The Society for Conservation Biology has embarked on a new governance model for its regions across the world. This provides an opportunity for different regional sections to become autonomous. Some regions have increasingly wanted to move in this direction to grow identity and develop new programs, and Oceania is the furthest down this path. The global society, the Board of Governors and Executive Office as well as other sections, are providing a lot of support and watching with interest as we work through this process. In the last year, our Board has made a number of key decisions to progress this.
We, the Society for Conservation Biology (Oceania), are now an independent organisation, incorporated under legislation in Australia. This has required us to write a Constitution (see below so you can provide feedback), alter our electoral procedures, and create more explicit responsibilities for reporting – including the holding of an Annual General Meeting for members at our conferences.
In parallel with incorporation, we have established a bank account with Bankmecu. We reviewed which banks offered the flexibility for our international society and had good sustainability credentials. In particular, we ensured that Bankmecu had a clear environmental sustainability policy, as well as a policy regarding mineral and fossil fuel investments. We have also applied for an ABN number and hope to apply to become a listed charity in the near future.
We are also aiming to be listed on the Register of Environmental Organisations which will provide us with tax deductibility status. We have established processes that are essential both for achieving this status and day to day running of our organisation.
We are seeking your feedback and involvement in this process. There are three ways you can do this.
- Constitution. Please download the Constitution and provide us with some feedback. We have tried to capture as our current board operating procedures as well as new reporting requirements. You can submit feedback to the Board President, Richard Kingsford.
- Annual General Meetings (AGMs). Our AGMs coincide with our international and national conferences each year. Our next AGM will be at our section meeting at the ICCB conference in Montpellier at 1715-1830 on Tuesday 4th August. Please come and contribute. We will provide drinks and nibbles. Venue TBD, posted at conference, on our website and on the listserver. We will send out AGM papers including our financial report to our members before the meeting. For those of you who aren’t able to come but would like to provide feedback, we’ll set up a way to attend online via Skype / Google hangout or similar. Watch this space!
- Working committees. We have established independent committees that are listed on our site. We welcome member involvement in initiatives that the Board is progressing in these areas. We know lots of you already contribute, this is another avenue to provide us with feedback.