Constitution



NAME AND OBJECTS OF THE SOCIETY

1 (1993)

The Society shall be called the Astronomical Society of Australia Incorporated.

2

The objects of the Society shall be promotion and extension of knowledge of Astronomy and related branches of science.


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MEMBERSHIP

3 (1993)

The members of the Society shall be those who joined the Society before the twenty-ninth day of November 1967 and those elected by the Council as hereinafter provided, unless membership has ceased under any of the provisions of this Constitution and By-laws or through death.

4 (1995)

Membership of the Society shall be at a professional level.

(i) Ph.D. graduates in astronomy or other persons who have contributed to the advancement of astronomy or a closely related branch of science through research or services to education, winners of the Society's Berenice Page Medal or other persons invited by the Council may be elected as Full Members and shall then be entitled to use the initials MASA after their names until they cease to be Full Members.

(ii) Persons with an established record in astronomical research as adjudicated by the Council may be elected as Fellows and shall then be entitled to use the initials FASA after their names until they cease to be Fellows. Admission to the grade of Fellowship would normally require the person to have published a substantial number of well regarded research papers in refereed professional astronomical journals. Full Members may apply for and be admitted to Fellowship.

(iii) Undergraduate or graduate students reading for a degree in astronomy or a closely related subject maybe elected as Student Members, and may remain as such only while they are students. A student may apply for and be admitted to Full Membership.

(iv) Educators or other persons invited by the Council who have shown a dedication to the advancement of the discipline of astronomy may be elected as Associate Members.

5 (1998)

Any person wishing to join the Society or change their grade of membership must make application and must be recommended by two Full Members or Fellows. Application for Fellowship must be recommended by two Fellows or by the Council. The application and recommendation shall be made on a form provided by a Secretary of the Society. The Council may elect as a Fellow, Full Member, Student Member or Associate Member of the Society any qualified person who has made the prescribed application.

6 (1995)

A person distinguished for promotion or extension of knowledge of astronomy may be elected by the Council as an Honorary Fellow of the Society. An Honorary Fellow shall have all the privileges of a Fellow but shall not be obliged to pay a subscription. The Council may in any calendar year elect not more than one Honorary Fellow. All persons previously Honorary Members of the Society shall become Honorary Fellows.

7 (1998)

Membership of the Society by other organizations.

(i) Any registered company, institution, association or other organization may be admitted by the Council as a Corporate Member of the Society.

(ii) Any society that has shown a dedication to the advancement of the discipline of astronomy may be admitted by the Council as an Associate Society Member of the Society.

8 (1995)

In this Constitution, the word 'members' includes Fellows, Honorary Fellows, Full Members, Student Members, Associate Members, Associate Society Members and Corporate Members.

9

Every member not an Honorary Fellow shall on the first day of January of every year be liable to pay an annual subscription, the amount of each category of membership being fixed by a special postal ballot or by a General Meeting of the Society for which notice of at least 28 days has been given.

10 (1995)

The Council may, at its discretion, reduce the amount of the annual subscription in the case of Full Members and Fellows who are in retirement.

11 (1998)

The privileges of membership shall include the right to take part in meetings or other activities organized by the Society. All members except Associate Members shall receive one copy of each publication authorized by the Council for distribution among members.

12

A member may resign by giving written notice to a Secretary. A member whose subscription is more than a year in arrears may at the discretion of the Council and after due notice be deemed to have resigned.

13 (1993)

If the Council deem it necessary to expel a member it is empowered to do so only after the member has been given due opportunity to reply to a written statement of the Council's intention and reasons, and then only with the concurrence of at least four-fifths of all Councillors. There is no appeal against a decision of Council to expel a member.


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THE COUNCIL OF THE SOCIETY

14 (1995)

The business of the Society shall be managed subject only to such limitations as may be expressed in this Constitution by a Council consisting of the President, the Immediate Past President, a Vice-President, two Secretaries, the Treasurer and five Ordinary Councillors. The Council may co-opt at most two further Councillors who shall hold office until the succeeding Council takes office. An Editor appointed by the Council, if not already a Councillor, shall be ex officio one of the co-opted Councillors. All Councillors shall be Full Members or Fellows of the Society.

15 (1993)

If the President is absent, the Vice-President, the Immediate Past President, or another Councillor duly appointed by the Council (in that order) shall act as deputy.

