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UPDATE 28 March 2018

The minutes of the Special General Meeting can now be downloaded below.

SGM Minutes 2018 (174kb)

Notice to members

Special General Meeting, 5:30pm, Monday 26 March 2018, History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney – RSVP via Eventbrite

This is a notice to all current History Council of NSW members that a Special General Meeting will be held at 5:30pm, Monday 26 March 2018 at History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney.

To ensure the History Council of NSW is compliant with the NSW Fair Trading’s new model constitution, in light of changes to the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 in 2016, we have decided to undertake a full review of our constitution and would like feedback from our members.

The constitution has been altered to comply with the wording of the model constitution, however, there are additional proposed amendments that do not relate to the model constitution but more to the History Council’s structure and operations:

  1. Change the association’s objects to be more in line with our current operations
  2. Change the composition of the General Council and reduce its number

If you are a financial member of the History Council of NSW please review the proposed changes to the constitution and provide your feedback to us at executive@historycouncilnsw.org.au.

The deadline for providing feedback is Friday 16 March 2018.

Special Resolutions

After feedback is collated the General Council will review any comments. There will be two special resolutions at the meeting to be voted on by current members of the History Council of NSW:

  1. That the History Council of New South Wales Incorporated adopt a new constitution in the form circulated with the notice of meeting (dated 5 March 2018) and placed before the Special General Meeting and signed by the Chairperson for identification
  2. That the History Council of New South Wales Incorporated adopt the changes to the association’s objects as outlined in the new constitution (dated 5 March 2018) in the form circulated with the notice of meeting and placed before the Special General Meeting and signed by the Chairperson for identification.

PLEASE NOTE: All votes must be given personally or by proxy but no member may hold more than 5 proxies. If you would like to nominate a proxy for your organisation, please contact Nicole Cama at executive@historycouncilnsw.org.au at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.

After the Special General Meeting, the History Council of NSW will host its Annual General Meeting at the same venue.

FAQs

What are the changes to the model constitution?

View the model constitution and a summary of the changes to the model constitution (pdf). To find out more about the changes to the incorporated associations legislation visit their website.

How can I provide feedback and will it be anonymous?

Please email us your feedback at executive@historycouncilnsw.org.au or mail us at PO Box R1737, Royal Exchange NSW 1225 by 9 March 2018. Your feedback will be kept anonymous.

Please read the changes document carefully and ensure you include the clause number if referring to a specific clause when providing feedback. Feedback will be collated and shared with the General Council before changes are put to a special general meeting.

Why are you proposing to change the association's objects?

We are changing the association’s objects so that they are clearer, align more with our strategic direction and service role, and better serve our members and communities across NSW. There are currently six objects listed in the constitution:

(a) to provide a forum for identifying and responding to issues of relevance to the practice of history;
(b) to encourage and strengthen recognition of history in policy and practice within the activities of government, business and the general community;
(c) to foster and encourage culturally diverse approaches to the pursuit of history;
(d) to raise awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal people’s history and Aboriginal perspectives on history;
(e) to celebrate the diversity of and encourage excellence in historical practice;
(f) to promote communication within the history community.

We propose the following revisions:

  • retain (a) in its current form
  • amend (b) to ‘support history’s role in informing and shaping public debate, policy and future planning’
  • combine (c), (d) and (e) to ‘recognise the diversity of historical perspectives, including those of Indigenous peoples, and encourage excellence in historical practice’
  • change (f) to ‘facilitate communication within the history community and provide opportunities for collaboration
  • Add the following object ‘provide professional development activities and opportunities for our members and audiences across NSW’.
Why are you proposing to change the composition and number of the General Council?

We are are proposing to change the composition and number of the General Council of 20 councillors to 10 councillors, including four office holders, to create a governing board that is more in line with our organisation’s size and capacity.

The History Council of NSW is a not for profit incorporated association listed on the Australian Charities and Not‑for‑profits Commission, and classified as a ‘Tier 2 organisation’ (total revenue for a financial year is $250,000 or less with current assets valued at $500,000 or less). It has employed two part-time staff members for the past three years and its main focus has been the organisation of History Week, and its associated activities, as well as expanding its professional development focussed programs throughout the year. Many similar organisations have much smaller board numbers, for example the Royal Australian Historical Society and NSW National Trust each have 12 board members and are both much larger organisations in terms of annual income, membership, assets and resources.

We value the support and expertise provided by the General Council, which has allowed the History Council of NSW to thrive and achieve its objectives over many years. However, in view of the organisation’s size and capacity, we think that the number of councillors should be reduced so that we can make more effective use of each individual’s expertise, maximise their contribution to the council within a smaller group, and enable the Executive Officer to more adequately support the council’s requirements and deliberations.

There are a couple of key reasons we think a smaller governing board would benefit the History Council of NSW. Smaller boards can ensure active and genuine participation is not inhibited, as it so often can be, by larger numbers. Having a smaller number will also result in more of a rotation of members on the General Council, rather than placing the responsibility of governing the organisation on the same people each year to make the minimum number of 20. The functions of the General Council, if it is to be a productive force for the History Council of NSW, must go beyond meeting attendance and information sharing to encompass strategic discussions and action regarding fundraising and programs.

This change does not mean we will no longer be partnering with our corporate members to deliver our programs and activities. Our staff consults with members each week on a range of issues connected with our services and will continue to do so. These include partnerships and collaborations, cross-promotion of events and activities, and participation in History Week and our other programs such as Speaker Connect. We also frequently collect feedback from both our individual and corporate members, which helps shape our programs each year.

If there are any issues or concerns regarding this proposed change, please contact the Executive Officer, Nicole Cama, at executive@historycouncilnsw.org.au

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