Secretary

SUMMARY

The Secretary position of the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) plays a critical role in fostering Board of Director communications, managing meetings and keeping important organisational records.

BENEFITS

  • Executive Board experience which contributes to management training and to your professional CV
  • Complimentary ESA membership
  • Paid travel and accommodation to attend the annual Planning Day and AGM held in conjunction with the Society’s annual conference.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) is governed by a Board of Directors (Board). Directors are elected at the Annual General Meeting (with the exception of the Past President) and hold their position for a three-year (Executive positions) or two-year (Ordinary Director) term.

The Board is made up of several executive positions – President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer, as well as Ordinary Directors and other special positions. The ESA employs several staff members that assist with the executive function of ESA, finance, membership, website and media.

The business of the Board is largely conducted by emails, monthly teleconference meetings and at the annual Planning Day (held in conjunction with the annual conference).

GENERAL OBLIGATIONS OF ALL BOARD MEMBERS

  • Put the interests of the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) at the foremost in their deliberations as Board members
  • Use reasonable care, skill and diligence in the performance of their duties
  • Be honest, act in good faith and do not use their role or information obtained as a Board member dishonestly
  • Be aware of their responsibilities under the relevant legislation and case law
  • Disclose any potential conflict of interest by acknowledging likely conflicts (in writing) and withdrawing from any related discussion or decisions, (and ensuring these steps are noted in the minutes of the meeting)
  • Refraining from gaining personally from being a Board member
  • Refraining from divulging any confidential information outside of the appropriate forum
  • Declare any relevant potential conflicts of interest.

GENERAL DUTIES OF ALL BOARD MEMBERS

  • Understand how ESA works, including membership services, programs and staff
  • Keep up to date by reading the minutes, reports and any other necessary meeting papers
  • Regularly attend Board meetings
  • Be familiar with the organisation’s constitution and by-laws, including the specific roles and responsibilities of the Board outlined within it
  • Approve relevant documents, including documents related to the organisation’s finances
  • Ensure ESA’s compliance with funding agreements, policies, legislation and regulations
  • Be active in planning for the future direction of the organisation
  • Take responsibility for particular areas of work, perhaps through involvement in sub-committees or working groups
  • Ensure that new committee members are aware of their statutory obligations and responsibilities to the organisation
  • Try to be as active as possible in Board decision making
  • Be supportive of the organisation in the eyes of the public
  • Attend annually, where possible, ESA Planning Day, the Annual General Meeting and Annual Conference.

HONORARY SECRETARY

The Secretary:

  • is an honorary position, a member of the Executive Board and has a minimum expected term of 3 years and a maximum term of 6 years
  • works closely with the President, Executive Officer and Treasurer to manage ESA correspondence and general Board matters
  • arranges Board, Executive and Annual General meetings and give due notice of all meetings to those entitled to attend
  • keeps minutes of the proceedings of all Board, Executive and Annual General Meetings and arranges for distribution of copies of minutes.

The Secretary should be equipped to handle the following duties.

COMMUNICATIONS

  • The Secretary is an active conduit for communications for the Executive, Board and staff, by giving proper notice of any meetings, and timely distribution of materials such as agendas, business papers and meeting minutes.
  • The Secretary should be knowledgeable of the organisation’s records and related materials, and should be able to provide advice and resources to the board on these matters.
  • The Secretary maintains a current Board contact list.
  • The Secretary is responsible for maintaining the Governance pages on the Society’s website.

SCHEDULING, NOTICES AND MATERIALS

  • The Secretary is tasked with knowing and complying with notice requirements and scheduling meetings to accommodate the Board and Executive.
  • The Secretary is responsible for scheduling board meetings and should ensure an adequate quorum and number of meetings are held each year in accordance with the by-laws.

MINUTES

  • The Secretary is charged with recording minutes of meetings that document and provide a chronology of key information such as board actions, board motions and reports from directors and staff.
  • The Secretary should be well-equipped to record accurate minutes and be aware and sensitive to any special or confidential information discussed.

The specific duties of the Secretary are as follows:

  • Monthly meetings – manage calendars and rosters, arrange teleconference, call for agenda items, compile agenda, action items and business papers, collate correspondence, attend meetings, compile meeting minutes, circulate minutes and papers following the meeting.
  • Annual General Meeting – create Secretary’s report, co-ordinate Director reports, compile agenda and reports, provide all papers to membership via ESA website, attend AGM, compile attendees, take minutes, upload minutes to ESA website.
  • Planning Day – call for agenda items, compile agenda, action items and business papers, collate attendees, attend meeting.
  • Working Groups – serve on working groups as required/interested.
  • Other duties – maintenance of board contact lists, web content, assistance with financial and business audits, and miscellaneous activities to assist other directors fulfil their roles.

TIME COMMITMENT

  • Meeting preparation – 8 hours per month
  • Meeting attendance – 2 hours per month, plus Planning Day and the AGM.
  • Other activities – 2 hours per month

REMUNERATION

  • Complimentary membership to the ESA
  • Free travel and accommodation to attend meetings to fulfil obligatory roles (eg. Planning Day, linked to the Annual Conference & AGM held in conjunction with the annual conference)

FURTHER READING