National Council

About the National Council

The S.S.P.A. is administered by a body called the National Council elected at every National Annual General Meeting held at the National Convention each year. Its structure includes an executive consisting of the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, and a committee of ordinary National Council members.

The elected National Council meets on a quarterly basis i.e. approximately every three months. Its first meeting is always held directly after each Annual General Meeting in October, and thereafter, meets in December, and then March and June of the following year. While the meetings require the attendance of National Council members, it also allows for members to attend in the capacity of observers. The meetings are held at a member’s home and are generally followed by a social get-together.

The main duty of the National Council is to disseminate all such information to SSPA members as the Council considers is in the interests of the members and consistent with the objectives of the SSPA. This is by means of meetings, published minutes, circulars, SSPA Journal or otherwise, as the Council sees fit.

Responsibilities and obligations of serving National Council members      

  • The National Council meets four times per year. Generally, two of these meetings are face-to-face and two are phone link-ups. In accordance with the Constitution of the SSPA, a Councillor is expected to attend at least two out of the four National Council meetings;
  • In the event of non-attendance at a National Council meeting, Council members should send their apologies. Absent Council members may appoint a proxy for a particular meeting. The appointment of a proxy must be in writing, signed by the member appointing the proxy and stipulating the meeting for which it is to have effect [Refer to SSPA Constitution, Item 15, Para 1(e)].
  • Councillors are expected to carry out their duties promptly when given specific tasks or appointed on sub-committees. Sub-committees are often formed on Council to investigate a new area of activity or examine an existing policy. In the event that Councilors are asked to participate on a sub-committee, they are expected to carry out their duties promptly.
  • Councillors should familiarise themselves with the Constitution of the SSPA (with particular reference to the ‘Objectives’) as well as the Mission Statement. Councillors should also be familiar with the Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct and the Publicity Guidelines.
  • Retiring or outgoing National Council office bearers and National Council-appointed officers must hand over their duties promptly to their successors, together with all relevant records and documents, etc. They should also give their successors a briefing describing the key processes and responsibilities relating to their position, as well as any current priorities and challenges to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities.
  • These responsibilities and obligations apply to all National Council members, both ‘ordinary’ and ‘office-bearers’.

2013/2014 Office-bearers and National Council members

At the 46th Annual General Meeting held at Hobart, Tasmania in October, 2013, elections for the 2013/2014 National Council were held and the results were as follows:

* Denotes short-statured person          

OFFICE BEARERS

Position Name State Email address
President Sam Millard* Victoria [email protected]
Vice-President Linda Henderson* New South Wales [email protected]
Secretary Alicia Jenkins* New South Wales [email protected]
Treasurer Rosemary Hobbs* Victoria [email protected]
Journal Editor Graci Lynch* Victoria [email protected]
Overseas Liaison Officer/
Social Media Coordinator
Meredith Young* Victoria [email protected]
Membership Secretary Vicki Fallon* New South Wales [email protected]
SSPA Librarian (Appointed) Sandra Lundie Queensland [email protected]
SSPA Web Master (Appointed) Francis Kelly* Victoria [email protected]
SSPA Sports Coordinator Tom Carney*
Oliver Lynch*
Victoria [email protected]
Government Liaison Officer (Appointed) Margherita Coppolino* Victoria [email protected]

NATIONAL COUNCIL MEMBERS

Position Name State Email address
Council Member Alyssa Biddle* South Australia [email protected]
Council Member Sarah Darkin* Tasmania [email protected]
Council Member Steven Devine* South Australia steve.devine87@hotma[email protected]
Council Member Kobie Donovan* Queensland [email protected]
Council Member Suzann Franklin Western Australia [email protected]
Council Member Leisa Prowd* Victoria [email protected]
Council Member Liz Stephens* Queensland [email protected]

Description of National Council positions

The National Council office-bearers, along with the National Council members are responsible for making Association decisions. They may be required to form sub-committees from time to time.

Each National Council position is served on an honorary basis.

The following information is a summary of the job descriptions of National Council office-bearers.

The following positions are those of the elected office bearers:

 

President – the President is the figurehead of the Association and must be a person of short stature who is a positive role model to other members. They should be able, if called upon, to speak or give interviews etc., to publicise the SSPA. The President shall be the Chairperson of all meetings of the National Council and therefore must be confident and capable of running a meeting and adhering to the agenda. Each member of the National Council has one vote. In the case of an equality of votes, the President shall have a second or casting vote. The President is required to present a written report to the AGM. The President has the normal responsibilities and obligations of a Council member i.e. making Association decisions and participating on subcommittees when required. Please refer to the above, “Responsibilities and Obligations of Serving Council Members”, for details on attendance at Council meetings.

Vice-President – the Vice-President is the understudy to the President. He/She is a person of short stature and must be a positive role model to other members of the SSPA. The Vice President is expected to take on the duties of the President if he/she is unavailable. The Vice-President is required to give a report to the AGM. The Vice-President has the normal responsibilities and obligations of a Council member (see above).

Secretary – the role of Secretary is a time-consuming position. The Secretary records all National Council meeting minutes, prepares them and forwards them, along with agendas of the meetings, to Council members. The same procedure is followed for the AGM. Also, the Secretary handles correspondence, both in and out. The Secretary gives a “Correspondence” report at each National Council meeting and prepares a Secretary’s report for the AGM. As well as this, the Secretary has the usual responsibilities and obligations of a serving Council member (see above).

