Proposed Changes to Constitution, 2023

Review of Constitution 

The Management Committee is recommending several alterations to the MAS Constitution, in part because of a requirement of the NSW Dept of Fair Trading to cover certain items but also because further improvements are required to bring the Constitution in line with established practice within the Society.

We have allocated January and February to seek comments and suggestions from members on the proposed changes. The views of members will be considered at the March meeting of the Committee, following which the final proposal will be displayed and put to a vote of members attending the April AGM.

Members comment period: 1st January to 28th February 2023
Comments and suggestions:
Current Constitution > HERE <
Proposed New Constitution, with proposed amendments marked in red > HERE <

Description of Proposed Amendments

Reasons: DOFT = NSW Department of Fair Trading. CP = Bring in line with Current Practice. GI = General Improvement

1.2 DefinitionsModified the definitions of Management Committee, Office Bearers & Committee Members. Added definition for Returning Officer.CP
3.1 Powers Added “Society”GI
4.1 MembershipRedefined the meaning of “Full Member” to include Family, Student, Pensioner and Honorary memberships (but not Associate Membership)GI
4.6 Membership RegisterLimitations on the availability of members private information.DOFT &
4.8 (New clause)Limitations on membership liabilities.DOFT
5.1 Membership of management committeeAdded role of Returning Officer at AGM ballot.
Placed no limit of consecutive terms served by an office bearer or committee member.
Added a specific time for nominations for election to be lodged.
Added required action by committee in event of no candidacy for a position.
Relaxed the strict requirement to terminate a committee member who does not attend three committee meetings.
5.5 Meetings of the management committeeClarified procedure for committee minutes approval.CP
5.7 (New Clause)Confirms the power of the committee to determine the use of electronic methods where deemed appropriate.GI
6.1 to 6.4 MeetingsGeneral revision to formalise the current practice that Ordinary General Meetings (i.e. Macarthur Astronomy Forum) are informal meetings where formal business is not conducted and which are exempt from the strict formal procedures required for Annual General Meetings and Special General Meetings.

6.4 (v) Permits the chairperson to over-rule a request for a formal ballot when such a ballot would be impracticable.
7 Funds & AccountsAdded clause describing income sources.DOFT