From the President
Welcome to the EAAA newsletter for July/August. At this stage I will limit our exposure to one newsletter every two months until we can see our way clear to write to you on a more frequent basis. The EAAA web site carries the excellent newsletter from Carolyn Ditchfield (From the Soil Up) so that helps to keep you informed of what is happening ecologically speaking. To read it go to the Newsletter column on the ecoag website and click on From the Soil Up.
As you are aware the website is functioning and has received good feedback from the membership. We have used a Joomla system so that members of the executive might learn how to drive it and enable changes to happen on a more regular basis. I have to admit that that process is taking some time.
Changes are happening though. They include:
- Ecopedia: If you go into the ecopedia you will notice we have posted a profile of some farmers that comply with what we see as an ecologically driven operation. What we are trying to do with Ecopedia is build a bank of farmers who farm this way just to demonstrate what they do and what values drive what they do. In due course we would like to set it up so that those listed can change their own data in much the same way as happens with wikipedia. At this stage we cannot do this. If you would like to be included in the ecopedia ‘Hall of Fame’ please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We need the number to increase from 4 to 104 so please send us a profile or I can interview you over the phone and write it up for you.
- Forum: The forum has room for much more activity. This section of the web site is password protected so please note that you use your normal email address and the password ecoagoz to get into it. The Forum has a discussion room for each of the pillars and one general forum room. If you wish to raise an issue with the EAAA community in regard to any of those domains please go in and use it.
- Ethics: This will be added to shortly. The ethics group has met and will meet again in a few weeks. We are working on policies in a number of areas including GM. A submission has also been made to the Truth in Labelling Commission. That submission has been posted on the ethics section.
The area of ethics gets little coverage in other rural organisation so putting policies in place is an important development for the EAAA and I am sure this pillar will become an important component of our overall mission.
- Education: Information regarding University and TAFE courses has been posted and there is also a link in the primary school section to North Forbes Public School which is a stand out school re growing vegetables and learning how to cook them. Go in and have a look.
- Ecology: This is our most important pillar and yet we haven’t made an impression on its activity as yet. It actually comprises two components – the natural and the social. If you are interested in getting involved in either of these components please get in touch. This area needs a leader!
- Farming: Again not much movement as yet and certainly there is a role for someone in the EAAA to take charge of this area. I will be having discussions with the Environmental Farmers group based in Victoria and a linkage may emerge from those discussions. Possibly the main role for EAAA at this stage is to create linkages into the various farming groups such as NSF or Pasture Cropping or Holistic Mgt, etc. In due course it would be ideal to create a more formal arrangement with these groups.
- Membership: Membership currently stands at 91 which is a handsome number!
- Constitution: We need to advise you of our intention to change the constitution. These changes are required in order to apply for tax deductibility. The changes are outlined below. A teleconference meeting to pass the changes will be held on Tuesday 31 August at 8pm. If you are interested in taking part please register by sending an email to our Secretary Clarissa Davis on email@example.com. Once we hear from you we will send you details re phone in numbers etc. This is at no cost to you.
Ecological Agriculture Australia Association
Special Meeting of Members
Agenda: See below
Date: Tuesday 31 August @ 8pm
Location: The meeting will be held by teleconference.
21 days notice is hereby given of the special meeting of the Ecological Agriculture Australia Association. The purpose of this meeting is to ratify changes to the constitution required to enable the EAAA to apply for DGR status, Tax Deductibility, and inclusion on the list of Environmental Organisations.
Matters for Discussion
1. Changes to the Constitution
The EAAA wishes to apply for DGR status, Tax Deductibility and to apply for inclusion on the list of Environmental Organisations. In preparation for this, the constitution must have some additional clauses added to meet the constitutional requirements for these applications. Details of the additions to the constitution are attached.
- Public Fund Members.
- Financial statements
- Website Management
- Executive membership benefits
9. Any other matters for discussion.
Kerry Cochrane Clarissa Davis
President, EAAA Secretary, EAAA
Ecological Agriculture Australia Association Inc
Changes to the Constitution
The EAAA wishes to apply for DGR status, Tax Deductibility and to apply for inclusion on the list of Environmental Organisations. In preparation for this, the constitution must have some additional clauses added to meet the constitutional requirements for these applications.
The clauses to be added to the constitution are as follows:
“42. Not-for-profit status
The EAAA is a not-for-profit association and therefore complies with the expectation that no profit or surplus monies or property will be paid to its members, beneficiaries, controllers or owners.
43. Tax deductibility scheme for Environmental Organisation
In relation to tax deductibility the EAAA will establish a Public Fund Account with its own bank account for the deposit of donated monies, and monies earned from public fund assets.
The Public Fund will be known as the Ecological Agriculture Australia Public Fund. The fund will be managed by a management committee comprised of responsible members of the local community. Members of the EAAA may be members of the public fund committee but members of the executive of the EAAA should not dominate the composition of the EAAA Public Fund committee.
43 (a) Winding up of the Public Fund.
In keeping with the guidelines re Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) the Public Fund so established will, in the event of being wound up, be transferred to another Fund on the Register of Environmental Organisations.
43 (b) Purpose of the Fund
In keeping with the objectives of the Public Fund all funds collected will be dedicated to the conservation of the natural environment which fall within the ambit of the objectives of the EAAA.
44. Agreement to Abide by Ministerial Rule
The EAAA agrees to abide by ministerial determinations regarding gifts to ensure they are only used for environmental purposes. This agreement has special relevance as follows
- To answer all questions required by the Department stated on the annual statistical return form. This will include an audited financial return for the EAAA and the Public Fund
- To inform the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts of (1) any changes to name of the organisation or the public fund (2) if there are any changes in membership of the management committee of the public fund, and (3) if there are any departure from the model rules of the public fund.
45. Organisation’s Objectives
The vision, mission, and objectives of the organisation are central to its purpose. All activities of the EAAA need to conform to these expectations.
Vision: to develop bio-diverse landscapes, biologically enriched soil, healthy food, and vibrant communities through ecologically, holistic and ethically driven processes.
Mission: To coordinate the activities of the five pillars (farming, food, education, ethics, ecology) to ensure a strong connection between the vision and the objectives as outlined.
- Implementation of the objectives as outlined for the pillars of the organisation: ecology; farming; food; education; and, ethics.
- To foster ways of thinking that enhance an understanding of biodiversity and its value, reflects awareness of connections and relationships, and appreciates the power of systems and emergent properties.
- To raise the profile of ecological farming processes and its relevance to the needs of an Australian society facing diminishing oil reserves and concerns regarding climate change.
- To appreciate that humans are one thread amongst many threads in the web of life. To recognize and respect all forms of life.
- To promote an ecological approach to sustainability in the interest of generations to follow.
- To support policies that encourages the growth of communities as a fundamental component of ecological thinking and behaviour. “