16(1993)

A vacancy in the office of a member of Council occurs if the member:

(i) dies;

(ii) ceases to be a member of the Society;

(iii) resigns his or her office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Council;

(iv) becomes an insolvent under administration within the meaning of the Corporation Law;

(v) becomes of unsound mind; or

(vi) is disqualified from office under subsection 63 (1) of the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 of the Australian Capital Territory.

In the event of the position of a Councillor falling vacant, the vacancy may be filled by invitation by the Council. In the event of the position of Immediate Past President falling vacant the Council may appoint a second Vice-President.

17 (1993)

A meeting of the Council shall be convened at such times as the President, or deputy, deems it necessary, or upon request by three or more Councillors. The quorum for a meeting of the Council shall be four Councillors including the President, or deputy, and a Secretary or the Treasurer.

18 (1993)

A Council decision may be made by facsimile or postal ballot. A council decision may also be made by telephone or electronic-mail ballot, but, in this case, Councillors must confirm such votes by post or facsimile or at a meeting of the Council within fourteen days of the ballot.

19

The Council may appoint an Executive Committee to conduct between Council meetings normal business of the Society including the election of members and such other business as it directs.

20

Subject to such limitations as are expressed in this Constitution the Council may make or alter By-Laws and Guiding Principles for the management of the Society and fix the dates on which they become effective. Within six months of their introduction such By-Laws or Guiding Principles or their alteration shall be notified to all members who in the event of objection may act in accord with the provision of Article 31.

21

The Secretaries shall keep the minutes of the business meetings of the Society, the Council and the Executive Committee, and shall act as custodians of all documents of the Society which do not relate to funds and securities belonging to or held in trust for the Society.

22 (1993)

The Treasurer shall collect and receive all funds on account of the Society and shall deposit the sums in banking accounts established in the name of the Society. Payments from these banking accounts shall be made by cheque signed by two out of three Councillors; the latter shall be the Treasurer and two other Councillors appointed by the Council for that purpose. The Treasurer shall be custodian of funds and securities of the Society and of all documents of the Society which relate to funds and securities belonging to or held in trust for the Society and shall keep accounts of money received and expended by the Society and for all matters in respect of which such receipt and expenditure take place. Each year the Treasurer shall prepare a balance sheet for the year ending on the 31st day of March of that year. The Treasurer's accounts and balance sheet shall be examined annually by Auditors elected by an Annual General Meeting.

23

The disbursement of funds and the management of the property of the Society shall be vested in the Council.

24 (1995)

No funds or property of the Society shall be paid to or distributed among members. This provision shall not prevent reimbursement for expenditure actually incurred with the approval of the Council, or the award by the Society of medals, prizes or grants, or payments in respect of normal business transactions.


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MEETINGS

25 (1993)

A general meeting for the purpose of holding elections and receiving reports and called the Annual General Meeting shall be held once in each calendar year.

26 (1993)

The Council shall determine the time and place of each Annual General Meeting of the Society, and send notification of the meeting to all members at least 35 days prior to the meeting date.

27 (1993)

The business of each Annual General Meeting shall include:

(i) the report of the Council of the Society;

(ii) the reports of the Treasurer and Auditors;

(iii) the election of Council for the period until the next Annual General Meeting;

(iv) the election of Auditors, not being members of the Society or the Public Officer.

There shall be no entitlement to vote by proxy at a General Meeting.

28

In furtherance of the aims of the Society activities such as meetings, conferences, symposia, vacation schools or teaching seminars may be organized by or with the approval of the Council either in the name of the Society alone or in co- operation with other bodies.


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BALLOTS AND ELECTIONS

29

Whenever deemed necessary the Council may hold a special postal ballot of all members entitled to vote. In such cases the closing date for receipt of votes shall not be earlier than 21 days after the posting of voting papers to members.

30 (1995)

Unless otherwise specified in this Constitution, Fellows, Honorary Fellows, Full Members, and Corporate Members shall be entitled to vote at meetings and in ballots and elections of the Society.

31 (1993)

Society members may bring any issue concerning the Society to the attention of Council at anytime. Council shall hold a special ballot on a specified question within three months of receiving a written request from at least eight voting members.

32

The Council shall act in accordance with a direction, consistent with this Constitution, arising from a majority vote of a postal ballot of members entitled to vote under clause 30 except in relation to amendments of the Constitution in which case Article 37 applies.

33

Before each Annual General Meeting the Council shall prepare a list of nominations for all positions in the succeeding Council except that of Immediate Past President. The list shall contain at least the number of names as the number of positions to be filled according to Article 14. The President and Vice-President shall be eligible for re-election for the same office only once during an unbroken period on the Council. Ordinary Councillors shall be eligible for re-election as such twice only during an unbroken period on the Council.

