Constitution

NAME

1. The name of the Society shall be the 'Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Incorporated'.

OBJECTS

2. The objects of the Society shall be:

  • To facilitate contact and discussion among those studying the problems or extending a knowledge of agricultural and resource economics.
  • To stimulate analysis and discussion of policies and programmes affecting primary industries, resources and the environment.
  • To co-operate with scientific and other organisations and institutions engaged in similar or related activities in Australia and other countries.
  • To provide a link between agricultural and resource economists in Australia and other countries.
  • To encourage the study of agricultural and resource economics in Australia and other countries, and to promote high standards of accomplishment in research, policy analysis, teaching and extension in this field.
  • To publish material relevant to the objects of the Society.
  • In general, to promote the profession of agricultural and resource economics in Australia and other countries and to foster, in all sections of the economy, interest in and understanding of the economic issues affecting primary industries, resources and the environment.

3. The assets and income of the Society shall be applied solely in furtherance of its above mentioned objects and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the organisation except as a bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation.

MEMBERSHIP

4. Membership of the Society shall be open to any person interested in the advancement of its objects and shall be in the form of ordinary membership, student membership, emeritus membership, distinguished fellows, honorary membership, distinguished life membership.

5. The Council may admit to membership of the Society any person who makes application, subject to payment of the appropriate membership subscription.

6. Upon application, ordinary members who have retired and who have been financial members for the ten (10) years immediately preceding their application may be admitted to emeritus membership.

7. Honorary membership may be granted to members who have made some outstanding contribution to the Society's activities. At the discretion of the Council honorary membership may be conferred for a specified period or for life.

8. Distinguished life membership may be granted to individuals who have made some outstanding contribution to agricultural and resource economics.

9. Distinguished fellowships may be awarded to members or individuals in recognition of continuous contribution to agricultural and resource economics and/or the Society's activities.

10. Membership subscriptions shall become payable on 1st January of each year and shall be for the period ending 31st December of the same year. Membership subscriptions shall be such amounts as the Executive of the Society may determine, provided that honorary members and distinguished life members shall not be required to pay any such subscriptions. Ordinary members are liable for any additional fee levied by the Branch of which they are a member. Distinguished fellows are required to pay the same subscriptions as ordinary members, except that if they are eligible to be admitted as emeritus members or student members they are only required to pay the subscriptions set for emeritus members or student members. Distinguished fellows who have been admitted as honorary or distinguished life members shall not be required to pay any such subscriptions.

11. There shall be no entrance fee charged for becoming a member of the Society over and above the membership subscription set by Council from time to time.

12. Each financial ordinary member may attend any meeting of the Society, take part in discussion, vote on any matter submitted to a ballot of members of the Society, and hold elective office in the Society, and shall receive one copy of notices of meetings and of such other materials as may be issued or distributed by the Society.

13. Each honorary member, distinguished life member, financial distinguished fellow and each financial emeritus member shall possess all the rights and privileges of financial ordinary members.

14. Each financial student member may attend any meeting of the Society, and take part in discussions and shall receive one copy of notices of meetings and of such other material as may be issued or distributed by the Society.

15. The Council may terminate the membership of any person whose subscription is in arrears or whose conduct, is, in its opinion prejudicial to the interests of the Society, provided that such person shall be given an opportunity to present an explanation to the Council before final action is taken.

ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT

16. The Society shall be organised from an Australian base with such Australian and international Branches as may be deemed necessary and approved by the Council to achieve the objects of the Society.

17. The Council shall be the governing body of the Society and shall comprise the President, President Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor(s) and Manager Promotion and Development, and such additional councillors as are elected in accordance with procedures defined below.

18. The Public Officer of the Society shall be a member of the Executive Committee as defined below provided that such member of the Executive Committee resides in Victoria. In the event that no Executive Committee members reside in Victoria then the Public Officer shall be appointed from among the remaining Councillors or general membership as necessary.

19. There may be a Patron of the Society who shall be such as accepts the invitation of the Council to occupy that office.

20. If there is more than one nomination, the President-Elect shall be elected by a vote of financial members by postal ballot. If only one nomination is made, the nominee shall be declared to be elected unopposed. The President-Elect shall serve for the year beginning with the adjournment of the Annual General Meeting at which his or her election is announced and ending with his or her accession to the presidency at the adjournment of the next Annual General Meeting.

21. The Secretary, Treasurer, Editors and Manager Promotion and Development, shall be elected by financial members from nominations submitted prior to, or at the Annual General Meeting. The President, Secretary, Manager Promotion and Development and Treasurer and one of the Editors shall comprise the Executive Committee of the Society. If there is more than one Editor, the Council shall, in consultation with the Editors, choose which Editor shall be a member of the Executive Committee.

22. No member shall be eligible to accept the office of President for more than two (2) consecutive terms.

23. As and when a Branch of the Society is established with Council approval, the Branch shall appoint a Branch Councillor to represent its members on the Council. Pending the establishment of a Branch or Branches of the Society, the members of the Society may elect, prior to or at the Annual General Meeting, one of their number as Councillor. If no such election is made, the Executive Committee may appoint a member from the State or Territory concerned to act as Councillor.

24. Members of the Council shall hold office from the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting at which they are elected until the conclusion of the succeeding Annual General Meeting.

25. If any vacancy shall occur in the offices of President, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor(s), or Manager Promotion and Development during the period for which the officer shall have been elected, the Council shall appoint another member to officiate for the unexpired term of the original appointment. Where possible, a vacancy in the position of President shall be filled by the incumbent President Elect. A vacancy in the position of President Elect shall be filled by postal ballot if time permits or, otherwise, by vote of financial members at the Annual General Meeting.

