Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is generally held during the Scarlet Alliance National Forum. This meeting is part of our legal obligations as an organisation and is a great opportunity to participate in or observe some of the decision-making processes at Scarlet Alliance.
What happens at the AGM?
Attending the AGM gives all members a chance to be briefed on the work and direction of Scarlet Alliance. This is the time when the membership receives the CEO, Committee and financial reports, new Committee members and doubles are elected and changes, if any, to the Scarlet Alliance constitution are decided. Members are also able to put forward pre-registered motions ahead of the AGM when the ‘call for motions’ is sent out to the membership, and special resolutions may also be put forward by the Committee.
AGM Formal Meeting Procedure
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The chairperson runs the meeting and guides us through the meeting procedures, and is usually the President, or another member of the Committee as decided by the Committee.
Motions & resolutions
A motion is a proposal that is put before a meeting for discussion and a decision. A motion can consist of ordinary business at our AGM (passing the last AGM minutes, President’s and Treasurer’s reports, and appointing the Auditor), or special business on other matters that come up before or at the AGM.
In recent years, Scarlet Alliance has requested pre-registration of motions in response to feedback from members who wanted more time to consider motions and consult with other sex workers. According to the Scarlet Alliance constitution:
Notice of a meeting given under rule 10.2(b) must specify the general nature of the business to be transacted at the meeting. Any other business can only be transacted if all members of Scarlet Alliance in attendance unanimously agree to treat it as urgent business.
This means that, other than those for the ordinary business of a general meeting, only motions that have been registered in advance can be presented at the AGM. Information on how to submit a motion is sent with the notice of AGM to members.
Motions that have not been pre-registered need to be unanimously voted on by the voting members present at the AGM as urgent business before they can be moved.
Amending a motion or resolution
A mover can amend a motion after discussion. Alternatively, someone may wish to move an amendment to the original motion, which, if successful, creates a second motion. Resolutions can be withdrawn or cancelled at the same meeting by following the same procedure that applies for moving and adopting a resolution.
Points of order
Generally, the rules of debate are that someone should not be interrupted while they are speaking for or against a motion unless the chairperson interrupts in the interest of orderly conduct or there is a point of order.
This means that the person making the challenge is saying the speaker should stop because they have breached a principle of ordered debate or our safer spaces policy. The chairperson takes the point of order, listens to the reasons why the point of order has been raised and can ask for discussion on the order (for and against). Previous debate is stopped while the point of order is discussed. It is the task of the chairperson to rule on the point of order and their decision is final. Examples of when a point of order may be called are:
- the speaker is addressing issues outside the subject matter of the motion
- fair rules of debate are not being followed
- time limits have been reached
- a quorum is not present
- the language is offensive or abusive
There are many opportunities for members to contribute to and shape Scarlet Alliance as an organisation, both at the National Forum and throughout the year. We urge all members to participate fully in shaping Scarlet Alliance wherever possible.
If you have ideas about the work of Scarlet Alliance, have a concern or want to bring something to the attention of Scarlet Alliance, there are several options. These include:
- Email to the president firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that for responses that need a Committee decision there is a minimum two-week turnaround period.
- Contact the Scarlet Alliance office via phone, in writing or in person.
- Participate in membership surveys and consultations that are circulated to our membership through the Scarlet list and to member-provided email addresses.
- Share information and help to build awareness and knowledge by sharing information on the Scarlet e-list.
If you’d like to make a formal complaint, you can find more information here.
Who can attend the AGM?
When the AGM notice is sent out, the Committee will advise if the AGM will be restricted to members only, or if other sex workers may attend.
Only members of Scarlet Alliance have the right to speak and vote at the AGM. A member who is not able to attend the AGM can appoint another member to attend and vote on their behalf (called a proxy). A proxy may vote and represent themselves at an AGM, in addition to a maximum of two other members. Members can appoint their proxy via a nomination form that is sent out when the AGM is announced. Members not able to attend can also vote by notice rather than appointing a proxy. This is where a member indicates in advance how they would like to vote on each motion prior to the AGM. Instructions for voting by notice are sent out with the AGM notice.
We encourage all Scarlet Alliance members to observe the AGM to gain a better understanding of our organisational structure and democratic processes.
Scarlet Alliance member and associate member organisations nominate two delegates to attend the AGM on their behalf. Delegates of member organisations have speaking and voting rights at the AGM, whilst delegates of associate member organisations have speaking rights but not voting rights. All delegates are also able to speak and vote in their capacity as individual members.
Nominations and elections
The various Scarlet Alliance elected leadership positions require different skills and levels of commitment. You can read about the positions and responsibilities here.
We encourage people who are interested in being a Committee member or Double to nominate. Nominees must be current Scarlet Alliance members and must submit a nomination form seconded by two other Scarlet Alliance members. Nominations are sent to members in the lead up to the AGM.
If there are more than one nomination for each vacant position we will hold an election that is run according to the Conduct of Elections document, which is approved by the membership.