Time to Review our Constitution

review rahs constitution

Australian Historical Society Rules and Regulations 1905

The RAHS Council has decided to undertake a review of its constitution, and has appointed a Constitution Review Working Group. The working group is composed of President Carol Liston, Senior Vice President Christine Yeats, Treasurer Kathrine Reynolds and Councillor Bruce Baskerville.

The constitution is being reviewed to:

  • Ensure the constitution is compatible with the Charities Commission new model constitution, and so up to date with all the current legislative and regulatory requirements. This is especially important with regard to the Society’s financial management.
  • Maintain the rich legacy of constitutional traditions and institutions that have evolved in the Society over nearly 120 years by their continuing inclusion in the constitution, such as maintaining the RAHS Council.
  • Assist with sustaining the long-term viability of the RAHS as an independent, community-based, financially sound history organisation for at least another 120 years.
  • Produce a plain-English document that is relatively easy for members and councillors to understand without the need for legal advice, and be a model for affiliates considering a review of their own constitution.

A constitution review section has been set up on the RAHS website at www.rahs.org.au/rahs-constitution-review. These pages will be continually updated as the review unfolds, and all members, especially affiliates looking at their own constitution, are invited to regularly check the pages for new content and ideas. As well as helping others with their own reviews, the web pages will provide an opportunity for any member with an interest in the having a well-managed society to keep up to date with the review process, and make contributions at any time. It will also mean that by the time amendments are ready for a consideration by an Extraordinary General Meeting, members should be familiar with all the proposed changes.

The first phase of the review, from now until March 2017, involves identifying issues that need to be addressed. Submissions are invited from all members of the Society, including councillors and affiliated societies. All submissions received will be numbered in their order of receipt, and subsequently referred to by that number, so no personal identifying details will be used or made available.

Submissions and inquiries about the review need to be made in writing, and can be submitted either to rahsconstitutionreview@gmail.com or posted to Constitution Review Working Group, History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

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