Treasurer – the role of Treasurer is also a time consuming position. The Treasurer is responsible for the receiving of all Association monies (i.e. memberships, donations etc.). He/She is responsible for the banking of monies and the balance of the Association’s books. They prepare financial statements for each Council meeting as well as the yearly financial report for the AGM. The Treasurer also prepares the books for audit each year and has the normal responsibilities of a serving Council member (see above).

Journal Editor – the Journal Editor is responsible for the publication, collating and dispatch of the SSPA Journal every second month. As well as being a time-consuming position, this is a very responsible role, as the Journal is the means by which members keep in touch and aware of what their Association is providing for them. The Journal Editor must own a computer with the following minimum requirements:

  • Windows 98 or later
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • CD Burner
  • Scanner
  • Internet connection

The Journal Editor prepares a report for each National Council meeting as well as the AGM. The Journal Editor also has to fulfil the obligations and responsibilities of a serving Council member (see above).

Overseas Liaison Officer – the Overseas Liaison Officer handles all overseas correspondence, relates any matters of interest to council and publishes the same in the journal. They are responsible for liaising and maintaining contacts with short-statured groups around the world. The Overseas Liaison Officer prepares a report for each National Council meeting as well as the AGM. They are also required to fulfil the obligations of a serving Council member (see above).

Membership Secretary: the role of Membership Secretary is to maintain up-to-date records of the current status of the members of the SSPA and to make those records available to other Council members and State Secretaries. To do this, the Membership Secretary must liaise with the Treasurer who receives the money for membership fees. The Membership Secretary is required to submit a brief report to each National Council meeting citing the current numbers of members and any statistics or information worth noting. They must also report to the AGM of the SSPA. They are also required to fulfil the obligations of a serving Council member (see above).

Usual tasks of the Membership secretary include:

  • Letter of welcome to be mailed to new members along with a package of SSPA resources/materials e.g.  SSPA brochure, Emily Neyland Book and Parent Rep kit. Journals for the current year also to be included in the package.
  • Maintain membership database by:

–  keeping record of all financial members of the association

–  keeping separate databases of all short statured children of members

–  sending full membership lists to President, Secretary, Treasurer and Librarian at the end of each financial year. Include separate lists of SSP children. Periodically send membership updates to all the above.

–  sending membership lists and a separate children’s list to all state secretaries.

–  regularly mail lists of new parents to state secretaries to pass on to the Parent Reps.

  • Maintain database of overseas journals and free journals.  Liaise with OLO re. the receipt of overseas journals.
  • Email labels (for members, overseas and free journals) to printer one week after journal deadline.
  • Advise Journal Editor of new members
  • Liaise with Web Master re. email addresses
  • Respond to queries.

The following positions are not elected, they are Council-appointed, and do not become vacant every year according to the discretion of the National Council:

Librarian: the Librarian takes charge of all the publications that have made up the SSPA Library over the last 30 years. They are responsible for collecting new and interesting publications and material that relates to people with disabilities in general and short stature in particular. The Librarian establishes a system for lending the SSPA’s publications to members, and is also responsible for informing members (through the Journal) of the Library’s contents as well as any new additions or acquisitions. The Librarian is required to submit a brief report to each National Council meeting, giving an update on the status of the SSPA library. The Librarian must report to the AGM of the SSPA. Like the Web Master, the Librarian is not an elected position, but is Council-appointed. The Librarian is not required to attend Council meetings but is welcome to do so in the capacity of an observer.

Web Master: the Web Master is responsible for coordinating and maintaining the SSPA National Website. The Web Master must own a computer with up-to-date website editing software e.g. Microsoft Front Page, Dreamweaver, and an internet connection. The Web Master is required to submit a brief report to each National Council meeting, giving an update on the status of the SSPA website. The Web Master must report to the AGM of the SSPA. Like the Librarian, the Web Master is not an elected position, but is Council-appointed. The Web Master is not required to attend Council meetings but is welcome to do so in the capacity of an observer.
The Web Master’s duties include the following:

Government Liaison Officer: Primary role is to remain informed and communicate with National Council on issues pertaining to disability have an effect on people with short stature and their families. Where necessary, attend government briefings on relevant policy issues.

  • Act as a liaison between the SSPA National Council and State/Federal Governments as required

  • Liaise and retain communication with the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO)

  • Network with other Disability Peak organisations – nationally and internationally

  • Provide advice to SSPA National Council on policy and government issues of relevance

  • Prepare articles of information for the SSPA Journal for members interest

  • Provide reports at each National Council meeting of the SSPA and a final report to the AGM of the SSPA.

Nominations for National Council

Each year, prior to the SSPA AGM, members are invited to nominate fellow SSPA members for election to the National Council, by completing and submitting the nomination form which is either made available at a State Branch meeting, or via the SSPA Journal. This is especially useful for those members who will not be attending the AGM. Each nomination must be moved and seconded. In order for a National Council nomination to be valid, the nominee must be a financial member.

Click here to download the 2012/2013 SSPA National Council nomination form

Please note that nominations are also accepted from the floor on the day of the AGM.

Where two or more members are nominated for a National Council office-bearer position, the result is usually determined by a show of hands from the floor at the AGM

© 2014 SSPA.