APSA Constitution


The name of the association is the Australian Political Studies Association (the Association).


The Association is unincorporated.

The Association is and continues to be a not-for-profit.

These Rules are intended to be binding on members of the Association.


The purpose of the Association is the promotion of research, education and advocacy of Literature in the field of Political Studies in Australia (Purpose).

Literature means written works and derivates (whether written, oral, auditory or in electronic form) including but not limited to those of cultural, artistic, historic, research and educational merit in the field of Political Studies in Australia.

The Association may do all things that pursue and to achieve this Purpose, in accordance with these Rules.

The Association and its Executive Committee may only do things and use the income and assets of the Association (including those held on trust for the Association or its Purpose) for the Purpose.

The Association must not distribute any income or assets, directly or indirectly, to its members. However, this does not restrict the Association from doing the following things, provided they are conducted in good faith (fairly and honestly):

  • paying a member for goods or services they have provided or expenses they have properly incurred at fair and reasonable rates or rates more favourable to the Association, or
  • making a payment or providing a benefit to a member in carrying out the Association’s Purpose.


Anyone who supports the Purpose and agrees to be bound by these Rules can apply to join the Association as a member.

The Association will maintain a register of members.

Executive Committee

The Association is governed by the Executive Committee that is made up of Executive Committee members. The role of the Executive Committee is to ensure that the Association is responsibly managed and pursues its Purpose.

The Association shall have an Executive Committee made up of the following persons:

  • President;
  • Vice President;
  • Immediate Past President;
  • Secretary/Treasurer; and
  • Three Ordinary Members.

The Editor of the Association’s Journal, a member of the Women’s Caucus elected by that body, a member of the First Peoples’ Politics Forum elected by that body and a postgraduate representative elected by that body, shall be members of the Executive Committee ex-officio.

The convenor and chairperson of the Executive Committee shall be the President unless the Executive Committee decides otherwise. The quorum for Executive Committee Meetings shall be three.

Of the three Ordinary Members of the Executive Committee, not more than one shall be a Professor at the time of the election.

The Executive Committee members must comply with their legal duties under Australian laws and ensure that the Association complies with its duties under Australian laws.

The Executive Committee members must:

  • exercise their powers and discharge their duties with the degree of care and diligence that a reasonable individual would exercise if they were an Executive Committee member of the Association;
  • act in good faith (fairly and honestly) in the best interests of the Association and to further the Purpose;
  • not to misuse their position as an Executive Committee member;
  • not to misuse information they gain in their role as an Executive Committee member;
  • disclose any perceived or actual material conflicts of interest;
  • ensure that the financial affairs of the Association are managed responsibly; and
  • not allow the Association to operate while it is insolvent.


The term of office of members of the Executive Committee shall be three years.

The elected Vice-President shall be the President-Elect, to serve in their second year on the Executive Committee as President and in their third year on the Executive Committee as Immediate Past President.

The office of President shall not normally be held for more than one year.


The Association shall, by secret ballot of the membership using an optional/preferential system conduct the following elections in the following rotation.

At every Annual General Meeting:

  • Elect a Vice-President/President-Elect. To reflect the long-standing APSA convention of gender diversity in the leadership of the Association, the vice-president should have a different gender identification to the incumbent president;
  • Elect one Ordinary Member for a three year term, in rotation (or elect up to three if there are no incumbents);
  • If the President and/or Immediate Past President is not able to remain on the Executive Committee for the duration of their three year term, their position/s will go to an election in the same manner as the Vice-President/President-Elect.

At every third Annual General Meeting:

  • Elect a Secretary-Treasurer.


Nominations for the posts, accompanied by a one paragraph description of the candidate and their reasons for nominating, may be forwarded to the APSA National Office at any time before the annual general meeting (AGM). These will be circulated to members at the conference to consider prior to the AGM. In the event of no nominations being received by the closing date, the Executive Committee may seek suitable candidates to present to the AGM for voting.

Annual Conference

There shall be an Annual Conference of the Association. The time and place of the forthcoming Annual Conference shall be determined by an Annual General Meeting at least twelve months in advance.

The host university shall be responsible for the organization of the Annual Conference in consultation with the Executive Committee.

General Meetings

The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held during the Annual Conference. The Executive Committee may call other general meetings on the provision of notice of one calendar month to the members of the Association. The quorum for General Meetings shall be twenty (20) financial members.


There shall be annual subscriptions of such sums as the Association may from time to time determine. Subscriptions shall be available in a number of different categories including but not limited to ordinary member, student and retired member. Subscriptions shall be paid on a rolling basis.

If a member does not pay in time, their membership may be suspended by the Executive Committee. If the member does not pay all amounts owing within 3 months of their membership being suspended, their membership may be cancelled by the Executive Committee.


The Association must make and keep written financial records that correctly record and explain the Association’s transactions and financial position and performance and enable true and fair financial statements to be prepared and to be audited.