34

The Council shall have the responsibility of enabling voting members to make additional nominations for any position on the Council and to provide for voting by post on the full list of candidates.

35 (1993)

The election shall be determined by the direct count of the number of votes. Where necessary the President or the President's deputy, shall have a casting vote.

36

The newly elected Council shall take office immediately following the announcement of its election at the Annual General Meeting.


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AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

37 (1993)

Any alteration to this Constitution shall require a majority of three-quarters of the votes cast in a special postal ballot.


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DISBANDMENT OF THE SOCIETY

38 (1995)

A decision to disband the Society may be made only in a ballot of all Fellows, Honorary Fellows and Full Members.

39

Rescinded 1993.

40 (1995)

In the event of the Society being disbanded any property or funds remaining after satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to some other institution or institutions having objects similar to those of the Society to be determined by a postal ballot of all Fellows, Honorary Fellows and Full Members of the Society at or before its dissolution.


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MEMBERS' LIABILITIES

41 (1993)

The liability of a member of the Society to contribute towards the payment of the debts and liabilities of the Society or the cost, charges and expenses of the winding up of the Society is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid by the member in respect of membership of the Society as required by Article 9 of the Constitution.


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PUBLIC OFFICER

42 (1993)

The Council shall, within fourteen days after the incorporation of the Society, appoint a member of the Society resident in the Australian Capital Territory to be the Public Officer of the Society and, if the office becomes vacant, shall within fourteen days after it becomes vacant, appoint a member resident in the Territory to fill the vacancy. The office of Public Officer becomes vacant if the person holding that office:

(i) is removed from office by resolution of the Council;

(ii) dies;

(iii) resigns his or her office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Council;

(iv) becomes an insolvent under administration within the meaning of the Corporation Law;

(v) suffers from mental or physical incapacity;

(vi) ceases to reside in the Australian Capital Territory;

(vii) ceases to be a member of the Society; or

(viii) is disqualified from office under subsection 63 (1) of the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 of the Australian Capital Territory.


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COMMON SEAL

43 (1993)

The Seal of the Society shall be in the form of a rubber stamp inscribed with the name of the Society encircling the word 'Seal'. The Seal shall not be affixed to any instrument except by authority of a resolution of the Council and in the presence of at least two members of Council or of one member of Council and of the Public Officer of the Society or such other person as Council may appoint to that purpose and that attestation is sufficient for all purposes that the Seal was affixed by authority of the Council. The Seal shall remain in the custody of a member of the Council specified for that purpose by Council.


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INSPECTION OF BOOKS

44 (1993)

The records, books and other documents of the Society shall be open to inspection, free of charge, by a member of the Society. Inspection shall be made by arrangement with the Council officer who has custody of the item in question under Articles 21 and 22 of this Constitution.


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BY-LAWS AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES

A. Membership

A1

Rescinded 1976.

A2 (1998)

The annual subscription shall be $110 for a Fellow, $90 for a Full Member, $80 for an Associate Society Member, $40 for a Student Member or Associate Member, and $300 for a Corporate Member, or such other amounts as shall be determined from time to time in accord with Article 9 of the Constitution.

A3 (1995)

Fellows, Full Members, Student Members and Associate Members shall in the year of their election pay half the prescribed annual subscription if elected after 1st July.

A4 (1998)

Corporate Members of the Society shall have the right to advertise such membership and may, as approved by the Council, display exhibits, literature, instruments or techniques during meeting periods. The Corporate Members shall be listed in the Society journal, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, and such other Society publications as shall be determined from time to time by the Council.

A5 (1995)

A reminder that the annual subscription has become due on the first day of January shall be sent by the Treasurer to each member, not an Honorary Fellow, in January of each year. A second reminder shall be sent in June to those members, not Honorary Fellows, whose subscription has not yet been received.

A6

Rescinded 1993.

A7 (1995)

Any member previously having qualified as a life member shall be deemed to satisfy the remainder of his or her annual subscription obligations for life. Any Full Member or Fellow who has retired and is aged 60 or more may continue membership at an annual subscription rate equal to that for Student Members.


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B. The Council of the Society

B1 (1993)

Notice of each meeting of the Council shall be sent by a Secretary to the usual address of every Councillor.

B2

Draft minutes of each meeting of the Council shall be sent to each Councillor as soon as practicable after the meeting.

