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AASW elections 2021

A message from the National President

Nominations for Board and Branch Management Committee positions will open Friday, 30 July 2021.

There are four Board Director vacancies open for election, including that of National Vice President and that of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Director. In addition, each state has a vacancy for the Branch Management Committee Vice President role, plus at least five positions on each Branch Management Committee. The Northern Territory branch has a vacancy for Branch President, as well.

Nominating for a position on your Board or local Branch Management Committee is an opportunity for you to contribute to the leadership and work of the Association, uphold professional social work standards and advocate for social justice and reconciliation. However, these roles demand time, commitment and governance skills.

To assist candidates to better understand their roles and responsibilities either as a Board Director or member of a Branch Management Committee, the Association has created three short videos. The videos provide an outline of the nature of the roles, the time commitment required by candidates to fulfil their obligations and an explanation of the election process. The videos are accessible through below. We urge you to view the videos before considering your nomination.

The voting process will once again be conducted via an independent online voting platform. Would you mind ensuring that your e-mail address is up-to-date in our member database and that you monitor your spam e-mail throughout the election period. When voting opens in September, a Voting Notification e-mail will be sent to your nominated email address. Members will not receive paper ballots in the mail. Further information will be issued at appropriate points during the election period.

The official AASW social media election platform will be used for candidates to share their experience and what they will bring to the AASW, enabling all candidates to have an equal voice through one channel.

I encourage you to consider nominating for the Board and Branch Management Committee vacancies, and most importantly, to remain engaged with your Association throughout the election process.

Vittorio Cintio

National President

Director Duties and responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of Directors are vital to effective governance on behalf of our members.

To assist candidates to better understand their roles and responsibilities either as a Board Director or member of a Branch Management Committee, the Association has created three short videos. The videos provide an outline of the nature of the roles, the time commitment required by candidates to fulfil their obligations and an explanation of the election process. The videos are accessible through below.

The AASW is a public company limited by guarantee and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”). Duties, responsibilities and liabilities of individual Board Directors are specified under the Corporations Act 2001. Under this Act, Directors of companies have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the company. This includes:

  • Exercising care and diligence
  • Discharging their obligations in good faith
  • Avoiding improper use of the position
  • Avoiding improper use of information
  • Disclosing their material personal interests in any matter under discussion
  • Preventing insolvency of the company.

The broader strategic environment provides the focus for any Board. For example, it sets the organisation’s goals, and oversees the way the resources are managed, ensuring that it can achieve those goals.

The core functions of a Board include:

  • Determining, reviewing and maintaining the vision, purpose and values of the organisation
  • Approval of annual budgets
  • Risk oversight including compliance with legal obligations (e.g. ASIC, Taxation, Superannuation and Workplace Health & Safety)
  • Supporting effective engagement with key stakeholders.

Other duties that are specific to the Board of the AASW are outlined in the Board Charter available on the AASW website under the “Governance” tab. This document also describes the governance model for the whole of the AASW, including delegation of certain operational roles and responsibilities to AASW management. You may be required to participate in certain Board Committees such as the Finance, Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, National Ethics Committee or the Standards & Assessment Committee.

The Australian Institute of Company Directors has identified nine principles of good governance that it believes apply to not-for-profit companies, such as the AASW. To learn more about the broader context of the roles and responsibilities of directors, go to: AICD Good Governance Principles and Guidance for NFP Organisations.

AASW Board and Branch Management Election Process

Board Director Nominations

Branch Management Committee Nomination

Nominations open Friday, 30 July 2021

To nominate, you must be a current financial member of the AASW.

AASW members can submit a nomination for the following vacancies from Friday 30 July 2021 to 12 noon AEST Friday, 13 August 2021.

  • Four (4) Board Directors, including that of National Vice President and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Director.
  • One (1) Branch Management Committee Vice President role per branch
  • Five (5) Branch Management Committee members per branch
  • One (1) Branch Management Committee President role for the Northern Territory branch.

In accordance with the Association’s ByLaws, nominees for the designated Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Board Director position shall provide, at the time of nomination, three ‘working criteria’ as confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage (all these things apply):

i) being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent;

ii) identifying as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person;

iii) being accepted as such by the community in which the nominee lives, or formerly lived.

Terms of office for Branch Management Committee positions commence on 1 November 2021 and terminate on 31 October 2023.

The terms of office for the National Vice President and two ordinary Directors will commence from the conclusion of the AGM at which their election is declared, for a period of 3 years. The term of office for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Director position will commence from the conclusion of the AGM at which their election is declared, for a period of 2 years. Candidates who are successful in being elected to the National Board are advised that the first meeting of the new Board is expected to take place after the Association’s Annual General Meeting on Friday 12 November 2021. At the time of writing, and taking into account potential restrictions on large gatherings due to COVID, it is possible that this meeting will be need to held by videoconference or webinar. However, candidates may be required (and should be prepared) to attend the AGM and the Board meeting in person.

How do I nominate?

Vero Voting (“Vero”) has been appointed by the Board as the Returning Officer for the 2021 elections cycle. Vero will also handle the nominations process for candidates.

Vero will e-mail members shortly with instructions on how to nominate for any of the vacant positions. Nominations must be completed on-line through Vero’s web portal by 12 noon AEST on Friday 13 August 2021. Strict conditions apply to the candidate statements which are outlined in the ByLaws.

Important Election dates

  • Nominations open – Friday 30 July 2021
  • Nominations close – 12 noon (AEST) Friday 13 August 2021
  • Declaration of Nominations by Returning Officer – Thursday 19 August 2021
  • Voting opens – Thursday 9 September 2021
  • Voting closes – 8pm (AEST) Thursday 23 September 2021
  • Declaration of Ballot by Returning Officer – Within 48 hours of polls closing
  • Notification of results on AASW website – Next working day after declaration of ballot by the Returning Officer.

Important Election Information

The AASW Constitution and ByLaws provide the governance framework for the AASW elections. The AASW elections will be conducted in accordance with this framework.

The AASW will provide a single social media platform through which candidates and members can have open discussions and ask questions relating to their nominations, enabling all members the opportunity to hear from the candidates on key issues effecting the profession.

Message from the Returning Officer - Greg Mitchell, Vero Voting

There are four Board Director vacancies open for election in 2021. However, the elections are not just about the Board positions. Every state has vacancies for the Branch Management Committee Vice President roles, and at least five positions on each Branch Management Committee. An additional vacancy has arisen in the role of Branch President in the Northern Territory.

Nominations close at 12noon (AEST) on Friday 13 August 2021. This deadline is absolute – so please don’t leave it to the last minute, as nominations cannot be accepted after the deadline.

The election will be conducted using an electronic voting platform. Ballot papers will not be mailed to members. Instead, members will receive notification to their nominated email address listed in their membership details. This email will outline how to vote for your preferred candidates. Consistent with the Association’s ByLaws, non-receipt by a member of the electronic voting notification or non-receipt by the Returning Officer of the electronic vote on which a member has cast a vote shall not invalidate the election.

You can make sure your vote counts by (1) checking that the Association has a valid email address for you on file and (2) checking your spam email folder when voting opens, in case your electronic voting ballot ends up there. Members should note the email regarding voting access will come from Vero Voting, not the AASW. Further details will be provided about the voting process closer to 12 September 2021, when voting will open.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers