests of the wider community;
• Treat fellow committee members with respect at all times;
• Attend all committee meetings and participate in decision-making;
• Actively participate in committee activities and business, and;
• Bring to the committee’s attention any known problems or issues.

Joining the committee mid-term

Anyone wishing to join the committee mid-term can only do so if there is a vacancy.

If the committee agrees to appoint a new member mid-term, it will need to nominate them formally at a committee meeting. The nomination must be forwarded to Council in the minutes of the meeting. Council will review the nominations and approve the appointment of members to the committee at a Council Meeting. The committee will receive formal written notification when members have been appointed.

The membership of committee members appointed mid-term will expire on the same date as the existing committee.

The new committee member should not commence as a voting member until the committee receives a formal letter from Council confirming their appointment.

Resigning from the committee

Committee members can resign from the committee at any time by formally notifying the committee in writing. The committee must then accept the resignation at the next committee meeting record it in the minutes of the meeting. The minutes and the letter of resignation from the committee member must be sent to Council.Committee member announces his/her resignation > Resignation confirmed in writing and presented to the committee > Committee accepts resignation and records it in meeting minutes > Minutes sent to Council with letter from resigning committee member

Removing a committee member

Council can remove a member from a committee at any time, if it does not believe that the member is acting in accordance with the Instrument of Delegation. Circumstances under which a committee member may be removed include:

• If the committee member has been absent for three consecutive committee meetings without first obtaining a leave of absence from the committee;
• Bankruptcy;
• A breach of the Instrument of Delegation;
• Conviction of a serious offence, or;
• The committee member becomes incapable of performing committee duties (e.g. chronic illness).

If the committee feels that a member is not carrying out their committee duties satisfactorily, the chairperson or a delegated committee member should first discuss the issues with the member concerned, to try to find resolution. If the issues cannot be resolved, the committee should contact their Council contact officer to seek guidance.

Handing over to a new committee

When handing over operation of the facility to new members, the chairperson should ensure that the handover is completed in a timely and professional manner, and that the incoming committee is adequately briefed. Office bearers should meet with their counterparts, to hand over documents, explain their role, and brief them on current issues.

All members leaving the committee must return all keys to the facility to Council. New office bears will be assigned keys.

Incoming committee members must familiarise themselves with their responsibilities, both as a committee and as individual committee members, by reading the instrument of delegation and this Manual.

Council contact officers are able to assist with this process if required.

Ex-officio members

The committee may co-opt additional people to the committee; however those people do not have voting rights, cannot raise a motion, and are known as ex-officio members.

An ex-officio member may be appointed to join the committee or a sub-committee. Although they cannot be appointed as one of the office bearers (chairperson, secretary or treasurer) they must be listed in the Annual Return as an ex-officio member to be covered by Council’s public liability insurance.

Resignation or removing a committee

There are some circumstances under which a committee may wish, or be required, to hand over its management responsibility before its term ends. Council may also remove (known as revoke) the committee’s appointment or its Instrument of Delegation at any time and either take direct responsibility for the management of the facility or appoint a new committee.

A committee may resign because of its inability to function as required, inability to meet minimum membership numbers, or because its duties are no longer required. If the resignation is not related to a declining demand for the facility, Council may appoint a new committee. A formal handover must be undertaken with Council or the new committee.

If Council agrees there is no longer a need for a committee to manage the facility, the committee, in consultation with Council, will need to conclude any outstanding issues, settle outstanding debts, reassign bank accounts and utility accounts, and handover all documents, funds and records to Council.

Once handover is completed, Council will take direct responsibility for the facility and all its assets, including decisions on the disposal of any assets, a change of purpose of the facility, and any future use of the facility and site.

Council contact officers will assist the committee with the resignation or revoking process as required.

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