Constitution Of The Atheist Foundation Of Australia Inc
The name shall be ATHEIST FOUNDATION OF AUSTRALIA INC
The aims of the Foundation shall be:
1. To encourage and to provide a means of expression for informed free-thought on philosophical and social issues.
2. To safeguard the rights of all non-religious people.
3. To serve as a focal point for the fellowship of non-religious people.
4. To offer reliable information in place of superstition and to offer the methodology of reason in place of faith, so as to enable people to take responsibility for the full development of their potential as human beings.
5. To promote atheism.
The Foundation shall have the following powers. It may:
1. Hold meetings, publish, sell and distribute literature; initiate or participate in and operate all means of public media in furtherance of the above aims.
2. Engage in fund-raising activities; receive and accept donations, bequests, endowments,. gifts of land and any other assets whatsoever for the purpose of advancing its aims.
3. Legally hire, acquire and dispose of land, buildings, properties or appliances and may pledge or mortgage the same as security for loans as may be expedient.
4. Affiliate with any other organisation having similar aims, whether incorporated or not, and may appoint delegates to that organisation.
5. Grant Honorary Life Membership to whomsoever is deemed appropriate.
6. Take appropriate disciplinary action, including legal action where necessary, against any member or group of members who is shown to have used the funds, property or activities of the Foundation to make private monetary gain.
7. Take any legitimate action to protect itself from misrepresentation.
8. Establish branches and determine their powers and responsibilities as the need arises.
1. Any person who subscribes to the aims of the Foundation may be admitted to membership by the Committee.
2. Associate Membership shall be open to agnostics who shall be accorded a vote but may not hold office in the Foundation.
3. All intending members shall make application on the official form and pay the prescribed fee.
4. In the event that fees are in arrears by two months, provided that notice has been given, membership lapses, except at the discretion of the Committee.
5. A majority of the Committee may determine suspension or termination of membership. Any member so suspended shall have the right of appeal to a special meeting of members called for the purpose.
6. Membership fees shall be determined at the Annual General Meeting. Fees shall be renewable yearly.
(a) The Committee:
1. The management of the Foundation shall be carried out by an executive comprising the President, Vice-President, Hon Treasurer, Hon Secretary and not less than four other members, the whole of which shall comprise the Committee.
2. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt additional members and in the event of a vacancy occurring in the executive during the year, either a Committee member or an ordinary member may be co-opted to fill that vacancy.
3. The Committee may delegate any of its powers to a sub-committee which shall include at least one executive member and shall report regularly on its work to the Committee.
4. The Committee shall appoint an Editor for the Journal and an Auditor.
5. In matters of urgency the President and two other executive members shall consult together and take whatever action is deemed advisable. Such action is to be reported to the Committee as soon as possible.
1. The Committee shall be elected to office for a period of one year at the Annual General Meeting or at a Special General Meeting called for the purpose.
2. A person must be a member of the Foundation for twelve months or have served on the administration of a similar organisation (to be determined by the Committee) before becoming eligible to hold a position on the Committee.
3. Election shall be conducted by secret ballot or by a show of hands as determined by those present at the meeting.
1. The funds of the Foundation shall be lodged in a bank account (or accounts) which include the words Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc.
2. Cheque signatories to be any two of the executive so authorised and signing conjointly.
3. Finances shall be accountable to the membership at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting called for the purpose.
4. The assets and income of the organisation shall be applied solely to the furtherance of its objects and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to its members except as a bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation.
1. The Annual General Meeting shall be held within three months of the end of each calendar year.
2. Special General Meetings may be called by the Committee as required to discuss specific matters or, where not less than ten members present a written petition to the Committee, the Committee shall arrange for such a meeting.
3. The Committee may from time to time call such General Meetings as it deems expedient.
4. The quorum for a Committee meeting shall be five Committee members, including at least one executive member.
5. Not less than seven days’ notice shall be given to the membership of Annual General Meetings, Special General Meetings and General Meetings.
6. Should any member fail to receive notice of a meeting due to postal delays or other legitimate reasons, the proceedings of the said meeting shall not be invalidated.
1. Alterations or amendments to this Constitution may be made at a Special General Meeting provided that a copy of the proposal is sent to members not less than seven days prior to the meeting.
2. Alterations and amendments will come into effect when carried by a two-thirds majority of members present.
1. The Foundation shall not be dissolved except by a preferential vote of four-fifths of the members assembled at a Special General Meeting called for the purpose.
2. In the event of the organisation being dissolved, the amount which remains after such dissolution and the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, shall be paid and applied by the Committee in accordance with their powers to any like fund, institution or authority which is a non-profit organisation.
Appendix to the Constitution of the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE FOUNDATION
The AFA recognises scientific method as the only rational means towards understanding reality. To question and critically examine all ideas, testing them in the light of facts, leads to the discovery of truth.
As there is no scientific evidence for supernatural phenomena, atheists reject belief in `God’, gods and other supernatural beings. The universe, the world in which we live, and the evolution of life are entirely natural occurrences.
No personality or mind can exist without the process of living matter to sustain it. This life, here and now, is the only one we have. All that remains after a person dies is the memory of their life and deeds in the minds of those who live.
Atheists reject superstition and prejudice, along with the irrational fears they cause. We recognise the complexity and inter-dependence of life on this planet. As rational and ethical beings, we accept the challenge of making a creative and responsible contribution to life.