B3 (1993)

The Executive Committee shall comprise the President, Immediate Past President, Vice-President, two Secretaries and the Treasurer, and, if Council has appointed any other Councillor or Councillors to the Executive Committee in accord with Article 19 of the Constitution, that Councillor or those Councillors. A meeting of the Executive Committee shall be constituted only if attended by three of its members including one among the President the Vice-President and the Immediate Past President, and one among the Secretaries and the Treasurer.

B4 (2000)

An instruction by the Council to the Executive Committee to carry out any business implies authorization to make the necessary payments. All accounts above $250, or such other limit as shall be determined by Council from time to time, shall require specific approval by the Council or the Executive before payment.

B5

The Executive Committee shall keep minutes of its activities which shall be circulated to all Councillors.

B6

The Council shall be deemed to have notified a member of any business if a Secretary has either handed the notice to the member personally or sent it by post to the address supplied by the member to the Society.


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C. Scientific and General Meetings

C1 (1993)

The organization of each Scientific Meeting shall be the responsibility of an Organizing Committee appointed by and acting under the general instruction of the Council.

C2 (1993)

Unless otherwise instructed the Organizing Committee shall be responsible for selecting contributions to be delivered at the Scientific Meeting.

C3 (2001)

Before a Scientific Meeting the Organising Committee, the Chair of the Editorial Advisory Committee and the Council shall agree on the type and form of material which members shall be invited to submit for delivery at the Meeting and thence for publication in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

C4

Rescinded 1994.

C5

Rescinded 1998.

C6 (1995)

The quorum for an Annual General Meeting shall be fifteen voting members defined under Clause 30 of this constitution.

C7 (1995)

The proceedings of Scientific Meetings, other than vacation schools, that are sponsored or co-sponsored by the Society shall, subject to acceptance through normal refereeing, be published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia unless Council decides otherwise.


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D. Ballots and Elections

D1 (1995)

Nominations of the Council for the offices in the next Council shall take into account regional representation, which may also be taken into account in appointing co-opted Councillors. The list of Council nominations shall be circulated to all voting members of the Society, as defined under Clause 30 of this constitution,not less than 49 days before the date of the Annual General Meeting.

D2 (1995)

After receiving the list of Council's nominations any two Fellows or Full Members may nominate any other Fellow or Full Members for any offices of the Council. Each such nomination must be countersigned by the nominee and received by a Secretary not less than 35 days before the date of the Annual General Meeting at which the election is to take place.

D3 (1995)

In the event of an election being necessary a Secretary shall, not later than 21 days before the Annual General Meeting, post to each voting member, as defined under Clause 30 of this constitution, a complete list of the nominations in the form of a ballot paper.

D4 (1995)

A voting member, as defined under Clause 30 of this constitution, shall vote by leaving unmarked on the ballot paper the exact number of names of candidates for each office which is subject to ballot and striking out the others. The duly completed ballot paper should preferably be sent to a Secretary so that it is received not later than two days before the Annual General Meeting. Alternatively the ballot paper may be handed to a Secretary at the venue of and not later than one hour before the start of the Annual General Meeting. For a vote to be valid, it must comply with all instructions issued to members with the ballot paper.

D5 (1995)

Before the start of the Annual General Meeting a Secretary shall hand all ballot papers to two scrutineers appointed by the Council. The scrutineers shall be Fellows, Honorary Fellows or Full Members not nominated for election to the Council.


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E. Miscellaneous

E1 (1993)

The statement of each Article of the Constitution, By-law or Guiding Principle shall be accompanied by an indication of the date on which it was adopted or last amended except in the case of those approved by the Annual General Meeting in 1967.


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F. The Berenice Page Medal

F1 (1972)

There shall be a medal, called The Berenice Page Medal, which shall be awarded by the Society for excellence in amateur astronomy in Australia and its Territories. This award shall be made by the Council at appropriate intervals.


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G. The Harley Wood Lecture and School of Astronomy

G1 (1989)

There shall be a Public Lecture called the Harley Wood Lecture given by a person of some distinction in astronomy or a related field during or near the time of the Annual General Meeting.

G2 (1989)

From time to time the Society shall hold a series of lectures, seminars or workshops for the benefit of students of astronomy and called the Harley Wood School of Astronomy.

G3 (1989)

Both the Harley Wood Lecture and the Harley Wood School of Astronomy shall be organised in association with the Macquarie University Foundation for Astronomy (or its successor) and shall be supported from funds allocated for the purpose by that foundation.


