Update on the proposal to incorporate the Australian Lithuanian Community
As mentioned in the article “Proposal to incorporate the Australian Lithuanian Community” (MP 2016.11.16 Nr. 43), the Federal Executive of the Australian Lithuanian Community (ALC) is preparing a proposal to put to the Federal Council to incorporate the ALC and bring its Constitution up-to-date. The Federal executive has now finalised the Constitution which is to be put to the Federal Council.
All Federal Council members have been provided with a copy of the proposed constitution together with notes explaining the reasoning behind various parts of the proposal. For those that are interested, these documents may be downloaded from http://www.austlb.org.
While an effort was made to replicate many of the practices and procedures in the current Constitution it was not possible or thought desirable to replicate everything. The most significant change was brought about by the fact that most Lithuanian organisations in Australia are now incorporated. To accommodate this situation it was decided that an incorporated ALC should be an organisation of member organisations (a peak body) rather than of individual members.
Incorporation itself will mean that some things have to change. First, the Constitution is drafted in English rather than Lithuanian, as, to be incorporated the ALC will have to provide its Constitution in English. However, that does not mean that meetings and records cannot be in Lithuanian.
Secondly, in an incorporated organisation, the supreme decision making body
is the members of the organisation in general meeting. In both our current and proposed constitutions the Federal Council has ex officio members as well representatives of the members. Accordingly, only the representatives of member organisations on Federal Council, not the ex officio members, will be able to vote on some issues. These issues include changing the new Constitution and electing the Federal Executive.
Then there were other changes which were thought to be desirable. First, given that membership fees (solidarumo mokesčiai) paid to the ALC are a very small proportion of the ALC’s income, most of which comes as grants from the Australian Lithuanian Foundation, and most regional communities are strapped for cash, membership fees have been removed. However, they can be reintroduced if the need arises.
Secondly, the Court of Honour (Garbės Teismas) has been renamed the Advisory Council. Its duties are now to interpret the new Constitution and mediate any disputes referred to it in relation to the operation and application of the Constitution.
Finally, there was considerable discussion about how many delegates regional communities can send to the Federal Council. In the end it was decided to propose a modified version of what is in the current Constitution, that is, regional communities can send one delegate for each 25 of their members to a maximum of 5 delegates.
Chair, ALB – KV Incorporation Working Group