RULES OF THE SEAHORSE SOCIETY OF NSW INC

These are the official legal rules of the Seahorse Society of NSW Inc. (as amended May 2003).

INTERPRETATION

For the purposes of these rules, the following definitions shall apply:

  1. A cross-dresser is one who dresses as a member of the opposite sex,
  2. Opposite sex is that sex contrary to the sex assigned to a person at birth and/or proscribed for that person by their upbringing.

1. NAME

The name of the Association shall be the Seahorse Society of New South Wales Incorporated, hereinafter called 'The Society'.

2. OBJECTS

The objects of The Society shall be:

  1. To provide help to the cross-dresser and the significant other persons in the life of the cross-dresser to come to terms with his/her cross-dressing in a positive way.
  2. To provide the means whereby cross-dressers and the significant other persons in the lives of cross-dressers may meet to provide mutual support, assistance and the exchange of information within a cordial environment, including:
    1. The provision of suitable venues whereby members and invited guests may meet socially on a regular basis.
    2. The regular provision of a newsletter.
  3. To promote knowledge and understanding of the nature of cross-dressing and the cross-dresser in the general community so as to foster the acceptance of the cross-dresser as a person entitled to tolerance and common respect.

3. MEMBERSHIP

  1. Classes of Membership:
    1. Full Membership
    2. Honorary / Life Membership
  2. Subject to these rules the members of The Society shall be members of The Society immediately prior to incorporation together with such other people and organisations as the Committee admits to membership.
  3. Membership is open to all cross-dressers and their relatives and friends who accept the objects and rules of The Society.
  4. Individuals wishing to become members of The Society shall apply to the Committee for membership in writing on the appropriate application form, or by the on-line application form.
  5. The Committee shall determine whether or not to accept an application for membership. The Committee is not required to supply reasons for accepting or rejecting an application for membership.
  6. Members shall pay such subscriptions, fees and levies as approved by a Special Resolution at a general meeting. Honorary / Life Members are exempt from all subscriptions, fees and levies.
  7. A register of members shall be kept by The Society showing the name, address and date of commencement of membership for each member. Provision for noting the date of cessation of membership shall also be contained in the register.
  8. Membership shall cease upon resignation, expulsion or failure to pay outstanding membership fees within three months of the due date (i.e. 1st June).
  9. Membership fees shall fall due on the first day of each financial year of The Society. The financial year of The Society shall run from 1st March to last day in February in each year or such other period as is determined by the Committee.
  10. Honorary / Life Membership may be given to those associated with The Society or interested in it. Honorary / Life Members shall only be admitted or expelled on a majority vote of those present at any General Meeting.
  11. Full members must attend an interview when applying for membership (this may be in-person, by written correspondence or by email correspondence.

4. MEMBERS' LIABILITY

The members of The Society shall have no liability to contribute towards the payment of debts and liabilities of The Society or the costs, charges and expenses of winding up of The Society except to the amount of any unpaid membership fees.

5A. BEHAVIOUR AND DISCIPLINING OF MEMBERS

  1. Members shall always deport and conduct themselves at any function of the Society and generally when they may be perceived as representing the cross-dresser to the general community in a respectable manner and having regard to the Objects of the Society.
  2. No member shall hold himself/herself out to be a representative of the Society without the express approval of the committee.
  3. A member shall not, without the specific and express permission of that other member, identify that other member to anyone else by way of name, address, occupation or any other means other than the name of that member adopted or volunteered by that member for identification within the Society unless required by law.

    A member shall not without specific and express permission of another member do anything which will identify that other member as a cross-dresser or as a member of this Society and generally each member shall have strict regard to the good reputation of the Society, it's members and the right of each member to privacy and anonymity.

    Each member shall be responsible for the conduct of any guest that member shall introduce to any function of the Society and shall ensure that any such guest shall have full knowledge of and shall have agreed to abide by the terms of this clause of these Rules.

