2015 Annual General Meeting
Tuesday 17 March 2015 at the Lena Karmel Lodge, 26 Barry Drive, Acton ACT
Meeting opened 18:03.
1. Attendance and apologies
Attendance: Sarah Sharp, Leon Pietsch, Stephen Horn, Kim Pullen, Andrew Zelnik, Andy Russell, Barbara Payne, Janet Russell, Isobel Crawford, Michael Bedingfield, Kay Pietsch, Margaret Ning, Geoff Robertson, Paul Archer, David Crawford, Ross Dennis, Ann Milligan, John Fitz Gerald (minutes).
Apologies: Linda Spinaze, Helen Elliott, Naarilla Hirsch, Kat Ng, Cathy Robertson, Kris Nash, Tony Lawson, Juliey Beckman, Kathryn Wells, Rainer Rehwinkel, John Buckley.
2. Minutes of 2014 AGM
Minutes accepted after two corrections to attendance list, moved Stephen Horn, seconded Isobel Crawford.
3. Matters arising out of these minutes
(a) Membership fee review – Fee held unchanged since primary operational cost (newsletter) was being adequately covered.
(b) Storage of gmail correspondence – Secretary arranges for electronic storage as .pdf files.
(c) Guidelines for reimbursement of expenses – not developed – to become an item of business for new committee.
(d) ‘Woodland Flora’ – not completed but progressing steadily.
4. President’s report (note items 4, 5 and 6 are documented as a report file circulated to the meeting)
Notes of particular importance:
- Special thanks to all four departing committee members.
- Forum – declared a great success with fine response from speakers and delegates. Proceedings remain to be compiled.
- Workparties and activities – a busy year with an average of two per month.
- Cross membership with many other organisations and NGOs felt highly significant to the important interactions across the ecological community.
Report accepted – moved Margaret Ning, seconded Janet Russell. Geoff Robertson thanked Sarah for her commitment and distinctive style in president’s role.
5. Treasurer’s Report
Details given fully in written report though no summary table of accounts tabled. Treasurer explained the new sub-account framework that committee has found very useful for analysis ongoing financial situation and provided some notes about accrual accounting now used.
Summary is that FOG remains in a healthy financial state with a surplus for the year of $3,008.
Report accepted – moved Leon Pietsch, seconded Isobel Crawford.
Comment was raised that FOG is in such a healthy state that the organisation should think hard about using some of the uncommitted funds to further FOG’s environmental objectives. Discussion followed that any such spending needs to be wisely directed and the new Committee was tasked to take this on.
6. Reports from Groups and Projects
Circulated reports were taken as written and comments or clarifications invited.
Stephen Horn questioned whether FOG could expand the horizons of the places it commonly visits and works in. Discussion followed about how to keep projects running over time with a finite resource of member contributions. Old Cooma Common was raised as one example that regrettably is effectively phased out as a FOG work site. Again the new Committee is urged to spend time thinking laterally about how to manage this aspect of FOG’s objectives, possibly without physical presence of members being committed, but certainly without over-commitment. Analysis might be summarised: ‘where is FOG, what is it doing, how is it doing it?’
7. Proposed changes to the Constitution
Motions to change the Constitution had been circulated prior to the AGM. These arose since FOG’s 2014 application to become a Registered Environmental Organisation was not accepted:
- Revised clauses 34 and 35 to the Constitution were recommended to the meeting. If passed this would allow FOG to accept tax deductible donations.
- To accept the proposed changes required the agreement of three-quarters of the members present at the AGM.
The motion was put and agreed unanimously.
8. Annual elections
Andrew Russell was appointed Returning Officer, declared all committee positions vacant and called for nominations.
Ann Milligan and Margaret Ning nominated Sarah Sharp as President. She accepted on the condition that FOG operate with two Vice Presidents to help run meetings and take other responsibilities. Therefore election was held until the meeting considered the Vice President positions.
For Vice President, Sarah Sharp nominated Ann Milligan, seconded Barbara Payne. Kim Pullen self-nominated and was seconded by Andrew Zelnik. These two were declared elected Vice Presidents.
This matter being resolved, Sarah Sharp was elected as President.
Sarah Sharp and Barbara Payne nominated John Fitz Gerald as Secretary and he was elected.
Leon Pietsch was nominated as Treasurer by Margaret Ning and Andrew Zelnik, and he was elected.
The following were nominated as Committee members, either by acceptance from the floor of the meeting or by having consented to nomination by writing to the President ahead of time: Ann Milligan, Margaret Ning, Andrew Zelnik, Naarilla Hirsch, Kat Ng, Tony Lawson, Paul Archer, David Crawford and Ross Dennis. All were duly declared elected since FOG Rules allow for up to eleven ordinary members to sit on Committee.
9. Appointment of Public Officer
Andrew Russell was proposed as Public Officer by Sarah Sharp and seconded by Andrew Zelnik for the position and the meeting approved wholeheartedly.
10. Other Motions with notice
No motions had been received.
The meeting finished at 19:32.