(Agreed at a Special General Meeting on 28 May 2015)

The HCLG Constitution is necessarily and appropriately a (legal) summary overview document, which cannot and should not seek to provide all of the detail on how the HCLG operates.

There is therefore, in addition to the constitution, the need for operational and management guidelines to guide the work of HCLG. While not formally forming part of the Constitution of HCLG, the following Governance Notes were approved by a Special General Meeting of HCLG on 28 May 2015, at the same time that the new Constitution was adopted, and are seen as providing additional guidance on how HCLG is to run and operate. Underpinning this additional guidance is the principle that all activities and decisions are open, transparent and communicated to the membership. An objective of providing this guidance is to ensure that all members are aware of the basis on which the group operates.


1. Frequency of General Meetings and Date of Annual General Meeting

General Meetings are normally held bi-monthly on the second Thursday of February, April, June, August and October, with the Annual General Meeting usually being held in late-November or early-December.


2. Conduct of General Meetings

General meetings are intended to be for the benefit of all members and are the primary forum for communication within the group. For that reason emphasis is placed on making them interactive and participatory, with detailed administrative and project management related business being handled by the executive committee outside the General Meetings. Members are to be informed of matters to be discussed at meetings, with an agenda circulated by email prior to the meeting. This will include a dot point summary of “Other business” where known. It will also indicate any new funding grants that are available and whether the meeting will include a discussion of such grants.

The agenda of General Meetings should normally comprise:

i. Apologies
ii. Draft Minutes of Previous Meeting - which should have been emailed to members not more than 2 weeks after the previous meeting (Reason – to provide an action list to help ensure appropriate follow up after the meeting)
iii. Matters Arising from the Previous Minutes
iv. Treasurer’s Report – which should have been emailed to members at least one week prior to any meeting (Reason – to allow members to digest the report and seek clarification on it at the meeting)
v. Correspondence In and Out – notification of all such correspondence
vi. Chair’s Report – intended to allow the Chair to provide members with an overview of key activities undertaken by HCLG, including matters considered by the executive committee, since the previous General Meeting (Reason – to keep members informed of relevant matters in HCLG)
vi. Other Business – allows members to raise/query other matters
vii. Guest speakers, etc


3. Communication with Members

Communication with members between meetings will normally be by email, unless the member has advised the Secretary that they cannot receive email communications. It is the responsibility of members to advise the Secretary if they change their email address or if their email service is temporarily unavailable


4. HCLG Projects

Grant availability

Where grants are available for individual on-property projects, members will be informed both by email and at the next general meeting subsequent to the opening of applications.

Where grants are available for group activities, these will be discussed at the next general meeting.

Grant applications and funds received

Members will be informed of details of all grant applications made by HCLG. Where the application covers work for individual properties, information on the members applying for funding and their project will also be given.

Members will also be informed of funds received for projects and the allocation of funds. If there is any variation to the projects for which funding was sought so that not all funds are allocated as per the initial application, allocation of those remaining funds can only be determined subsequent to emailing all members to determine interest and/or at a general meeting where notice has been given that this issue will be discussed.

Members will be required to account for all funding and materials received.

Retrospective funding

HCLG funds cannot be used to cover a member’s expenditure or activities undertaken prior to approval of the activity.

Project and funding beneficiaries

Persons receiving benefit from fencing, tree planting and similar projects for on-property works in which individual members receive grant fund support are expected to be financial members of HCLG. An exception to this is when the group is managing a project which explicitly provides in its design for work on non-member properties.

Projects which have an area-wide / regional significance such as weed control, feral animal control, bird habitat support etc, can be designed and operate so as to benefit both members and non-members, given that effective action in such areas cannot be limited to individual properties but to be effective needs to be implemented on an area-wide scale.

Similarly HCLG sponsored workshops, seminars and field days, etc can also be open to non-members of HCLG.


5. Website

In 2014 HCLG established a website www.hovellscreeklandcare.org.au .

The purpose of the website is to communicate to members and to others in the wider community the activities of HCLG. It also serves as an accountability mechanism and provides a record of the group’s activities.


6. Annual General Meeting

The date of the AGM, which is normally held in November or December should be set and normally advised to members at least three months prior to being held, and is normally followed by the HCLG Xmas Party. (Reason – to allow members to ‘save the date’ by putting it in their diaries.) Note that the formal requirement is only for 30 days notice.

Some food costs for the party are typically covered from HCLG funds with members bringing one dish plus their own drinks.


7. Membership Fee and Membership Guidelines

Membership can be taken out either by an individual, or by a single nuclear family group, comprising parents and offspring. Only members over the age of 18 have voting rights.
The membership of a nuclear family can extend to and include associate non voting membership for other family members resident outside the immediate Hovells Creek area.


8. Project Management Costs for Grant Funded Projects

As a general principle HCLG seeks to recover 10% of the total costs of a project to cover project management / administration costs. These costs are paid into the general account of HCLG and used to reimburse members for ‘out-of pocket’ expenses such as telephone and internet / broadband access, computer printing, postage and travel. The balance of funds are to be used to support the general activities and administration of HCLG.


9. Reimbursement of Travel and Accommodation Expenses

Where a member is representing the group in an official capacity then the Committee may approve reimbursement of travel and accommodation/meals expenses to an appropriate level.


10. Group Insurance

HCLG maintain appropriate insurance to provide accident and public liability cover for the group’s activities.


11. HCLG Partnership and Cooperation with other Bodies

HCLG has a policy of working together and in cooperation with regional / State associations and with other Landcare Groups / groups which have complementary objectives.