Proposed Rule Changes: Membership

The national membership secretary, is proposing rule changes to modernise our membership joining processes. Changes to your Constitution may only be conducted at an AGM of the membership as a whole. The debate for such changes is now open and will be open three months from today. 

The Australian Fabians Inc. (AFI) is a Not-For-Profit, democratically constituted, Australia-wide member based Association, incorporated in Victoria. You can view the Association’s Constitution (Rules) at here.

The AFI  Rules include

  • the aims and purposes of the Association (PART 2 – POWERS OF ASSOCIATION);
  • membership related matters (PART 3—MEMBERS, DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES AND GRIEVANCES) ; and
  • the role and responsibilities of the National Board (PART 5 – NATIONAL BOARD)

If you join the Australian Fabians, we accept your application in good faith.

Applicants for AFI membership are not required to be members of any other organisation or political party, nor are they required to disclose their employment or personal history, past political allegiances, business dealings, or other associations. We ask that our members support the aims and purposes of the Association.

Our current membership processes

Are subject to Clause 13 (2) of the Rules, and particularly advise there is no joining waiting period.

For over a decade applicants for membership have been able to automatically join online; they may also now instantly join at AFI events by completing a membership form, and paying fees by EFT. Applicants for membership continue to be able to post (or scan and email), completed membership forms with bank credit card or direct debit details, and in fewer cases, by cheque.

Receipts and a letter of welcome are automatically sent (via email) to the applicant in the case of online transactions, and within two weeks of joining by membership form.

The current Rules still require however, that even after a membership application and fee is actually accepted **, each application must:

  • be endorsed by the respective State or Territory committees and ratified by the National Board (Part 3 – 10 (1)), and
  • if not so endorsed or ratified, a new member can be belatedly rejected, and with no reason needed. (Part 3 – 10 (3,4).

**Note some 90% of all membership applications are automatically accepted online.

In summary, the Association:

  • makes reference to its aims and purposes online and on the membership form ;
  • emphasises in its correspondence, publications, newsletter, and branding that it aims to promote greater equality of power, wealth and opportunity;
  • does not impose a joining waiting period;
  • collects and securely stores the new member’s confidential details when submitted;
  • sends via email an acknowledgement of membership and receipts the fees paid.

 It is the opinion of the Membership Secretary that the current requirement for the endorsement and ratification of a new membership that has already been automatically applied and paid for, and subsequently accepted and acknowledged, is at odds with the aims of the Association, and in effect superfluous.

The additional committee endorsement and board ratification processes also appear at variance with the disciplinary procedures and grievance clauses of the Rules (wholly based on the model rules supplied by Consumer Affairs Victoria).

The following motion to amend the Rules is therefore circulated in the name of the Membership Secretary, Pauline Gambley. Members are invited to provide comment ahead of the 2019 Annual General Meeting via the following Members Only Survey. The survey will close on 30th of April.

“That this Annual General Meeting of the Australian Fabians Inc. acknowledges that applications from new members - are accepted in good faith, are subject to the Australian Fabians Inc. Constitution and any terms and conditions set down by the National Board; and  further resolves that Part 3 – Members, Disciplinary Procedures and Grievances, Clauses 10 and 11 of the Australian Fabians Inc. Constitution be amended as follows in this attachment

Feedback is Open:

Your comments or suggested amendments on the above-foreshadowed motion are invited

Click here to provide feedback.

If you would like to additionally discuss the issues raised above with the Membership Secretary please email membership@fabian.org.au

Note:

  1. The mover of the motion will take into consideration all comments or suggested amendments offered.
  2. It remains the right of the mover of the motion to change this specific motion.
  3. The motion in its final form, will be circulated to members with the AGM Official Notices and may be debated at the AGM.