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Proposed AMSRS Constitution for Members to vote on at AGM 7th Sept

15th Aug 17

BOARD ASKS MEMBERS TO SUPPORT CHANGES TO CONSTITUTION – PLEASE ATTEND AGM OR COMPLETE PROXY FORM

 Dear Members,

We the Board supported and agreed to the proposed AMSRS/AMSRO merger, and were disappointed when the AMSRO Executive pulled out after we had sought your support and voting had been called.  The vast majority of you supported the idea of a merger, and we are continuing discussions with AMSRO with a meeting set for November 2017 to see if we can find a way to affect a merger that is in the interests of our 2101 members, as well as the 95 or so companies that AMSRO represents. 

As your Board, we are proposing amendments to our Constitution to allow for company memberships.   The AMSRS Board is asking members to support changes to the AMSRS Constitution at the AGM on 7 September 2017.

The changes are in line with the proposed changes to the Constitution that 85% of members voted in favour of at the Special General Meeting in May 2017.

There are three reasons which underpin the Board’s request for members to support a change of the AMSRS Constitution:

  • Removing the outdated transitional requirements at Part 10, Clause 70 that were administrative steps we needed to include when we first moved to the current constitution in 2012. These need to be removed as they are outdated or no longer applicable.
  • Changing the wording in Part 3, Clause 6 membership eligibility - from the word “individual” to “person’’. The AMSRS will now have the ability to have company members as well as individual members. Client companies and government departments have in particular requested that AMSRS offer combined training and membership packages which we have not been able to do effectively to date with our individual membership structure. We have also been asked by our 170+ Independent Researcher members’ i.e. small business owners, to offer an expanded range of PD and resources to suit small businesses.
  • Removing the onerous requirements around Part 9, Clause 55 Divisions. The AMSRS will still have the ability to convene state committees (and any special interest committee) as required but they will not require fixed office bearer positions and responsibilities that are required in our current constitution. This will allow the committees to be more fluid and flexible by removing the need for formal requirements such as elections, minutes and fixed terms.

These changes will allow us to offer company packages to our own members – the 170+ Independent Researchers and small business owners who have been asking for expanded PD and other services, as well as small companies, supply side clients and government departments that are not currently well serviced by our industry (whether AMSRS or AMSRO).  We believe that developing services relevant to them is of clear benefit to the industry, AMSRO as well as non AMSRO companies, and of course, our own members.   

One of the key benefits of the proposed merger was to offer additional benefits and discounts to both AMSRO and non- AMSRO members and to broaden our membership base.  It is important to appreciate that these Constitutional amendments in no way prevent a future merger.  In fact the changes we have outlined facilitate a merger, should one occur and are clearly in the interests of the overall industry.

The Constitutional change we are seeking will also allow us to introduce the Fair Data accreditation program; a way of telling participants and clients that an organisation takes privacy seriously and has systems in place to handle personal data that comply with Australian privacy law.   It does not compete with the AMSRO Trustmark, which talks to industry – Fair Data talks to the general public.  This initiative will be an asset to our industry, as well as being in the strategic interests of our members. 

While we remain hopeful that a merger can occur, the Board’s responsibility is to ensure that the interests of all AMSRS members, two thirds of whom do not work in AMSRO companies, are fully protected.  While we are hopeful, we cannot assume that a merger will proceed and it is important that we continue to pursue our strategic vision of broadening our membership base, including through offering company packages.  

We therefore ask all members to support the growth of our Society by voting in support of the proposed Constitutional change at our Annual General Meeting.

If you are not planning to attend the AGM at 1.15pm on 7 September (Day 1 of the AMSRS Conference) at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney – please complete the attached proxy form – sign, scan and send it to the national office via email: amsrs@amsrs.com.au. On the proxy form please give your proxy to one of the Board or the President or another full member who will be there on the day. 

The proxy form and revised notice and agenda can be downloaded here.

A copy of the proposed Constitution can be downloaded here.

Yours sincerely,

Liz Moore
President

Suz Allen
Vice-President

Adam Allanson
Treasurer

Vicki Arbes
Director

Christine Walker
Director