Part 1 - NAME
1. The name of the association shall be the Home Education Association Incorporated (referred to in these rules as “the association”)
Part 2 - OBJECTS
2. The objects of the association shall be:
- To uphold the principle that parents are primarily responsible for the education of their children.
- To promote a broader awareness of Home Education and its benefits throughout Australia.
- To promote and encourage the development of Home Education Networks.
- To provide services and resources to Home Education Networks and individual home educators.
- To endeavour to procure any rights, privileges, concessions or benefits relating to home education for home educators and their families.
- To maintain a respect for the diversity of philosophies and methods used by home educators
- To establish and maintain a public fund to be named “The HEA Public Fund” for the specific purpose of providing assistance to HEA member families who are in necessitous circumstances. The fund is established to receive all gifts of money or property for this purpose and any money received because of such gifts shall be credited to its bank account. The fund shall not receive any other money or property into its account
Part 3 – MEMBERSHIP
3. Subject to these rules the members of the association shall be the members of the association immediately prior to incorporation together with such other people and organisations as the committee admits to membership.
4. Membership is open to all individuals and organisations who accept the objects and rules of the association
5. Individuals, families and organisations wishing to become members of the association shall apply to the committee for membership
Application for Membership
6. The committee shall determine whether or not to accept an application for membership. The committee is not required to supply reasons for accepting or rejecting an application for membership.
7. The committee shall determine whether an applicant who has been granted membership shall be granted voting membership or associate membership. The Committee is not required to supply reasons for its decision to grant either membership
8. Voting members shall have the right to attend and vote at general meetings. Associate members shall not have the right to attend and vote at general meetings.
9. An individual, family or organization that is accepted as a voting member shall have one vote
10. Family membership includes the named members of an applicant’s household
Cessation of Membership
11. Membership shall cease upon resignation, expulsion, or failure to pay outstanding membership fees within twelve weeks of the due date
Register of members
12. A register of members shall be kept by the association showing the name, address and date of commencement of membership for each member. Provision for noting the date of cessation of membership shall also be contained in the register.
13. The committee shall only disclose the register of members when required to by law
Fees and subscriptions
14. Members shall pay such fees as are determined by the committee.
15. Membership fees shall fall due on the anniversary of the day of previous date of the commencement of membership of the association
16. The members of the association shall have no liability to contribute towards the payment of debts and liabilities of the association or the costs, charges and expenses of the winding up of the association except to the amount of any unpaid membership fees.
Disciplining of members
17. A member may be expelled from membership of the association (or otherwise disciplined) by the committee if, in the opinion of the committee after affording the member an opportunity of offering an explanation of his/her conduct, the conduct is regarded as being detrimental to the interests of the association.
18. A member who wishes to appeal against a decision expelling or otherwise disciplining him/her may do so by notifying the Secretary in writing that s/he wishes the decision to be reviewed at the next general meeting of the association
Disputes between members
19. In the event of a dispute arising between members (in their capacity as members) or between a member(s) and the association or a member(s) and the committee the following procedure shall apply.
20. Each side of the dispute shall nominate a representative who is not directly involved in the dispute. Those representatives shall then attempt to settle the dispute by negotiation
21. Should the nominated representatives be unable to resolve the dispute within 14 days (or such other period as they may agree upon) the dispute shall be referred to a person mutually agreed upon for mediation
22. In the event that no person can be agreed upon to mediate the dispute it shall be referred to a community justice centre for mediation in accordance with the Community Justice Centres Act 1983
Part 4 – THE COMMITTEE
Management by committee
23. The association shall have its affairs controlled and managed by the office bearers and other members known as the committee.
Constitution and membership
24. The office bearers shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. There shall be up to five other members of the committee.
25. Each member of the committee shall hold office from the date of their election or appointment until the next annual general meeting
Election of members
26. The members of the committee shall be elected at each annual general meeting. Office bearers shall be appointed by majority vote of the elected committee members. Any casual vacancy occurring in the committee may be filled by a member appointed by the committee.