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H. The Robert Ellery Lectureship and the Gascoigne Fund

H1 (1991)

The Society may recognize outstanding contributions in astronomy or a related field by the award of Robert Ellery Lectureships.

H2 (1991)

It shall be the duty of the Council to consider annually the propriety of such an award and, if it thinks fit, to decide upon the award. In determining each award, Council may give particular attention to contributions in, or of relevance to, the field of Southern Hemisphere astronomy. Nevertheless, the award may be made for contributions in any branch of astronomy or a related field.

H3 (1991)

Each recipient of the Robert Ellery Lectureship shall be invited to present a keynote lecture at or near the time of an Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society, and/or to deliver a lecture on some other appropriate occasion as determined by Council.

H4 (1991)

The Society shall maintain a fund, known as the Gascoigne Fund. The Fund shall be applied principally to the support of Robert Ellery Lectureships, but it may also be applied to any other purpose decided upon by Council. The Fund shall consist of monies donated by Professor S. C. B. Gascoigne, FAA, for the establishment of the Lectureship, and of other donations or bequests made specifically in support of its purposes. It may also be augmented, from time to time, by the transfer of other monies as determined by Council.


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I. Foreign Astronomers Aid Fund

I1 (1995)

A Fund shall be established to be known as the Foreign Astronomers Aid Fund, the purpose of which shall be generally to assist colleagues in astronomy in other countries. The Fund shall be administered by five Trustees; two shall be the President and Treasurer of the Society, and three others shall be appointed by Council from among the Fellows, Honorary Fellows and Full Members of the Society. The Fund may be wound up by agreement of four Trustees who shall also determine the disposal of any remaining monies.


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J. Editorial Advisory Committee

J1 (2001)

The Council of the Society shall appoint an Editorial Advisory Committee that shall be responsible for the publication of the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

J2 (2001)

The Council of the Society shall appoint the Chair of the Editorial Advisory Committee who shall be the person referred to as the Editor in Article 14 of the constitution and who shall report in writing to each meeting of the Council and to the Annual General Meeting.

J3 (2001)

Council appointments of Chair or Member of the Editorial Advisory Committee shall be for 3 years or such shorter term as the Council may deem necessary. Consecutive appointments totalling up to 6 years shall be allowed.

J4 (2001)

In making appointments to the Editorial Advisory Committee, the Council shall take into account fields of expertise encompassed by the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia and shall stagger the appointments to ensure continuity of expertise and familiarity with editorial policy.

J5 (2001)

The Editorial Advisory Committee shall be responsible for the peer review of papers and the maintenance of acceptable standards in articles published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

J6 (2001)

The Editorial Advisory Committee shall be responsible for the development of policy on publication by the Society and shall recommend policy changes to the Council.

J7 (2001)

The Chair of the Editorial Advisory Committee shall be responsible for all communications with the publishers and printers and shall ensure their adherence to the requirements of the Council.


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K. Bok Prize

K1 (1994)

There shall be a prize, called the Bok prize, awarded at the discretion of the Council annually for a report or essay on an astronomical topic by an undergraduate or honours student of at least two years standing (or equivalent) who is studying in Australia.

K2 (1994)

Each entry must be accompanied by a statement from the candidate's lecturer or supervisor indicating the relationship of the submission to the student's course requirements and a confidential statement on the originality of the submission.

K3 (1994)

The prize shall consist of a medal plus a cash award of a value to be determined by the Council from time to time.


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L. David Allen Prize

L1 (2000)

There shall be a prize, called the David Allen Prize, awarded, at the discretion of the Council, annually. It shall be for the best contribution, or series of contributions, published in the previous calendar year in any form of media that is widely accessible to Australians, which portrays an astronomical theme in an exciting and educative manner and which informs the general public in understandable language, while retaining the integrity of the science.

L2 (1995)

Eligibility for the prize shall be restricted to Australian residents.

L3 (1995)

The prize shall consist of a plaque plus a cash award of a value to be determined by the Council from time to time.

L4 (2001)

An assessment panel for the award shall be appointed by the Council with wide representation, and may include science communicators, professional and amateur astronomers and the general public. The assessment panel shall make its award recommendation to the Council no less than three months before the Annual General Meeting of the Society.

L5 (2000)

The Society shall maintain a fund, known as the David Allen Prize Fund. The Fund shall be applied principally to the support of David Allen Prize, but it may also be applied to any other purpose decided upon by Council. The Fund shall consist of donations or bequests made specifically in support of its purposes. It may also be augmented, from time to time, by the transfer of other monies as determined by Council.


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