The name of the club shall be “STEPBRIDGE AUSTRALIA BRIDGE CLUB”.
In these rules, unless the contrary appear:
- COMMITTEE means the Management Committee of the Club.
- GENERAL MEETING means a General Meeting of the Club convened in accordance with these rules.
- MEMBER means a financial member of the Club.
- THE ACT means The Associations Incorporation Act, 2009.
- ABF means the Australian Bridge Federation.
3. The Objectives of the Club
To provide online facilities for members to play the game of Contract Bridge.
To support and promote the game of Contract Bridge consistent with 3.1 and 3.3 of this section. To this end the Club will become and remain affiliated with the Australian Bridge Federation Inc.; and the South Australian Bridge Federation Inc.
To provide social contact between members of the Club and members of other clubs through the medium of Contract Bridge.
The Club is a non-‐profit organisation and shall at all times be operated for the benefit of members.
Play shall be governed by the current International Laws of Contract Bridge.
4. The Powers of the Club
For the purposes of carrying out its objectives the Club may, subject to the Act and the Constitution:
Acquire, hold, deal with, and dispose of, any real and personal property;
Open and operate bank accounts;
Invest money in any security in which Trust Money may by Act of Parliament be invested;
Borrow money upon such terms and conditions as the Club considers appropriate;
Enter into any other contract considered necessary or desirable in the interests of the Club.
5. Annual General Meeting
There shall be an Annual General Meeting no later than 30 September in every year. The very nature of StepBridge forces special conditions for this meeting.
At least one month before that date, the Secretary should send an email to all members advising that the Annual General Meeting will be held. The email should include the Treasurer’s report and the President’s report. The email will advise that all members must be financial members to vote. It will also ask for Nominations for all Committee positions and for any motions or matters of business for the club to be emailed to the Secretary at least three weeks before the Annual General Meeting.
The Secretary will email all members at least two weeks before the Annual General meeting, enclosing a list of all matters to be voted on by the members. This will include a list of all candidates for the various Committee positions. An email address will be given of the Returning Officer who should not be standing for any position. All members will have until midnight 30 September to email their votes to the Returning Officer. The Returning Officer will be appointed by the Committee and does not need to be a member of the Club. The Returning Officer will announce the results of all votes as soon as practical.
The meeting will be deemed to have taken place on 30 September.
If at all practical, all notices and reports and announcement of voting results will appear in the Members area of Stepbridge or be sent by email on request.
The order of business at the AGM shall be to:
Confirm the minutes of the previous AGM and of any SGM held since that meeting.
Present a report by the President covering the business of the year.
Present the Treasurer’s Report of the year’s finances.
Elect officers of the Club and ordinary members of the committee, where required.
Set an annual subscription, table fees and director fees.
Conduct any other business requiring consideration by the club in general meeting, including any special business of which notice has been given in accordance with this constitution.
6. Management Committee
The affairs of the Club shall be administered by a Management Committee which shall consist of the following officers: President, Chief Technology Officer, Secretary, Treasurer, Masterpoints Secretary, StepBridge International Representative, and five (5) Committee members.
Committee meetings shall be held as and when required, provided that a Committee meeting must meet at least three times in each year. Committee meetings will be held over skype or some similar method due to the widespread location of members. Recordings of meetings will be authorized and taken by software developed to record skype meetings like Pamela or a similar program.
A Committee meeting shall be called upon the request of at least two Committee members. Committee members shall be given reasonable notice of the time and place of the proposed meetings and when a meeting is called to discuss a specific matter, members should be informed of the matters to be discussed when given notice of the meeting.
The quorum for a Committee meeting shall be half the number of committee members, and motions shall be passed by a simple majority of those present and voting.
The Associations Incorporation Act 2009 requires that an incorporated association has a Public Officer. The Public Officer must be a person of or above the age of 18 years who is a resident of NSW. It is not necessary for the Public Officer to be a member of the association but may be an ordinary member or committee member of the association. The Committee will appoint the Public Officer.
Should a vacancy occur among the members of the Committee, the remaining members shall have the power to fill the vacancy from the members of the Club and the member so appointed will continue in that position for the remainder of the year.