27. Membership of the committee is open to all voting members of the Association.
28. Retiring committee members are eligible for re-election subject to the following provision (29).
29. A member is only eligible for nomination for committee membership if that person is a voting member and has not held a committee position for more than four of the previous six years subject to the follow clause. If the positions of the four office bearers cannot be filled by the members of the elected committee the elected committee may reappoint an office bearer otherwise disallowed by this provision.
Removal of member
30. A member or the committee shall cease to hold office upon resignation in writing; removal as a member of the association; or absence from three successive committee meetings without approval by the committee.
Meetings and quorum
31. The committee shall meet as often as necessary to conduct the business of the association and not less than once in each month .
32. The quorum for meetings of the committee shall be three committee members, either elected at the previous annual general meeting or have been committee members for at least three consecutive months.
33. Notice of committee meetings shall be given at the previous committee meeting or by such other means as the committee may decide upon.
34. The committee may function validly provided its number is not reduced below the quorum. Should committee numbers fall below the quorum the remaining committee members may act only to appoint new committee members.
35. If within half an hour of the time appointed for a committee meeting a quorum is not present the meeting shall be dissolved.
36. Additional meetings of the committee may be convened by the President or any two members of the committee.
Delegation by committee to sub-committee
37. The committee may, by instrument in writing, delegate to one or more sub-committees (consisting of such member or members of the association as the committee thinks fit) the exercise of such of the functions of the committee as are specified in the instrument, other than: (a) this power of delegation, and (b) a function which is a duty imposed on the committee by the Act or by any other law.
38. A function the exercise of which has been delegated to a sub- committee under this rule may, while the delegation remains unrevoked, be exercised from time to time by the sub-committee in accordance with the terms of the delegation.
39. A delegation under this section may be made subject to such conditions or limitations as to the exercise of any function, or as to time or circumstances, as may be specified in the instrument of delegation.
40. Despite any delegation under this rule, the committee may continue to exercise any function delegated.
41. Any act or thing done or suffered by a sub-committee acting in the exercise of a delegation under this rule has the same force and effect as it would have if it had been done or suffered by the committee.
42. The committee may, by instrument in writing, revoke wholly or in part any delegation under this rule.
43. A sub-committee may meet and adjourn, as it thinks proper.
Voting and decisions
44. Questions arising at any meeting of the committee or sub-committee appointed by the committee are to be determined by a majority of the votes of members of the committee or sub-committee present at the meeting. In case of an equality of votes the person appointed to chair the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
Part 5 – OFFICE BEARERS
45. The President or, in the President’s absence, the Vice-president shall act as chairperson at each general meeting and committee meeting of the association.
46. If the President and Vice-president are absent from a meeting, or unwilling to act, the members present at the meeting shall elect one of their number to act as chairperson.
47. The Secretary shall ensure that records of the business of the association including the rules, register of members, minutes of all general and committee meetings and a file of correspondence are kept. These rules and minutes of general and committee meetings shall be available for inspection by any member and shall be held in the custody of the Secretary.
48. The Treasurer shall ensure that all money received by the association is paid into an account in the association’s name. Payments shall be made through a petty cash system or by cheque signed by two signatories authorised by the committee. Major or unusual expenditures shall be authorised in advance by the committee or a general meeting.
49. The Treasurer shall ensure that correct books and accounts are kept showing the financial affairs of the association. These records shall be available for inspection by any member and shall be held in the custody of the Treasurer
Part 6 – GENERAL MEETINGS
Annual general meetings – holding of
50. An annual general meeting of the association shall be held each year within six months from the end of the financial year of the association.
Annual general meetings – calling of and business at
51. The following business shall be transacted at annual general meetings –
- confirmation of the minutes of the last annual general meeting and any recent special general meeting
- receipt of the committee’s report on the activities of the association in the last financial year
- election of members of the committee
- receipt and consideration of a statement from the committee which is not misleading and gives a true and fair view for the last financial year of the association’s income and expenditure, assets and liabilities, mortgages, charges and other securities, trust properties
- to transact any other business to which sufficient notice in writing has been given to members
- Members who have items of business they wish considered at a general meeting shall give written notice of such business to the Secretary. The Secretary shall include that business in the next notice calling a general meeting.
