Members should note that these Rules are at all times to be read subject to the Associations Incorporation Act (Victoria) 1981 and the Regulations thereto, as amended from time to time.
“Association" means the incorporated association.
“Committee" means the committee of management of the Association.
“Member" means a member of the Association.
“Ordinary Member of the Committee" means a State or Territory Representative elected as provided in Rule 26.
“General Meeting" means a general meeting of members convened in accordance with Rule 12.
“Financial Year" means the year ending on 30 June.
“Calendar Year" means the year ending on 31 December.
“The Act" means the Associations Incorporation Act(Victoria) 1981, as amended from time to time.
“The Regulations" means Regulations under the Act.
“The Unincorporated Association" means the unincorporated National Association of Research Fellows of NHMRC.
“NHMRC" means the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
(2) In these Rules, a reference to the Secretary of an Association is a reference:-
(a) where a person holds office under these Rules as Secretary of the Association – to that person; and
(b) in any other case, to the Public Officer of the Association.
(3) Words or expressions contained in these Rules shall be interpreted in accordance with the provisions of the Interpretation of Legislation Act (Victoria) 1984 and the Act as in force from time to time.
(3) To uphold the highest principles of practice and ethics in biomedical research.
(a) Ordinary Membership. This is by subscription, and is open to all persons who hold an appointment to any one of the Research Fellowships Schemes of NHMRC, and who are admitted to ordinary membership pursuant to these Rules.
(b) Associate Membership. This is by subscription, and is open to all persons interested in the Objects of the Association and who are admitted to associate membership pursuant to these Rules. Associate members shall enjoy all the rights and privileges of ordinary membership excepting that they do not have voting rights and may not hold office as provided in Rule 25(1)(a) and (b).
(c) Honorary Membership. The Committee may elect to honorary membership any person who, in its opinion, has rendered distinguished service to any of the Objects of the Association. Honorary members shall enjoy all the right and privileges of ordinary membership, excepting that they do not have voting rights and may not hold office as provided in Rule 25(1)(a) and (b). Honorary members shall not be required to pay entrance fees or annual subscription fees. At the discretion of the Committee, honorary membership may be conferred for a period or for life.
(d) Such other grades of membership as may be provided for in these Rules.
(2) The entrance fees, annual subscription fees and voting rights applicable to each grade of membership may differ.
(a) shall be made in writing in the form set out in Appendix 1; and
(b) shall be accompanied by the sum payable under these Rules as the entrance fee and the first year’s annual subscription; and
(c) shall be lodged with the Treasurer/Registrar of the Association.
(4) As soon as is practicable after the receipt of an application, the Treasurer/Registrar shall refer the application to the Committee.
(5) Upon the application being referred to the Committee, the Committee shall determine whether to approve or to reject the application.
(6) Upon an application being approved by the Committee, the Treasurer/Registrar shall notify the applicant in writing that he or she is approved for membership of the Association, and shall enter the applicant’s name in the register of members kept by him or her. Upon the name being so entered, the applicant becomes a member of the Association.
(7) In the event of the Committee rejecting the application, the applicant shall have the right of appeal by notice in writing to the Committee. Upon receipt of such notice the Committee shall cause the allowance or rejection of the application to be determined at the next general meeting of the Association.
(8) In the event of an application for membership being rejected pursuant to these Rules, all moneys tendered by the applicant as set out in sub-clause (3)(b) shall be refunded to the applicant forthwith.
(9) A right, privilege or obligation of a person by reason of his or her membership of the Association:-
(a) is not capable of being transferred or transmitted to another person; and
(b) terminates upon the cessation of his or her membership whether by death or resignation or otherwise.
(4) The ordinary business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:-
(a) to confirm the minutes of the last preceding Annual General Meeting and of any general meeting held since that meeting; and
(b) to receive from the Committee reports upon the transactions of the Association since the last preceding Annual General Meeting; and
(c) to receive and consider the financial statement submitted by the Association in accordance with Section 30(3) of the Act; and
(d) to set the entrance fee and annual subscription fee, providing these have not already been set at a general meeting; and
(e) to take decisions on how best to pursue the objects of the Association.
(5) The Annual General Meeting shall be in addition to any other general meetings that may be held in the same year.
(4) If the Committee does not cause a special general meeting to be held within 6 weeks after the date on which the requisition was sent to the address of the Secretary, the members making the requisition, or any of them, may convene a special general meeting to be held not later than 3 months after that date.