All offices shall be declared vacant at the Annual General Meeting and an election shall be conducted as prescribed in Section seven of this Constitution.
7. Election of the Management Committee
Candidates for election must be nominated by a financial member and must signify their willingness to be nominated either in writing or by email. Candidates must be members of the club. Candidates may nominate themselves.
Should more than the required number be nominated for any position, a ballot shall be conducted in accordance with the following procedure:
Members shall vote for as many candidates as there are vacancies.
The committee will appoint a returning officer who will not be eligible to stand for committee.
The candidate obtaining the highest number of votes shall be elected.
Voting will be by email unless another method is available and is approved by the committee.
The Management Committee will appoint all directors. It may decide to appoint a Head Director who will be responsible for training new directors on the software. Due to the nature of Stepbridge, those directors do not have to be recognized as directors by the state association or ABF.
The Management Committee will decide the remuneration to directors. This remuneration should be made monthly although the Committee may vary that timing.
Any person can apply for membership of the Club. The application shall be in writing or email. Upon acceptance of the application by the Committee and upon payment of the prescribed fees, the applicant shall be a member of the Club.
A member may resign his membership by giving notice, however, such a member shall be liable for any outstanding subscriptions.
A member may elect to be a home club member of Stepbridge Australia Bridge Club Inc. The club will facilitate this membership by collecting the relevant ABF affiliation Fees from the player and forwarding those fees to ABF.
An Affiliate member is a member who maintains their home club membership elsewhere. An affiliate member will have voting rights and may become a Committee member.
Annual subscriptions will be determined by the Committee. A member whose annual subscription remains unpaid for 90 days shall cease to be a member, unless the Committee grants an extension of time to pay. To vote at the Annual General Meeting and/or to be a committee member, a member must have paid their annual subscription but does not have to be a “home club” member.
The amount payable for Table Fees shall be determined by the Committee.
The Treasurer shall keep a record of all receipts and payments and shall keep books of account recording the financial affairs of the Club.
The Treasurer shall present a financial statement to each Committee Meeting and shall present a statement to the Annual General Meeting, giving details of the financial affairs for the previous year.
The financial year shall run from 1st July to 30th June.
The Treasurer shall maintain bank accounts in the name of the Club and shall keep the funds of the Club in bank accounts approved by the Committee.
Withdrawal forms or cheques shall be signed by two Committee members nominated for the purpose by the Committee. Any internet transfers or direct credits or other payments from the Club’s bank account must be approved by at least two Committee members. Such approval given by email or recorded skype conference.
12. Conditions of Play
Times and places of tournaments shall be determined by the Management Committee.
The Committee shall have the power to determine the conditions of play and may delegate such power to a Tournament Committee or Director.
The Committee shall have the power to suspend or expel any member as in its discretion it considers to be in the interests of the Club. However, no such action may be taken without first giving the member the opportunity to submit a statement in his or her favour.
The member alleged to have offended will be notified in writing by the Secretary of the reason for the action [with details, dates, times, etc.] and invited to submit written or oral statement on his or her behalf. A meeting of the Committee will be convened within fourteen days of the notification.
In the event of the Club agreeing, at a meeting called for the purpose, to disband, any monies remaining after returning funds held in start up funds to members who contributed , and disbursements of payments due, any assets of the Club shall be vested in the State Bridge Association.
15. Alteration of the Constitution
No rule of the Constitution shall be made, altered or repealed except by an ordinary majority vote of members present at the AGM or at a Special General Meeting of the Club duly convened for that purpose. Not less than twenty eight (28) days prior to the general meeting, notice of the proposed alteration, amendment or repeal must be forwarded to all members. Voting will proceed as for voting at Annual General Meetings.
The Public Officer shall be responsible for sending the renewed Constitution to the appropriate Government Department.
16. Initial Year of the Club
The initial year of the club is November 2016 to December 2017. No Annual General Meeting is to be held in March 2017. All members of the Committee for this period have “volunteered” to enable the club to be functional with short notice.