Legal Resources

Every incorporated association must have rules. The rules

  • are a written document
  • guide how your association operates
  • are a contract between the association and its members
  • set out your association's purposes
  • list the rights and responsibilities of members and office holders.

Model Rules
When an association or club needs to write or review their constitution, they can adopt the Consumer Affairs Incorporated Regulations Model Rules, or create their own Rules. By using the Model Rules, time and money is saved. However, these Model Rules may not suit all Associations and Clubs. Be aware that voting rights belong to the members in the Model Rules and this may not be the most effective governance approach for your organisation.

The Model Rules allows for members to vote, rather than clubs & club delegates. This invites corruption, deception and personal agenda into voting. Of course, if a club delegate was to vote on behalf of its club, it doesn’t completely dissolve corruption, but limiting voting rights to few individuals means that any suspicious activities are more obvious, as well as more difficult. If your by-laws state that clubs / club delegates hold a vote, whereas the individual does not, it is important that your constitution reflects this.

Netball Victoria has created a Sample Constitution for Affiliated Associations as a Template which is available on the NV website, Committees/boards who create their own rules are more likely to have a strong understanding of the constitution versus those who stick with the model rules, as these organisations will have studied the model rules and identified areas for change. Note that all committee members should know the rules nonetheless, as part of the responsibility of being part of a committee of an incorporated organisation. For more on the responsibilities of committee members, click here.

To see more on how to create rules, click here. You can use the model rules as a template, and then make amendments as you go. Note that any amendments to a constitution must go through a General Meeting. If your constitution that all members have a vote, then a majority of the vote from members must be present to move an amendment. Click here, and download ebook 06 for a list of common topics that committees discuss when changing or implementing rules.

SportAus has outlined 9 Principles for Good Governance in any sporting organisation. Click here to see more. Take extra consideration of Principle 5 – The Playbook, as this is relevant to some of the considerations that should be taken when writing/amending a constitution.

Example Structure of an Association