Membership

What are the qualifications for membership?

The association’s constitution must specify any qualifications for membership. It should also set out how new members may join the association.

Where an association has adopted the Model constitution, a person is a member of an association if that person:

  • has applied and been approved for membership in accordance with the procedure set out in the constitution
  • was a member of an unincorporated body immediately before its registration as the association
  • was a member of an association immediately before it amalgamated to form the association
  • was a member of a registrable corporation immediately before that entity registered as the association.

Can an association have corporate or affiliated members?

An association's constitution may allow other incorporated bodies (such as incorporated associations, co-operatives or companies) to be members of the association, or for the association to have affiliated members.

An association that wishes to do so must adopt its own constitution and may need to obtain legal advice regarding appropriate clauses.

The Model constitution does not cover these situations.

Is there a limit on the number of members?

An association must have at least 5 members at all times.

An association’s incorporation may be cancelled if it has fewer than 5 members.

There is no limit on the maximum number of members an association may have.

When does a person cease to be a member?

The association's constitution should set out the circumstances in which membership ceases. Where the Model constitution applies, a person's membership ceases in the following circumstances:

  • if the person dies
  • the person resigns membership
  • the person is expelled from the association
  • the person fails to pay the annual membership fee within 3 months after the fee is due.

Can all members vote at a general meeting?

The association's constitution should specify members' eligibility to vote.

The constitution must make provision for the kinds of resolutions that may be voted on by postal ballot or electronic ballot and if members are entitled to vote by proxy at general meetings.

Can non-financial members vote at the annual general meeting?

The association's constitution should set out if non-financial members can vote at the annual general meeting.

Where the Model constitution applies, a member is not entitled to vote at any general meeting, unless all money due and payable by the member has been paid.

Can non-financial members nominate others or stand for election?

The association's constitution must set out provisions relating to the election or appointment of members of the committee. This includes the procedure for nominating persons for election or appointment to the management committee.

Can persons under the age of 18 be members and vote?

Persons under the age of 18 (minors) can be members of an association. However, the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (the Act) does not permit persons who are under the age of 18 years to be committee members.

Where the association has members who are minors, the constitution should clearly detail their rights and privileges, (including any restriction on voting rights).

Where the Model constitution applies, a member under the age of 18 years is not entitled to vote.

What is the register of members?

The association's constitution must make provision for a register of members. This includes the establishment, maintenance, safekeeping and inspection of the register of members.

A members’ register would normally set out the name, address and contact details for each member and the date their membership commenced.

Where the Model constitution applies, the association's secretary must establish and maintain the register of members, in written or electronic form. The register must be kept at the main premises of the association or at its official address. The register must be available for inspection free of charge by any member, at any reasonable hour.

The Model constitution limits the purposes for which information in the members’ register may be used and allows a member to request that their information (other than the member's name) is not made available for inspection.

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Bathurst NSW 2795

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