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+ Which positions on our committee have to be filled by law?

Your management committee must have at least 3 members. At least 2 of these must be the president and treasurer. You also need to have a secretary and this person can be either an elected member of the management committee, or someone who is appointed by the committee.

+ How many members should be on our management committee?

As long as you meet the minimum requirement of 3 management committee members, it is up to your organisation to decide how many members will sit on your committee. In making this decision, it is important to understand the difference between governance and operations, as outlined in the clubCOACH Committee Basics module.

Your club should be careful to avoid electing too many members to the management committee, as this can significantly reduce the efficiency of decision-making.

Typically, between 5 and 7 management committee members is a workable number.

+ How regularly should our management committee meet?

Your constitution will dictate the minimum frequency of management committee meetings but as a rule these are typically held every month or so and involve management committee members and any other members who have been invited to attend.

These should be the most regular formal meetings that your club holds and should be used as an opportunity to set the organisation’s strategic direction and make decisions on behalf of the wider membership.

+ How regularly should our club hold general meetings?

The only general meeting a club has to hold is its annual general meeting, or AGM. Other general meetings, sometimes called special general meetings, may be necessary for big decisions that need to be made between AGMs, such as amending your constitution.

Keep in mind that special general meetings are called for a particular purpose, so they are not a suitable forum for general member engagement. Therefore, some clubs hold member forums, which can be an informal gathering to share information and gather ideas from members.

+ I am the secretary; how much detail should my meeting minutes contain?

Minutes should outline the main issues, points of view discussed, and decisions made during a meeting. The full text of motions and resolutions should be accurately recorded, but minutes do not need to be a word-for-word transcript of absolutely everything said during a meeting. Minutes also need to provide an accurate record of meeting attendance and apologies received.

+ What is a quorum?

A quorum is the minimum number of people who have to be at a meeting for the meeting to be able to start. Details regarding quorums for management committee meetings and general meetings will be in your constitution.

The rule of thumb for a quorum at a management committee meeting is more than 50% of the members currently on the committee.

At a general meeting, the minimum quorum under Queensland incorporation law is the number of members equal to the number currently on the management committee, plus 1.

+ What happens if we drop below quorum during a meeting?

If members leave during a meeting and the number of people remaining is below the number required as a quorum, the meeting needs to stop, or be adjourned, until a quorum is achieved again. You can’t make any decisions at a meeting if you don’t have a quorum.

+ What is the difference between a ‘board’, an ‘executive committee’, a ‘general committee’ and a ‘management committee’?

Under Queensland incorporation law, an organisation’s primary decision making body is its management committee.

Some clubs choose to call their management committee something else, such as a board or executive committee and this is fine.

Other clubs think that a subset of their management committee, which they might refer to as the ‘executive’, can make certain urgent decisions without involving the rest of the management committee. This is not ok. Remember that the whole management committee is accountable for your club’s actions.

Under your constitution, it might be ok for the management committee to make decisions in writing (for example everyone agreeing to something on email or a group text), but it is always the entire management committee that is accountable for decisions.

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