The financial year of the Association is from 1 July to 30 June, unless the Executive Committee passes a resolution to change the financial year.

The Treasurer shall present an audited statement at the Annual General Meeting.

The Association must also keep written records that correctly record its operations, and be able to produce these records if required by law


As an unincorporated Association, the Association cannot enter into contracts in its own name but only in the collective names of three or more individuals appointed by the Executive Committee.

The individuals who enter into any contract under the previous Rule may elect to re-execute a contract if one or more of the individuals is no longer a member of the Association, in which case the Executive Committee shall appoint one or more individuals in their place.


The Executive Committee shall establish policies about the holding and management of funds and assets on behalf of the Association or the Purpose, and that set out who oversees these funds and assets and who can make decisions about them.

The Association must satisfy any obligations that apply to the use of assets over which a trust exists.

The Association may receive funding from any lawful sources approved by the Executive Committee that are consistent with furthering the Purpose.

Endowment Fund

The Association shall maintain an Endowment Fund equivalent to three times its annual turnover.

Withdrawals from the Endowment Fund Account can only be made on the joint signatures of the Treasurer and President after a majority vote resolution is passed by the Executive Committee of a nominated sum; an audited statement of the Endowment Fund Account shall be presented to the Association’s Annual General meeting; and these Rules shall not be varied without a prior resolution from the Annual General meeting of the Association that endorses a written proposal to vary the Rules from the Association’s Executive Committee.

The Endowment Fund is part of the operating account of the Association.


The Association shall publish a journal to be known as the Australian Journal of Political Science.

The Editor of the Journal shall be chosen by the Annual General Meeting for a term of three years. Before the expiry of an Editor’s term of office, it shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee to invite proposals from members of the Association who wish to be considered for the position of Editor, and to make recommendations to the Annual General Meeting.

It shall be the responsibility of the Editor to choose an Editorial Board and a Review Editor. The Editorial Board is to reflect the range of interests within political studies and is to assist the Editor in editorial policy and the administration of the journal.

Other Publications

The Association shall sponsor the publication of such other materials as the Executive Committee may determine.


To the extent possible under law, members (including the Executive Committee members) are entitled to be indemnified out of the assets held for the Association for any debts or liabilities incurred personally by a member when acting on behalf of the Association, so long as the member was:

  • authorised by the Association to take that action, and
  • acting in good faith (fairly and honestly) and in the best interests of the Association.

This indemnity is a continuing obligation and is enforceable by a person even if that person is no longer a member of the Association. This indemnity only applies to the extent that the person is not otherwise entitled to be indemnified and is not actually indemnified by another person (including an insurer under an insurance policy).

To the extent permitted by law, and if the Executive Committee considers it appropriate, the Association may pay or agree to pay a premium for a contract insuring a person who is or has been a member of the Association (including an Executive Committee member) against any liability incurred by that person as a member of the Association (including as an Executive Committee member).

Winding Up

The Association can be wound up by the Executive Committee passing a simple majority vote resolution to wind up the Association.

If the Association is wound up, after it has paid all debts and other liabilities (including the costs of winding up), any remaining assets:

  • must not be distributed to the members or former members of the Association, and
  • subject to the requirements of Australian laws, must be distributed or transferred to another not- for-profit organisation with the same or similar purpose as this Association and as otherwise determined by the Executive Committee.

In making distributions upon winding up, the Association must satisfy any obligations that apply to assets over which a trust exists.

Dispute Resolution

If there is a dispute between a member or Executive Committee member and:

  • one or more members, and
  • one or more Executive Committee members

the parties involved must first attempt to resolve the dispute between themselves within a period of at least 14 days from the date the dispute is known to all parties involved.

If the dispute cannot be resolved between the persons involved, the Executive Committee must be notified, and a dispute resolution process must be put in place by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may develop a policy regarding dispute resolution.

A dispute resolution process must allow each party a reasonable opportunity to be heard and/or submit arguments in writing, and should first attempt to resolve the dispute by the parties reaching agreement. If agreement cannot be reached, the Executive Committee may appoint an unbiased person to decide the outcome of the dispute. The unbiased person may be a member, non-member or professional mediator who is not connected with the dispute or the people involved in it.

Disciplining Members

The Executive Committee can take disciplinary action against a member of the Association if it considers the member has breached these Rules or if the member’s behaviour is causing (or has caused) damage or harm to the Association. The Executive Committee will determine the disciplinary process from time to time. There will be no liability for any loss or injury suffered by a member as a result of any decision made by the Executive Committee in good faith (fairly and honestly) under this Rule.


This Constitution may be altered at a duly convened General Meeting of the Association by a simple majority vote of members present, on a motion of which notice has been given in writing to the Executive Committee.

Approved by the Extraordinary General Meeting on 1 June 2023