5B. RESOLUTION OF INTERNAL DISPUTES

  1. Disputes between members (in their capacity as members) of the Society shall be referred to the committee for mediation and determination. The terms of any such determination shall be at the absolute discretion of the committee and shall be final, excepting where otherwise expressly provided in this clause:
  2. Any member (the 'Complainant') may by notice in writing to the Secretary ( the 'Complaint' ) complain about the actions or behaviour of another member (the 'Other Member') and require the committee to mediate and make a determination in relation to the Complaint;
  3. The Complaint shall clearly state and particularise:
    1. The alleged action/s and/or behaviour of the Other Member which give rise to the Complaint;
    2. The circumstances, the time and the place that such alleged actions and/or behaviour took place;
    3. The membership name and number of the Complainant, of the Other Member and of any and all witnesses to such alleged action/s and or behaviour of which the Complainant is aware;
    4. The precise terms of any resolution that the Complainant desires the committee to make in determining the Complaint.
  4. As soon as practicable after the receipt of the Complaint the secretary shall, having reasonable regard to the convenience of the members of the committee cause a notice in writing to be served on each member of the committee, the Complainant and the Other Member:
    1. Annexing a copy of the Complaint and of this Rule;
    2. Stating the date, time and place of a meeting of the committee to be held not earlier than fourteen (14) days and not later than twenty eight (28) days after the service of the notice for the purpose of determining the Complaint and resolving the dispute;
    3. Informing the Complainant and the Other Member that each of them may do any or all of the following:
      1. Attend and speak at the meeting;
      2. Procure that not more than three (3) witnesses to the alleged action/s and behaviour stated in the Complaint to attend and speak at the meeting;
      3. Submit to the committee at or prior to the meeting written representations relating to the Complaint; and
      4. That any person attending or speaking or making written representations at the meeting shall be obliged to answer reasonable questions asked of them by the members of the committee in relation to the Complaint.
  5. At a meeting of the committee held pursuant to the Clause 4. the committee shall and by sequence:
    1. Give due consideration to any written representations made pursuant to Clause 4;
    2. Give the Complainant an opportunity to make oral representations;
    3. Give the Other Member an opportunity to make oral representations;
    4. Give any witnesses the opportunity to say what they saw or heard at the time/s and place/s stated in the Complaint referred to in sub-clause 3b;
    5. Attempt to promptly resolve the Complaint by mediation resulting in an agreement between the Complainant and the Other Member;
    6. If the Complaint cannot be promptly resolved pursuant to sub-clause 5e; by resolution determine the Complaint.
  6. The Secretary shall, within seven days after the date of any resolution made by the committee pursuant to clause 5 cause a written notice to be served on the Complainant and the Other Member:
    1. Setting out the resolution of the committee and a brief summary of the grounds on which it is based;
    2. Where such resolution expels or suspends the Complainant or the Other Member from the membership of the Society, informing such member of the rnember's right of appeal pursuant to the Model Rules for the Associations Incorporation Act. 1984 (As Amended).

6. MANAGEMENT - BY COMMITTEE

  1. The Society shall have its affairs controlled and managed by the office bearers and up to six ordinary committee members known as The Committee.
  2. The office bearers shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer.
  3. The Committee shall be elected at each Annual General Meeting. Any casual vacancy occurring in The Committee may be filled by a member appointed by The Committee. The Committee may also co-opt any financial member onto The Committee who shall have the same rights as other members of The Committee.
  4. Each member of the Committee shall hold office from the date of their election or appointment until the next Annual General Meeting and shall not hold more than two offices at one time.
  5. Retiring Committee members are eligible for re-election.
  6. The Committee shall meet as often as necessary to conduct the business of The Society.
  7. The quorum for meetings of the Committee shall be three.
  8. Notice of Committee Meetings shall be given at the previous Committee meeting or by such other means as the Committee may decide upon.
  9. A member of the Committee shall cease to hold office upon resignation in writing or removal as a member of The Society or if they are absent without the consent of the committee from all meetings of the committee held during a period of 6 months.
  10. The Committee may function validly provided its number is not reduced below the quorum. Should Committee numbers fall below the quorum the remaining Committee members may act only to appoint new Committee members.
  11. Questions arising at any meeting of the Committee shall be decided by a majority of votes of those present. In the case of an equality of votes the person appointed to chair the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
  12. Additional meetings of the Committee may be convened by the President or any two members of the Committee.
  13. There will be at least three committee meetings held between Annual General Meetings on dates to be decided by the Committee.