(5) A special general meeting convened by members in pursuance of these Rules shall be convened in the same manner as nearly as possible as that in which those meetings are convened by the Committee and all reasonable expenses incurred in convening the meeting shall be refunded by the Association to the person incurring the expenses.
(4) If within half an hour after the appointed time for the commencement of a general meeting, a quorum is not present, the meeting if convened upon the requisition of members shall be dissolved and in any other case shall stand adjourned to the next day at the same place and at the same time (unless another place and/or time is specified by the Chairman at the time of the adjournment). If at the adjourned meeting a quorum is not present within half an hour after the time appointed for the commencement of the meeting, the members personally present (being not less than 8) shall be deemed to be a quorum.
(a) shall control and manage the business and affairs of the Association;
(b) may, subject to these Rules, the Regulations and the Act, exercise all such powers and functions as may be exercised by the Association other than those powers and functions that are required by these Rules to be exercised by general meetings of the members of the Association; and
(c) subject to these Rules, the Regulations and the Act, has power to perform all such acts and things as appear to the Committee to be essential for the proper management of the business and affairs of the Association.
(a) a President; and
(a) the Immediate Past President; and
(b) a Secretary; and
(c) a Treasurer/Registrar.
(a) the officers of the Association; and
(b) the ordinary members of the Committee, being; one representative of each State of Australia and one representative of the Northern Territory and one representative of the Australian Capital Territory where such representatives have been elected as set out in Rule 26; and
(c) the representative of any sub-committee which was initiated by a direct request of the Committee (including any sub-committee so initiated by the unincorporated association prior to incorporation); and
(d) the representative of any association which has been formally recognized by the Association by virtue of shared interests (including any associations so recognized by the unincorporated association prior to incorporation).
(2) In the first instance after the incorporation of the Association, the persons holding the offices referred to in sub-clauses (1)(a) and (1)(b) in the unincorporated association shall be the persons holding those offices in the incorporated Association, and they shall complete the terms of office begun in the unincorporated association. Thereafter these offices shall be filled by election as set out in these Rules.
(3) The provisions of Rule 26, so far as they are applicable with the necessary modifications, apply to and in relation to the election of persons to any of the offices referred to in sub-clauses (1)(a) and (1)(b) herein.
(4) Each person elected to any one of the offices referred to in sub-clauses (1)(a) and (1)(b) herein shall hold office until the second Annual General Meeting after the Annual General Meeting at which the election was declared, but is eligible for re-election.
(5) Each person newly elected to any one of the offices referred to in sub-clauses (1)(a) and (1)(b) herein shall take up his or her office immediately after the Annual General Meeting at which the election was declared, saving that a person elected to fill a casual vacancy as set out in sub-clause (6) shall take office immediately.
(a) In the event of a casual vacancy occurring in any office referred to in sub-clauses (1)(a) and (1)(b) herein, which occurs within 6 months of the expiration of the term of office, the Committee may appoint a replacement from the members of the Association to the vacant office and the member so appointed may continue in office for the remainder of the term of office; and the period thereafter will be filled in the normal manner described in sub-clause (3) herein.
(b) In the event of a casual vacancy occurring when the remainder of the term of office is 6 months or more, a special election shall be held forthwith but in the same manner as set out in Rule 26.
(b) shall be delivered to the Secretary of the Association at least 6 weeks before the date of a scheduled Annual General Meeting in respect of which the specified term of office of the incumbent officer of the Association or State or Territory Representative is expiring.
(3) If insufficient nominations are received to fill all vacancies on the Committee, the candidates nominated shall be deemed to be elected, and further nominations shall then be called for the unfilled positions.
(4) If the number of nominations received is equal to the number of vacancies to be filled, the candidates nominated shall be deemed to be elected.
(5) If the number of nominations exceeds the number of vacancies to be filled, a postal ballot shall be held.
(6) A postal ballot for the election of officers of the Association and State or Territory Representatives shall be conducted, in such usual and proper manner as the Committee may direct, during the 6 week period immediately preceding the Annual General Meeting at which the elections will be declared.
(7) A nomination of a candidate for election under this clause is not valid if that candidate has been nominated for another office for election at the same election.
(8) Nomination of and voting for candidates for election as officers of the Association is open to all ordinary members of the Association.
(9) Nomination of and voting for candidates for election as State or Territory Representatives is restricted to ordinary members who are resident in the relevant State or Territory.
(a) ceases to be a member of the Association; or
(b) resigns his or her office by notice in writing given to the Secretary; or
(c) is removed from office by the Association pursuant to these Rules.
