Meetings are an essential part of ensuring good corporate governance. The Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) sets out the rules for meetings but there are some parts of the law that corporations can change in their own rule book. This is because the CATSI Act was designed to be flexible to accommodate the needs of corporations. Sometimes holding meetings can be very difficult for corporations in remote parts of Australia, especially if members are located over a large area.
There are two main types of meetings:
- general meetings—open to all members of a corporation
- directors' meetings—for the directors only.
General meetings are open to all members of a corporation. All the people on the current register of members can attend.
A new corporation must hold a general meeting within three months of registration. After that time a corporation must hold a general meeting every year within five months after the end of the financial year. This meeting is called the annual general meeting (AGM).
Annual general meetings
The AGM is an important meeting held once a year to allow the directors to formally provide the members with information of what has happened over the last 12 months. This includes giving the members reports and financial information.
Has your corporation held its AGM yet? The CATSI Act says that the AGM must be held before the end of November each year. If you are unable to hold your AGM by the end of November you should ask the Registrar for an extension of time by filling in an Application for exemption in relation to meetings form—lodge form online or download PDF form.
An AGM, just like any other meeting, will flow much better if it is properly planned and if certain rules and procedures are followed.
You should check your corporation's rule book for rules about your AGM and the business to be conducted at the meeting.
The meetings of directors are where decisions about the business of the corporation are made.
Corporations need to set out in their rule book how often their directors' meetings will be held. ORIC recommends that directors meet at least every three months.