Board Member Roles

Election of Members

Board positions are vacated and re-elected at each whole community meeting (W.C.M. commonly know as an AGM). It is common for members of boards to not be aware of their roles on the board, so our organisation requires that nominees provide a hand written or dictated audio copy of the role description to the WCM or to read the description at the WCM.

The Roles

Chair / Vice Chair

The vice chairperson is a stand in / support for the chairperson. The attributes of an effective chairperson include:

  • An ability to communicate effectively.
  • An understanding of meeting processes and protocols (not necessarily formal processes).
  • An ability to guide meetings rather than participating or dominating.
  • A commitment to being well informed about the organisation operations, future directions and plans of members.
  • A good working knowledge of the constitution, rules and the duties of office holders.

The chairperson should:

  • Ensure that membership and community support of the organisation are maintained.
  • Chair meetings.
  • Make sure the rules of the constitution are followed.
    For example, make sure the whole community meeting is held, make sure elections follow the constitution, check that there are quorums at meetings etc.
  • Make sure other legal responsibilities of the group are met.
  • Follow up on tasks delegated to board members or other circles.
  • Be a member of other working circles.
  • Be a spokesperson for the board and the association.
  • Be the contact person for the senior staff person.
  • Become familiar with patters sociocracy.

Most of the chairperson’s work involves meeting and includes:

  • Ensure regular board meetings are held.
  • Draw up an agenda for the meetings with the assistance of of the senior staff person.
  • Lead the meeting through the agenda, keeping discussion relevant and decision making clear and encouraging broad participation (using sociocracy patterns where relevant).
  • Sign the minutes after they have been confirmed as an accurate record of the previous meeting.
  • Ensure meetings are run in accordance with the constitution.


The attributes of an an effective secretary include:

  • The ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  • An understanding of the constitution, rules and duties of all the office holders.

The sectary must:

  • Make sure minutes are taken of allmeetings and that minutes are properly written up, distributed, approved and uploaded.
  • Follow up on meeting action points.
  • Make sure that correspondence recieved by the group is properly processed and that the correspondence relevant to the board is presented to the board.
  • Make sure effective filing systems and processes are in place.

Public Officer

A public officer is both the official point of contact for an incorporated association and one of the authorised signatories.

Every association must have an official address. The official address must be a physical address in NSW where the public officer can generally be found. It must be the premises where documents can be received by post. The official address cannot be a post office box.

The public officer must advise NSW Fair Trading of a change of official address by lodging the approved form Notice of appointment of public officer and notice of change of association address (form A9) within 28 days after the current address becomes obsolete or unusable.

The public officer is responsible for:

  • notifying Fair Trading of any change in the association’s official address within 28 days
  • collecting all association documents from former committee members and delivering the documents to the new committee member
  • returning all association documents to a committee member within 14 days, upon vacating office
  • acting as the official contact for the association, including taking delivery of documents served on the association and bringing them to the attention of the committee as soon as practicable
  • custody of any documents as required by the constitution.


General financial oversight:

  • Oversee and present budgets, accounts and financial statements to the management committee
  • Liaise with designated staff about financial matters
  • Ensure that appropriate financial systems and controls are in place
  • Ensure that record-keeping and accounts meet the conditions of funders or statutory bodies
  • Ensure compliance with relevant legislation.

Funding, fundraising and sales:

  • Advise on the organisation’s fundraising strategy
  • Ensure use of funds complies with conditions set by funding bodies
  • Ensure fundraising and sales complies with relevant legislation and is bound by effective financial systems and controls
  • Ensure effective monitoring and reporting

Financial planning and budgeting:

  • Prepare and present budgets for new or ongoing work
  • Advise on financial implications of strategic and operational plans
  • Present revised financial forecasts based on actual spend.

Financial reporting:

  • Present regular reports on the organisation’s financial position
  • Prepare accounts for audit and liaising with the auditor, as required
  • Present accounts at the AGM
  • Advise on the organisation’s reserves and investment policy.

Banking, book-keeping and record-keeping:

  • Manage bank accounts
  • Set up appropriate systems for book-keeping, payments, lodgements & petty cash
  • Ensure everyone handling money keeps proper records and documentation
  • Help approve and make reimbursements with coordinator
  • Run payroll