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A club’s constitution can be difficult to understand. This easy to follow module examines the legislation and defines an incorporated club’s legal responsibilities.



Incorporation and Constitutions - Module 2 download

Sample Club Constitution - Queensland Model Rules download

Adopting Model Rules Step by Step Guide download


Frequently Asked Questions

incorporation and Constitutions

Incorporation gives an organisation the powers of an individual. An incorporated organisation is therefore a legal entity, separate from its members. This separation provides a certain level of protection, which limits the likelihood that management committee members can be held personally responsible for an organisation’s debts and liabilities.

Although this protection is not absolute, it does offer peace of mind for management committee members who carry out their responsibilities in good faith, with care and diligence, in the best interests of the organisation and within the law.

As a legal entity, an incorporated association can, in its own right:

  • Own land and chattels

  • Enter into tenancy or lease agreements

  • Enter into contractual agreements

  • Sue and be sued

To continue to receive the benefits provided by incorporation, your club must comply with the provisions of the Associations Act 1981, many of which are spelled out in your constitution or rules. For example, your club must:

  • Operate according to an approved constitution or set of rules

  • Maintain a register of members

  • ¾  Keep a set of books to record all financial transactions 

  • Keep accurate minutes of management committee meetings and general meetings

  • Hold an annual general meeting each year and elect a management committee

Once incorporated, an organisation will operate under a set of rules, usually known as its constitution. This constitution must be written in a way that is consistent with the Associations Act 1981.

Every club and association is different and therefore each constitution should reflect the individuality and points of difference of each organisation.

The Office of Fair Trading’s model rules for incorporated associations provides a good starting point for most clubs and associations. A copy of the current version model rules is available for download from the club.COACH online resource hub.

Some standard sections of a constitution are:

  • Name, objects and powers (who we are and why we exist)

  • Classes of membership, including voting rights and entitlements of each class

  • Admission, rejection, suspension and termination of membership, including appeals

  • The minimum positions to be included on the management committee, election procedures and how to fill casual vacancies that occur if people resign

  • Functions of the management committee

  • Meetings, including notice requirements, voting, proxies and minutes

  • Funds and accounts, financial year end date and financial reporting

  • Winding up and distribution of assets

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