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Running an Annual General Meeting

Running an Annual General Meeting

The Annual General meeting (AGM) is an important event for every Affiliate a requirement for incorporated organisations. An AGM gives your membership, the general public and the committee an overview of the Affiliate’s direction, financial health and general direction. The AGM is where members are officially engaged into key elected positions. Your Affiliate should try to make the AGM a positive, enjoyable experience, ensuring that people go away firmly committed to the Affiliate and its overall goals.

A brief overview of what to expect at an AGM:

  • Reports – Reports of Office Bearers (executive committee members President, Treasurer, Secretary etc) and other committee members.
  • Elections – At the meeting you need to validly elect key office-bearers. Usually legislation will specify that you must elect a Public Officer. Depending on the size and nature of the organisation, the AGM is also the time to publicly elect the Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and other Board and management committee members.
  • Presentation of Accounts – You will need to present the annual accounts to the members in a standard format. Again, legislation in most states provides that you must have your accounts audited if your budget is above a certain level. If you are below this level, you can still have your accounts audited; it may be more expensive, but it provides some assurance that nothing has been overlooked that is likely to damage the organisation.
  • General Business – This is where anything which has not been spoken about throughout the meeting can be discussed.

What needs to be done prior to the meeting?

  • The AGM must be held within 3 months of the end of financial year (Check your State or Territory requirements).
  • The meeting must be advertised to the Membership usually a minimum of 21 days prior (As much notice as possible is recommended) ensure you check your State or Territory requirements .
  • The meeting notice must include where the meeting will be held and the date & time of the meeting.
  • The meeting can be advertised via email, social media, letter, phone or a combination of these. It is important to remember not all members may have social media so ensure they receive notice via other correspondence.

What needs to be done at the meeting?

  • Ensure a trusted member is available to take the meeting minutes
  • Call a quorum, this is the minimum number of members (18 years or older) which are required to be present before the meeting can commence. Your Affiliate’s constitution should stipulate the quorum size
  • Run the meeting according to the agenda

The Meeting Agenda

The agenda is the basis for any meeting and gives direction, structure and purpose to the meeting. The agenda should be drawn up jointly by the Chairperson and Secretary and should be followed, unless the meeting directs otherwise.

The agenda should be circulated prior to the meeting so that members may attend the meeting prepared to make a well-informed contribution.

Basic meeting agenda:

  1. Call the meeting to order at least several minutes before the opening. Starting on time is essential.
  2. Welcome by chairperson and Declare the meeting officially open. This is important as the business of the meeting is recorded in the minutes from this point on.
  3. Call the meeting to order at least several minutes before the opening. Starting on time is essential.
  4. Record all members present.
  5. Introduce any visitors or special guests and formally welcome them to the meeting.
  6. Apologies
  7. Confirmation of minutes of the previous AGM
  8. Business arising from the minutes
  9. Chairperson’s report
  10. Treasurer’s report and presentation of audited financial statements
  11. Any other reports which your Affiliate may have.
  12. Election of Office Bearers & Committee **see below for more information**
  13. General business
  14. Guest speaker (if any)
  15. Date of next meeting (if known)
  16. Close the meeting
  17. Minutes (the relevant minutes are the minutes from the previous Annual General Meeting)

** Election of Office bearers and committee**:

Nominations for Office Bearers and Committee members must be called for from the floor (the membership of the meeting). If more than one person nominates for a position, there must be an election. Should there be only one nominee there is no need to hold an election.

An election can take place through a show of hands or by secret ballot (secret ballot is preferred).

If the position of Chairperson/President is being contested, the Chairperson/ president needs to stand down during the election and be replaced by an acting Chair specially elected just for the period of the election (this is usually a life member or a well trusted member of the Affiliate).

It is important to note general meetings and their agenda will differ between affiliates. For further assistance with your Affiliate’s general meeting(s) contact your state office.

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