(4) A quorum for meetings of the Committee shall consist of not less than five members of the Committee, one of whom should be the President.
(5) No business shall be transacted unless a quorum is present and if within half an hour of the time appointed for the meeting a quorum is not present the meeting shall stand adjourned to the same place and at the same hour of the next day following (unless another time, place and/or day is specified by the Chairman at the time of the adjournment). However if the meeting was a special meeting it will lapse.
(6) At meetings of the Committee:-
(a) the President shall preside; or
(b) if the President is absent the Immediate Past President shall preside.
(7) Questions arising at a meeting of the Committee or of any sub-committee appointed by the Committee shall be determined on a show of hands or voices or, if demanded by a member, by a poll taken in such manner as the person presiding at the meeting may determine.
(8) Each member present at a meeting of the Committee or of any sub-committee appointed by the Committee (including the person presiding at the meeting) is entitled to one vote and, in the event of an equality of votes on any question, the person presiding may exercise a second or casting vote.
(9) Written notice of each Committee meeting shall be served on each member of the Committee at a reasonable time being at least two business days before the date of the meeting.
(10) Subject to sub-clause (4), the Committee may act notwithstanding any vacancy on the Committee.
(a) shall collect and receive all moneys due to the Association and make all payments authorized by the Association; and
(b) shall keep correct accounts and books showing the financial affairs of the Association with full details of all receipts and expenditure connected with the activities of the Association; and
(c) shall keep and maintain the register of members of the Association.
(2) The accounts and books referred to in sub-clause (1) shall be available for inspection by members of the Association upon reasonable notice being given to the Treasurer/Registrar.
(3) The Treasurer/Registrar of the Association may delegate the routine functions of the office of Treasurer/Registrar to such person or persons as the Committee deems expedient.
(a) expel a member from the Association; or
(b) suspend a member from membership of the Association for a specified period;
if the Committee is of the opinion that the member –
(i) has refused or neglected to comply with these rules; or
(ii) has been guilty of conduct unbecoming a member, or prejudicial to the interests of the Association.
(2) A resolution of the Committee under sub-clause (1):-
(a) does not take effect unless and until the Committee at its next meeting after service on the member of a notice under sub-clause (3) confirms the resolution in accordance with this clause; and
(b) where the member exercises a right of appeal to the Association under this clause, does not take effect unless and until the Association confirms the resolution in accordance with this clause.
(3) Where the Committee passes a resolution under sub-clause (1), the Secretary shall cause to be served on the member a notice in writing:-
(a) setting out the resolution of the Committee and the grounds on which it is based; and
(b) stating that the member may address the Committee at its next meeting; and
(c) stating the date, place and time of that meeting; and
(d) informing the member that he or she may do one or more of the following:-
(i) attend the meeting;
(ii) give to the Committee before the date of the meeting a written statement seeking the revocation of the resolution;
(iii) not later than 24 hours before the date of the meeting, lodge with the Secretary a notice to the effect that he or she wishes to appeal to the Association against the resolution.
(4) At a meeting of the Committee held in accordance with sub-clause (2), the Committee:-
(a) shall give to the member an opportunity to be heard; and
(b) shall give due consideration to any written statement submitted by the member; and
(c) shall by resolution determine whether to confirm or to revoke the resolution.
(5) Where the Secretary receives a notice under sub-clause (3)(d)(iii), he or she shall notify the Committee and place the matter of the appeal against the resolution on the agenda for such next general meeting of the Association.
(6) At such next general meeting of the Association:-
(a) the Committee may place before the meeting details of the grounds for the resolution and the reasons for the passing of the resolution; and
(b) the member shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to call such witnesses as is reasonable; and
(c) the members present shall vote by secret ballot on the question of whether the resolution should be confirmed or revoked.
(7) If at such general meeting:-
(a) at least two-thirds of the members present vote in person or by proxy in favour of the confirmation of the resolution, the resolution is confirmed; and
(b) in any other case, the resolution is revoked.
These comments provide, where appropriate, an explanation of the intention of the Rules for the National Association of Research Fellows of NHMRC Incorporated and of the current operation of the Association, and should be read in conjunction with the Rules. The Rules have been formulated to provide a blueprint for sound working practices for NARF without being overly prescriptive (on the basis that NARF will run on the good sense of its members, rather than by strict adherence to an inflexible document).
Rule 4 provides for various grades of membership notably ordinary, associate and honorary members. (Prior to incorporation, associate members were referred to as honorary members.)