Special general meetings – calling of
53. The committee may, whenever it thinks fit, convene a special general meeting of the association. A special general meeting must be convened by the committee within three months of receiving a written request to do so from at least five per cent of the membership of the association
54. At least 14 days’ notice of all general meetings and notices of motion shall be given to members.
55. In the case of general meetings where a special resolution is to be proposed, notice of the resolution shall be given to members at least 21 days before the meeting.
56. Written notice of all general meetings shall be given to members personally or by email or post.
57. The quorum for a general meeting shall be five members present in person, by telephone conferencing or Internet conferencing. If within half an hour of the time appointed for a general meeting a quorum is not present the meeting shall be dissolved.
58. Nominations of candidates for election as committee members may be made in such ways as may be determined by the committee.
Making of decisions
59. Voting at general meetings shall be by a show of hands, or in a manner directed by the chairperson, unless a secret ballot is demanded. Decisions shall be made by a simple majority vote except for those matters which must be decided by special resolution where a three quarter majority is required.
60. A special resolution must be passed by a general meeting of the association to effect the following changes:
- a change of the association’s name
- a change of the association’s rules
- a change of the association’s objects
- an amalgamation with another incorporated association
- to voluntarily wind up the association and distribute its property
- to apply for registration as a company or a co-operative
61. A special resolution shall be passed in the following manner:
- a notice must be given to all members advising that a general meeting is to be held to consider a special resolution
- the notice must give details of the proposed special resolution and give at least 21 days’ notice of the meeting
- a quorum must be present at the meeting; and
- at least three-quarters of the valid vote must be in favour of the resolution
62. In situations where it is not possible or practicable for a resolution to be passed as described above, a request may be made to the Department of Fair Trading for permission to pass the resolution in some other way
63. Voting at general meetings shall be by one of the following methods:
- by attending in person and voting in the manner directed by the chair person
- by postal or email vote on the appropriate form issued by the committee for that particular purpose providing that any such vote shall be forwarded to the Secretary by the day preceding the date of the general meeting
64. In the case of an equality of votes the person appointed to chair the general meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
Part 7 – PUBLIC OFFICER
Public Officer – appointment
65. The committee shall ensure that a person is appointed as Public Officer.
66. The first Public Officer shall be the person who completed the application for incorporation of the association.
67. The committee may at any time remove the public officer and appoint a new Public Officer provided the person appointed is 18 years of age or older and a resident of New South Wales.
68. When a vacancy occurs in the position of Public Officer the committee shall within 14 days notify the Department of Fair Trading by the prescribed form and appoint a new Public Officer.
69. The Public Officer may be an office bearer, committee member, or any other person regarded as suitable for the position by the Incorporation committee.
Public Officer – removal
70. The Public Officer shall be deemed to have vacated their position in the following circumstances:
- removal by the committee or at a general meeting
- bankruptcy or financial insolvency; or
- mental illness
Public Officer – duties
71. The Public Officer is required to notify the Department of Fair Trading by the prescribed form in the following circumstances:
- appointment (within 14 days)
- a change of residential address (within 14 days)
- a change in the association’s objects or rules (within one month)
- a change in the association’s financial affairs (within one month after the annual general meeting)
- a change in the association’s name (within one month)
72. The Public Officer shall keep a register of members of the committee which must:
- contain the name and residential address of each committee member and the date on which they became a member of the committee
- be updated within one month of any change taking place; and
- be made available for inspection by any person, at all reasonable hours and free of charge
PART 8 – STATE CHAPTERS
State chapters – establishment
73. HEA members in any State and Territory may establish a State Chapter run in accord with this constitution.
74. Each State Chapter will be run by a State Committee
75. Five or more members together may, in respect of a proposed State Chapter, nominate the initial State Chapter committee to the National Committee.
76. The National Committee may, by instrument in writing, appoint a State Chapter, the exercise of such of the functions of the committee as are specified in the instrument, other than a function which is a duty imposed on the committee by the Act or by any other law.
77. The National Committee may, by instrument in writing, revoke any appointment under this rule.
State chapters – office bearers
78. Following the first calendar year of commencement, all members of the State Chapter Committee shall be elected annually from HEA members in that State.
