Constitution Changes (2020)
Update: 19 November
Following the Town Hall meeting and feedback received, some additional changes have been made to the draft constitution.
2. Summary of Changes (19 Nov 2020) [PDF]
Members who have engaged with the Board directly on this project have also been notified by email.
The content below was published 31 October (with minor updates, identified, added 6 Nov and 7 Nov)
The club’s board of directors have determined that:
— the constitution is overburdened with items that are better managed by policy or by-laws;
— the governance structure outlined in the constitution is out of date for how the club can operate most effectively to achieve its goals; and
— the constitution puts too much emphasis on the club following the agenda and processes of Football Victoria.
The board intends to move a special resolution at the next Annual General Meeting (TBC for mid-December) for the membership to adopt an amended constitution.
This webpage briefly summarises the changes being proposed. It also links to the existing constitution, the draft amended constitution, and a discussion paper that goes into fine detail about the proposed changes. Each club member is invited to familiarise themselves with the proposed changes to their own level of interest and satisfaction.
Member questions and comments are welcome. Member input will inform the final document the board proposes to be voted on by members at the next AGM. The amended constitution will be adopted if 75% of club members present at the AGM vote in favour of the changes.
Members are welcome to attend a town hall style info session and member Q&A with the board on Tuesday 10th November, 7:30pm via Zoom.
1. Saturday 31 October – Discussion Paper published
2. Tuesday 10 November (7:30pm) – Town hall style Zoom info session and member Q&A. Register to attend at https://forms.gle/jcm1XyhExn25Cod67
3. Monday 16 November – Deadline for feedback to be submitted
4. Sunday 22 November (at the latest) – Announcement of the time and place (Zoom) of the AGM, including distribution of amended constitution and special resolution. The club will give members at least 21 days notice of the AGM.
1. Current MUSC Constitution (adopted March 2014) [PDF]
2. Amended MUSC Constitution (draft v1 – 31 Oct 2020) [PDF]
The Discussion Paper references a number of other club documents such as policies and committee terms of reference. Some documents contain intellectual property so are not published publicly. Please reach out to a board member if you’d like to discuss the content of a particular document.
Have Your Say
The board of directors look forward to hearing from you, but ask that you please keep your questions or comments brief.
Use the online form at https://forms.gle/jcm1XyhExn25Cod67 to submit feedback or questions &/or register to attend the Town Hall via Zoom.
In most cases, a quick chat on the phone or via Zoom is going to be a more efficient and effective method of communication than lengthy written correspondence. Board members are happy to make themselves available.
Summary of Changes
Current best practice for community sporting clubs is to have a “bare-bones” constitution and to use policies wherever possible. This provides clubs with the flexibility to adapt and serve their purposes and their members in the best way possible.
The matters in the constitution should be only those which are required to outline the governance of the club, but not the operation of the club. The suite of policies and committee charters developed by the club and the way the club has been operating for the past few years should give confidence to club members that the club has policies and processes in place to effectively manage the club’s operations, and that they are not needed in the constitution.
Below is a brief summary of the main changes being proposed. Please review the Discussion Paper (linked above) if you require more detail.
1. Removing duplicated office bearer positions and allowing for non-executive directors
Currently the board is made up of one president, two vice presidents, two secretaries and two treasurers. It is proposed the the board be made up of one president, one vice president, one secretary, one treasurer and three ordinary board members. This will eliminate duplication in roles and free up directors to focus on governance and strategy instead of management and operations. The concept of non-executive directors will allow for people with skills, experience and expertise to join the board who otherwise would not. The rules ensure, to the extent possible, equal representation of women and men on the board (without prejudice to gender diverse people).
2. Changing the nominations/election process to appoint directors first and foremost as directors, and then assign office bearer positions
It will no longer be the case that each director also holds an office bearer position. The club members will elect the board: the president and up to six other directors. The board then determines which of the directors will be appointed to the roles of vice president, secretary and treasurer. The remaining directors will serve as ordinary board members.
The president will be elected first, and therefore fill one of the seven director vacancies. The president chairs the board so has some extra powers and generally sets the strategic direction of the club. It is therefore important that club members can vote for their preferred candidate if there are two or more nominations for president. After election of president, the six other director vacancies will be filled. If there are elections to fill the director positions, members will be deciding between all the candidates for six director positions. This replaces the current process of club members electing individuals to each office bearer position.
Update (Friday 6 November): Clarification has been requested on these changes. The following provides some examples of how the proposed election process would work: Info Sheet – Election of Directors [PDF]
3. Removal of the concept of separate Men’s Division and Women’s Division Committees
The club has operated with smaller operational committees for the past two years. Operational decisions and tasks are undertaken club-wide instead of separately for men and separately for women. This is a more effective use of the club’s limited resources (volunteers and finances) and better allows the club to define a vision and strategic objectives to strive for. The changes also allow for better inclusion of gender diverse people. The club’s Diversity Policy ensures committee composition broadly reflects and is representative of the diversity of the club’s membership. The club retains a Women’s Committee that focuses on advocacy and advice- supporting the club to act in the best interests of women’s football, make progress on the strategic plan and maintain a welcoming space for women’s players.
4. Removing restrictions on how the club manages its funds
The club should have the flexibility to change its banking practices from time to time without needing to amend the constitution to do so. While the club managed a single club budget for the first time in 2020 to great effect (instead of a men’s budget and a women’s budget), it still maintains two bank accounts. Changing the constitution does not mean the club’s current banking practices will change. Members would be consulted if significant changes the club’s banking practices are considered by the board.
5. Removal of unnecessary references to FFV/FFA
The current constitution puts too much emphasis on the club existing to be a member club of Football Victoria and following FV’s processes. It has been confirmed with Football Victoria that their compliance requirements have changed and the rules introduced at their insistence in 2014 are no longer required.
Update (Saturday 7 November): To expand on this- we have so far received conflicting advice from FV about their current compliance requirements. The circulated discussion paper and draft constitution implements the advice that FV have no compliance requirements. A second version of the amended constitution has also been prepared containing possible FV requirements. As soon as a definitive answer is received from FV, any changes to what has so far been distributed for consultation will be distributed. The changes, if required, will essentially re-instate some clauses that exist in the current (2014) constitution and do not impact on other proposed changes. This topic will be spoken to in more detail at the Town Hall meeting.
6. Simplifying the process of admitting Life Members and reinstating the voting rights of Life Members
The requirement for board-approved nominations to be confirmed at an AGM has been removed, allowing the club to celebrate the awarding of life memberships on the timeline that best suits the club and its traditions. The process for admitting life members is best managed by policy so it can be updated from time to time to reflect best practice. Changes to the constitution in 2014 saw life members lose their right to vote at club general meetings. These rights are being reinstated.
7. Removal of Social Members and introduction of Provisional Members
Social members were an unused concept. Provisional membership aims to clear up some administrative grey areas about membership during pre-season and more social opportunities offered by the club.
Please review the Discussion Paper (linked above) if you require more detail.