Ordinary members must hold a current NHMRC appointment as Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow, Principal Research Fellow, Senior Principal Research Fellow, Research Scientist or R. Douglas Wright Fellow. Approval of an application for ordinary membership of the Association (Rule 6) shall be automatic when
(a) the application form has been completed,
(b) the fees have been paid, and
(c) the Committee has confirmed the NHMRC Research Fellowship status of the applicant.
It is noted that the classification of NHMRC Research Scientist will be terminated by NHMRC by the end of 1993. The criterion for eligibility for ordinary membership of NARF is simply stated [Rule 4(1)(a)] as current appointment to any one of the Research Fellowships Schemes of NHMRC. This umbrella criterion permits NARF to confer eligibility for ordinary membership to new grades of NHMRC fellowship (as they may be created by NHMRC from time to time) at a general meeting of NARF, without the requirement for formal alteration to the Rules. Inclusion of non-NHMRC research fellows as ordinary members will require formal changes to the title of the Association and to the Rules governing membership
Associate members may be former NHMRC Research Fellows, former ordinary members, or anyone else with a genuine interest in furthering any of the objects of the Association. Applicants for associate membership shall give their reasons for so applying on the Application Form (Appendix 1 to the Rules). Such applications will be considered by the Committee, though only genuine applicants would be expected as associate members do not have voting rights, and may not hold office as officers of the Association or as State or Territory Representatives [Rule 25(1)(a) and (b)].
The fees determined at the 1992 Annual General Meeting were:
Entrance Fee $0
Annual Subscription $30
The composition of the Committee (Rule 25) shall be
(a) the officers of the Association (President, Secretary, Treasurer/Registrar)
(b) the ordinary members of the Committee (State and Territory Representatives)
(c) sub-committee representatives
(d) like-association representatives
[concerning (a)] The 1991 Annual General Meeting rejected a motion calling for the office of Vice-President to be created. Any future requirement for additional positions of officer of the Association (e.g. Vice-President, Past-President, President-Elect) will require formal change to the Rules.
[concerning (b)] In the event that a Representative of a State or Territory is not elected according to Rule 26 (i.e. no candidate stands for election or there are less than 3 ordinary members – being candidate, nominator and seconder – resident in the State or Territory), the ordinary members in that State or Territory can decide which other State or Territory shall represent them, but they shall not be eligible to vote in the election of Representative in that other State or Territory. Unless the Committee determines otherwise, the Public Officer of the Association shall be the Victorian State Representative on the Committee.
[concerning (c)] Any sub-committee constituted by the Committee at its own instigation or by direction from the Association shall have a Representative who is a member of the Committee. Initiatives to constitute a sub-committee or a working party should be made bearing in mind that a representative of the former but not the latter shall become a member of the Committee. It is the intention of this clause [sub-clause (1)(c) of Rule 25] to provide the Committee with the power to co-opt a member of the Association to its number, as provided in the Constitution of the association prior to incorporation. To this end, the Committee may deem the National Representative of NHMRC Research Fellows on the Career Awards Committee (who may or may not be a nominee or ordinary member of the Association) to be the Representative of an Association sub-committee. As well, the Committee may deem it expedient to form a Membership Sub-committee to make recommendations on membership applications and to suggest names for Honorary Membership, as appropriate.
[concerning (c) and (d)] It is worth noting that whereas only ordinary members may be elected to office under (a) and (b), no such restriction applies to (c) and (d). Thus, associate or honorary members or even non-members can theoretically be members of the Committee of Management (presumably with voting rights at the Committee level but not the Association level i.e. AGM or special general meeting). This is a grey area. As at December 1992 there were no sub-committees of the Committee of Management or recognized like associations. However the question of the NARF membership status of (c) and(d) representatives and voting rights needs to be kept in mind, and appropriate changes to the Rules considered in the light of several years operation of the Association.
As provided for in the Rules, the Association shall convene an Annual General Meeting each calendar year at which a quorum of (not less than) 12 ordinary members must be present for the transaction of business. No other general meetings of the Association would be expected to be held in any one year under usual circumstances. The Committee shall meet normally by means of telephone conference, at least once in each year. A quorum of 5 members of the Committee is required for the transaction of business.
Except at such meetings of the Committee or the Annual General Meeting, conduct of business shall be by postal- or tele-communications between members of the Committee. State or Territory Representatives shall act as the interface between the Committee and the members. The opinion of members shall be sought by State or Territory Representatives on any significant item of business being transacted by the Committee, as has been the practice in the unincorporated association.
NARF Incorporation Working Party
15 December, 1992