79. The State Chapter committee shall comprise a minimum of four members with the following office bearers:
- President Convenor – responsible for calling general and executive meetings; establishing initiatives for consideration of the Chapter; liasing with the State delegate re lobbying at the State level
- Secretary – maintaining minutes of committee meetings; responsible for providing assistance to the Chapter; distribution of meeting information to members
- Treasurer – maintaining the financial records of the Chapter; responsible for administration of funds
- State Delegate – responsible for liaison between other State Chapters, and the National Committee; reporting in writing to the National Committee
- Any other Members as the Chapter requires – responsible for such things as assisting with Chapter meetings, conference and workshop organisation, organising special events, fundraising, promoting HEA membership
State chapters – meetings and quorum
80. The State committee shall meet at least six times in each calendar year at such place and time as the State committee determines.
81. Additional meetings of the State committee may be convened by any member of the State committee
82. Oral or written notice of a meeting of the State committee shall be given by the Secretary to each member of the State committee at least 48 hours (or such period as may be unanimously agreed upon by the members of the executive) before the time appointed for the holding of the meeting
83. Notice of a meeting given under 82 shall specify the general nature of the business to be transacted at the meeting and no business other than that business shall be transacted at the meeting, except business which the State committee members present at the meeting unanimously agree to treat as urgent business
84. The quorum at State committee meetings shall be three members of the committee
85. No business shall be transacted by the State committee unless a quorum is present and if within half an hour after the time appointed for the meeting a quorum is not present the meeting stands adjourned to a time and place within two weeks as agreed by the committee
86. If at the adjourned meeting a quorum is not present within half an hour after the time appointed by the meeting, the meeting shall be dissolved
87. At meetings of the State committee, if the President and the Vice President are absent from a meeting, one of the remaining members of the State committee may be chosen by the members present to preside.
PART 9 – PUBLIC FUND
Name of public fund
88. There shall be a public fund known as the HEA Homeschooling Trust.
Purpose of fund
89. The purpose of the fund is to support HEA member families who are in necessitous circumstances. Members of the public are to be invited to make gifts of money or property to the fund.
Committee of Management of fund
90. A committee of management of no fewer than three persons will administer the fund. The committee of management for the fund will be appointed by the committee of the association.
Management of fund monies
91. Money from interest on donations, income derived from donated property, and money from the realisation of such property is to be deposited into the fund.
92. A separate bank account is to be opened to deposit money donated to the fund, including interest accruing thereon, and gifts to it are to be kept separate from other funds of the Association.
93. Receipts are to be issued in the name of the fund and proper accounting records and procedures are to be kept and used for the fund.
94. The fund will be operated on a not-for-profit basis.
95. An audited financial statement for the HEA Public Fund will be supplied with the annual statistical return. The statement will provide information on the expenditure of Fund monies and the management of Fund assets.
96. In the event of the fund being wound up or dissolved, any surplus assets remaining after the payment of the fund’s liabilities shall be transferred to another fund, authority or institution which has similar objects and to which income tax deductible gifts can be made.
PART 10 – MISCELLANEOUS
97. The association shall effect and maintain insurance as is required under the Associations Incorporation Act,together with any other insurance which may be required by law or regarded as necessary by the association.
98. The funds of the association shall be derived from membership fees, donations, grants and such other sources as may be approved by the association.
Funds – management
99. The income and property of the association shall be used only for promotion of the objects of the association and shall not be paid or transferred to members by way of dividend, bonus or profit except as bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the association
100. In the event that the association should be wound up or have its incorporation cancelled, any surplus property shall be distributed in accordance with the provisions of the Associations Incorporation Act.
101. In the event of the association being dissolved, the amount which remains after such dissolution and the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be transferred to any organization which has similar objects and which is exempt from income tax.
102. Where it furthers the objects of the association to amalgamate with any one or more other organizations having similar objects, the other organizations must have rules prohibiting the distribution of their assets and income to members; and must be exempt from income tax.
103. The common seal of the association shall be kept in the custody of the Secretary and shall only be affixed to a document with the approval of the committee. The stamping of the common seal shall be witnessed by the signatures of two members of the committee.
Service of notices
104. Service of documents on the association is effected by serving them on the Public Officer or by serving them personally on two members of the committee
105. Notices sent by post shall be deemed to have been received two days after the date of posting.