7. GENERAL MEETINGS

  1. An Annual General Meeting of The Society shall be held each year within three months of the end of the financial year of The Society (except the first annual General Meeting which shall be held within three months from the end of the first financial year and within eighteen months of incorporation.
  2. The Committee may, whenever it thinks fit, convene a special general meeting of The Society. A special general meeting must be convened by The Committee within three months of receiving a written request to do so from at least five per cent of the membership of The Society.
  3. At least fourteen days notice of all general meetings shall be given to members.
  4. In the case of the Annual Genera[ Meeting the following business shall be transacted:
    1. confirmation of the minutes of the last Annual General Meeting and any recent special general meeting;
    2. receipt of the Committee's report upon the activities of The Society in the last financial year;
    3. election of office bearers;
    4. receipt and consideration of statement from The Committee which is not misleading and gives a true and fair view for the last financial year of The Society's income and expenditure - assets and liabilities - mortgages, charges and other securities - trust properties.
  5. Eight members (including at least two Committee members) personally present shall constitute a quorum for the Annual General Meeting and at any general meetings.
  6. All voting at general meetings shall be by a show of hands unless a secret ballot is demanded by not less than three members present.
  7. Decisions shall be made by a simple majority of those members voting in the case of ordinary resolutions and by three quarters majority of those members voting in the case of a special resolution. A member who has failed to pay outstanding membership fees is not eligible to vote.
  8. Nominations on their own behalf may be made, in writing, by any financial member without the need for a seconder. Members may nominate for any or all positions within the committee but, once elected to a position, they may not contest the election of any other position. All such nominations must be received by the Secretary of the Society not less than seven days before notice of the Annual General Meeting is required to be published.
  9. If insufficient nominations are received to fill all positions within the committee, nominations shall be called for at the Annual General Meeting for the vacant positions.
  10. If insufficient nominations are received at the Annual General Meeting, any vacant positions remaining on the committee shall be deemed to be casual vacancies.
  11. If the number of nominations received for a position is equal or less than the number of vacancies to be filled, the persons nominated shall be deemed to be elected.
  12. If the number of nominations received for a position exceeds the number of vacancies to be filled a ballot shall be held.
  13. The ballot for the election of office-bearers and ordinary members of the committee shall be conducted at the Annual General Meeting in such usual and proper manner as the committee may direct.
  14. The period of office of The Committee shall be from one Annual General Meeting to the following Annual general Meeting, a period normally of one year.
  15. Nominees should make themselves aware of the duties of each position for which they are nominating and must undertake to fulfil those duties fully. All nominees should further make themselves aware of the requirements to attend meetings of The Committee as scheduled.
  16. The Annual General Meeting shall commence promptly at 8:30 pm.
  17. The person appointed to chair the general meeting may select two scrutineers for the purpose of counting any votes received by post, or in a secret ballot, or by show of hands, or by any combination of such methods.
  18. In the case of an equality of votes the person appointed to chair the general meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
  19. Written notice of all general meetings shall be given to members either personally or by post, or by notice in the newsletter.

8. OFFICE BEARERS

  1. The President or, in the President's absence, the Vice President shall act as chairperson at each general meeting and Committee meeting of The Society.
  2. If the President and Vice President are absent from a meeting or unwilling to act, the members present at the meeting shall elect one of their number to act as chairperson.
  3. The Secretary shall ensure that records of the business of The Society including the rules, register of members, minutes of all general and Committee meetings and a file of correspondence are kept. These records shall be available for inspection by any member and shall be held in the custody of the Secretary.
  4. All moneys received by The Society to be paid into an account in The Society's name. Payments shall be made through a petty cash system or by cheque signed by two members of the committee, one of whom must be either President, Treasurer or Secretary. Unusual expenditures shall be authorised in advance by The Committee or a general meeting.
  5. The Treasurer shall ensure that correct books and accounts are kept showing the financial affairs of The Society. These records shall be available for inspection by any member and shall be held in the custody of the Treasurer.

