From left: Len Mangan, Paul McKinlay (chair), Gaynore Stoessel, Lynda Utting
Secretary: Andrea Douglas
Treasurer: James Fowler
(as at September 2020)
Buddies has an open and democratic structure which allows newcomers to move freely into the organisation and to feel part of its operation right from the beginning.
From its inception in early 2002 and right through until mid-2015, the group had always operated informally. There was no formal structure and no formal rules or office bearers. Its unique informality was highly valued throughout this period and considered to be one of its major strengths.
The group however decided to incorporate in 2015 and to establish Buddies as a legal entity, due to the increased scope and extent of activities being undertaken and the perceived increase in liability of members. Buddies is now a public company limited by guarantee, under the Corporations Act. This has enabled Buddies to:
• open a company bank account
• obtain public liability insurance cover
• access a wider range of public facilities for fundraising and community awareness activities
• participate in a wider range of community events
• register as a charitable not-for-profit organisation
Buddies’ aims are broad based and clearly stated on the website homepage and at the foot of the fortnightly Bulletin.
Becoming a financial member of Buddies requires completion of a membership form and payment of a nominal annual membership of $10 (due 1 July), which is used to cover administration costs. Alternatively anyone who elects to become a monthly donor (see our donations page) is automatically considered a member. Financial members are eligible to vote at AGMs and other special general meetings. However, anyone can participate in Buddies activities.
There are various sub groups – Learn English Holiday, education and community awareness, fundraising, political advocacy, and finance – and anyone is invited to participate in a group relating to their own areas of interest.
Buddies produces a comprehensive fortnightly email Bulletin with more than 1100 people on its mailing list and also maintains its own extensive website.