26. The Executive Committee shall have full power to act on behalf of the Council to arrange programmes for meetings of the Society, to make necessary expenditures from available funds, and to conduct such business of the Society as may need attention in the interval between meetings of the Council and the Annual General Meeting.

27. The individual Councillors selected to represent members in their respective States, Territories or regions on the Council of the Society, shall further the objects of the Society by maintaining the interest of existing members, encouraging new members, and promoting attendance at meetings of the Society.

28. The Council shall meet at a time immediately prior to the Annual General Meeting of the Society and at such other times as may be deemed necessary. A quorum of the Council shall consist of three (3) officers, one of whom shall be the President, President Elect, or a member of the Council designated by the President to represent the President.

29. The Council may, from time to time, appoint sub-committees, not necessarily from among members of the Council, as it may deem necessary to assist in the conduct of the affairs of the Society. Any such Committee shall be responsible to and report regularly to the Council.

30. Removal of a Council member:

(a) The Society in general meeting may by resolution remove any member of the Council before the expiration of the term of office and appoint another member to hold office until the expiration of the term of the first-mentioned member.

(b) Where the member to whom a proposed resolution referred to in sub-clause (a) makes representations in writing to the Secretary or President of the Society and requests that they be notified to the members of the Society, the Secretary may send a copy of the representations to each member of the Society or, if they are not sent, the member may request that they be read out at the meeting.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND OTHER MEETINGS

31. An Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held at such place and time, not later than 31st March in any year, as may be determined by the Executive Committee.

32. The Executive Committee may, at its discretion, convene a meeting of the Society, other than an Annual General Meeting, at any place and time deemed appropriate, and shall on receipt of a written request signed by at least ten (10) financial members, convene a meeting of the Society.

33. The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be to receive the reports of the Secretary, Manager Promotion and Development, Editor(s) and Treasurer, the latter including the Statement of Account and Balance Sheet, and to consider or transact any other business relating to the affairs of the Society. The business of other meetings shall be such as is stated in the notice to members calling the meeting.

34. Not less than six (6) weeks' notice of the place and time of the Annual General Meeting or other General Meeting of the Society, and of the business to be transacted, shall be given to each financial member of the Society.

35. A financial member unable to attend any Annual General Meeting, or other General Meeting, of the Society may appoint in writing another financial member to act as a proxy, provided such appointment is in the hands of the Secretary before the commencement of the meeting.

36. The President, or, in the President's absence, the President Elect shall chair the Annual General Meeting or other business meeting of the Society. In the absence of both the President and the President Elect the Council shall select a member to chair the meeting.

37. In any ballot which may be held at any Annual General Meeting or other meeting, or in any postal ballot which may, in the Council's opinion, be necessary, each financial ordinary member is entitled to one vote, voting by simple majority shall determine all ballots, and in the event of an equality of votes the President shall have a second or casting vote.

38. For the purpose of conducting the business of the Society at an Annual General Meeting or other meeting, a quorum shall consist of twenty-five (25) financial members.

BRANCHES

39. There may be a Branch of the Society in each State, Territory or in such less extensive region as may be deemed necessary and approved by the Council. In special cases overseas Branches may be formed with the approval of Council.

40. Each Branch shall have at least ten (10) financial members and, operating under the Constitution of the Society, may make such arrangements as may be necessary and approved by the Council for the conduct of its domestic affairs.

41. Each Branch shall annually forward a report of its activities to the Council.

FINANCE

42. The funds of the Society shall be derived from membership fees, donations, and other such sources as Council determines.

43. All moneys of the Society shall be paid into accounts held in the name of the Society with financial institutions approved by Council, and all cheques drawn thereon shall be signed by such persons as may be appointed for that purpose by the Council. Branches may keep their own accounts in the name of the Society with financial institutions. Cheques drawn upon Branch accounts shall be signed by persons apppointed for that purpose by Branches.

44. All payments by or on behalf of the Society shall be made by cheque.

45. The accounts of the Society shall be audited each year by a person who is not a member of the Council. The Council shall appoint the Auditor. The accounts of a Branch shall be audited by an auditor appointed by that Branch.

SEAL

46. The Common Seal of the Society shall be kept in custody of the Secretary.

47. The Common Seal shall not be affixed to any instrument except by the authority of the Council and the affixing of the Common Seal shall be attested by the signatures either of two members of the Council or of one member of the Council and of the Public Officer.

CUSTODY OF RECORDS

48. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, custody or control of all books, documents and securities of the Society shall be kept by the Secretary.

49. A register of members shall be kept which shall contain such particulars as the Council may prescribe. The register shall be available for inspection by members at the address of the Public Officer.

WINDING UP OR CANCELLATION

50. In the event of the winding up or the cancellation of the incorporation of the Society, the assets of the Society shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the Associations Incorporation Act, Victoria. Members shall not be entitled to receive any of the Society's surplus funds which shall be distributed to a comparable tax exempt organisation.

AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

51. The Constitution may be amended at any meeting of the Society, provided that notice of such amendment as is proposed has been given to all financial members at least six (6) weeks before the date of the meeting. The Constitution may also be amended by means of a postal ballot of members, provided that four (4) weeks are allowed after posting of the ballot papers for members to return their voting papers.

52. These rules and the statement of purposes of the Society shall not be altered except in accordance with the Associations Incorporation Act, Victoria.

RECORD OF CHANGES

Rule 20 amended, as agreed at 2002 AGM.

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