9. SPECIAL RESOLUTIONS

  1. A special resolution must be passed by a general meeting of The Society to effect the following changes.
    1. a change of The Society's name;
    2. a change of The Society's rules;
    3. a change of The Society's objects;
    4. a change in subscriptions, fees or levies;
    5. an amalgamation with another Incorporated Association;
    6. to voluntarily wind up The Society and distribute its property;
    7. to apply for registration as a Company or a Co-operative.
  2. A special resolution shall be passed in the following manner:
    1. a notice must be sent to all members advising that a general meeting is to be held to consider a special resolution;
    2. the notice must give details of the proposed special resolution and give at least twenty one days' notice of the meeting;
    3. a quorum must be present at the meeting;
    4. in situations where it is not possible or practicable for a resolution to be passed as described above. a request may be made to the Business & Consumer Affairs for permission to pass the resolution in some other way.

10. PUBLIC OFFICER

  1. The Committee shall ensure that a person is appointed as Public Officer;
  2. The first Public Officer shall be the person who completed the application for incorporation of The Society;
  3. The Committee may at any time remove the Public Officer and appoint a new Public Officer provided the person appointed is eighteen years of age or older and a resident of New South Wales;
  4. The Public Officer shall be deemed to have vacated the position in the following circumstances:
    1. death;
    2. resignation;
    3. removal by the Committee or at a general meeting;
    4. bankruptcy or financial insolvency;
    5. mental illness and is unable to discharge his/her office duties;
    6. residency outside of New South Wales.
  5. When a vacancy occurs in the position of Public Officer the Committee shall within fourteen days notify the Business & Consumer Affairs by the prescribed form and appoint a new Public Officer.
  6. The Public Officer is required to notify the Business & Consumer Affairs by the prescribed form in the following circumstances:
    1. appointment (within fourteen days);
    2. a change of residential address (within fourteen days);
    3. a change in The Society's objects of rules (within one month);
    4. a change in the membership of the Committee (within fourteen days);
    5. a statement of The Society's financial affairs (within one month after the Annual General Meeting);
    6. a change in The Society's name (within one month).
  7. The Public Officer may be an office bearer, committee member, or any. other person regarded as suitable for the position by the Committee.
  8. The Public Officer shall not resign such position without first giving fourteen (14) days written notice of such resignation to the Secretary, or in the absence of an appointed Secretary, to not less than three (3) members of the committee; except where the Public Officer shall otherwise provide full written particulars to the committee which shall show why the giving of such written notice would place the Public Officer in personal or financial jeopardy.

11. MISCELLANEOUS

  1. The Society shall effect and maintain insurance as is required under the Association Incorporation Act 1984 together with any other insurance which may be required by law or regarded as necessary by The Society.
  2. The funds of The Society shall be derived from the fees of members, donations, grants and such other sources approved by The Society.
  3. The Common Seal of The Society shall be kept in the custody of the Secretary and shall only be affixed to a document with the approval of the Committee. The stamping of the Common Seal shall be witnessed by the signatures of two members of the Committee.
  4. The Society may at any time pass a special resolution determining how any surplus property is to be distributed in the event that the Society should be wound up. The distribution of surplus property shall be in accordance with Section 53 of the Associations Incorporation act, 1984.
  5. Service of documents on The Society is effected by serving them on the Public Officer or by serving them personally on two members of the Committee.
  6. Notices sent by The Society by post shall be deemed to have been received two days after the date of posting.
  7. The income and property of The Society shall be used only for the promotion of the objects of The Society and shall not be paid nor transferred to members neither in cash nor in kind.