Multicultural Council of Tasmania GUIDE FOR MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEMBERS

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1 Multicultural Council of Tasmania CONTENTS GUIDE FOR MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEMBERS (February 2013) 1. INTRODUCTION 2 2. OUR ORGANISATION Purpose and aims of MCOT 2.2 Organisational status and funding 2.3 Involvement of members and multicultural communities 2.4 MCOT offices and staff 3. THE MCOT COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT The role of the Committee of Management 3.2 Membership 3.3 Committees of MCOT (Suggestions) (a) Governance Committee (b) Migrant and Refugee Settlement Committee (c) Events and Public Information Committee (d) Health and Ageing 4. ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND EXPECTATIONS OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS Collective responsibility of Board members 4.2 Individual responsibility of Board members 4.3 Responsibility of office bearers (a) The Chairperson (b) The Vice President (c) The Treasurer (d) The Secretary (e) Chairs of Committees 5. CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ALL MEMBERS OF THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Commitments required 5.2 Accountability and the Management Committee 5.2 Conflict of interest APPENDICES 1. MCOT Constitution 2. Strategic Plan Reimbursement of expenses for Committee members 4. Management Committee List 5. MCOT s Work Plan 1

2 1. INTRODUCTION This manual is intended to serve as a guide for Management Committee members of MCOT. It is designed to help new and current Management Committee members, as well as staff, understand aspects of their role. Roles, responsibilities and procedures outlined in this manual will change over time and content will be amended to reflect these changes. 2. OUR ORGANISATION 2.1 Mission, purpose and aims of MCOT The organisation s purpose, as expressed in its Strategic Plan is: Purpose: The main function of MCoT is to lobby, monitor and advocate on behalf of those who have experienced the migration process and those who wish to ensure the advancement of social justice, tolerance, access and equity in a multicultural society. In order to achieve this purpose, the Council pursues the following aims: (a) To act as a unifying organisation and to represent its members. (b) To promote the empowerment of migrant and refugee communities and individuals in Tasmania and support the capacity building of Tasmania s migrant and refugee sector. (c) To monitor, research and present information on issues relating to the needs and circumstances of migrants and refugees. (d) To assist governments and inter-governmental organisations to formulate policy and improve support and services for migrants and refugees. (e) To increase public awareness and media sensitivity towards migrants and refugees. MCOT s Strategic Plan dated (see appendix??) contains detailed Information about the context within which the Council works, its vision, goals and objectives. 2.2 Organisational status and funding A non-profit organisation is registered as an association in Tasmania. MCOT receives core funding from the Tasmanian Government, through Multicultural Tasmania as well as membership fees and donations. 2.3 Involvement of members, migrant and refugee communities The organisation's policy and representation work is informed by a constant process of consultation with members, migrant and refugee communities and supporters. Each year, MCOT will conduct state-wide consultations to seek views on issues to be considered by the Government. This consultation process will be supplemented by year-round involvement in interagency networks, and constant contact (though individual meetings, phone contact and ) with members, communities and supporters. Armed with information from these consultation processes and other research, MCOT will represent Tasmanians concerned with migrant and refugee issues at key forums, including: state advisory committees; government dialogues on migration and human rights issues; and regular meetings with politicians and government officials MCOT will take the issues forward to FECCA (Federation of Ethnic Community Council of Australia) to take up at a national level. 2

3 2.4 MCOT offices and staff MCOT s office, is located at 49 Molle Street, HOBART. The staff team is headed by the Policy and Research Officer, supporting by an Administration Officer ands volunteers. The Team has responsibility for research, policy development, communications, membership support and administration. 3. MCOT S COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT 3.1 The role of the Management Committee It is responsible to members of the Council for guiding the policy work of the Council and for the governance of the organisation. The Committee s role includes: providing a focussed and informed voice in matters of migrant and refugee policy in Tasmania; leadership and strategic direction in relation to policy and operations; oversight and monitoring of the policies and operations of the Council; adherence to the aims of the Council and its policies as decided from time to time; decisions on governance matters in the best interests of the Council. In effect, the Board of MCOT has two roles: to act as a state-wide council on matters of migrant and refugee policy; to decide on governance matters related to the running of MCOT secretariat. The Management Committee sees its role on migrant and refugee policy as its key role It has four sub-committees, Migrant & Refugee Settlement Committee; Governance Committee, Events and Public Information Committee and Health and Ageing Committee While the full Management Committee decides on critical governance issues, more minor administrative matters are delegated to the Governance Committee. The Manager and the Treasurer report to each Management Committee meeting on matters decided and seek approval for any decisions which reasonably require the full Management Committee s agreement. The Management Committee can also form Working Groups, as necessary, to assist it in its work. 3.2 Management Committee Membership MCOT is governed by a Management Committee elected by members. The Management Committee consists of: six office bearers Chairperson, Immediate Past Chair, Senior Vice Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer; Nine elected representatives of the members (representatives of organisational members The Chairperson chairs board meetings. Management Committee members hold office for one year with their term of office expiring at the Annual General Meeting. Financial members of MCOT (including nominees of Organisational Members) are eligible to stand for election. Committee of Management members, once elected, serve in a personal capacity, rather than as the holder of a particular office within a member organisation. The Constitution contains detailed information about the organisational structure and is attached at Appendix 1. Details of current Management Committee members (as at 2012) are also appended. 3

4 3.3 Sub-Committees of MCOT Sub- Committees are formed by the Management Committee, according to current needs. a) Governance Sub-Committee The Committee is comprised of four members including the Chairperson and Treasurer and two or three other Management Committee members. The Governance Sub-Committee meets at least four times a year, separately from the Management Committee meetings. Meetings deal with all issues relating to staffing, finance, membership, administration and governance. A report summarising matters discussed and proposing recommendations which require the support of the full Management Committee is presented by the Sub-Committee to each meeting of the Management Committee. The Governance Committee members take responsibility to ensure funding requirements are met, and monitors MCOT s compliance with Insurance requirements, Occupational Health and Safety requirements and all legal requirements of the organisation. The Governance Committee also monitors and reports to the Management Committee on implementation/progress towards the strategic plan. (b) Migrant and Refugee Settlement Sub-Committee This sub-committee is convened by a member of the Executive with (at least) three other Board members The sub-committee deals with the matters covered by MCOT s Work Plan, as well as settlement and living in Tasmania issues. The Sub-committee is responsible to ensure that annual state-wide consultations with migrant and refugee communities are held. This subcommittee is responsible for reporting and making recommendations to the Board relating to its work. (c) Events and Public Information The Chairperson leads this group which is responsible for all media statements by MCOT and should monitor invitations to meetings and events. It is essential that MCOT is represented at events and forums etc to ensure its profile is maintained and improved. Its role and focus is subject to review by the Management Committee (d) Health and Ageing Committee The sub-committee is convened by a member of the Executive with (at least) three other Board members. The Sub-committee is responsible to ensure that annual state-wide consultations with migrant and refugee communities on the issues of Health and Ageing are held. This subcommittee is responsible for reporting and making recommendations to the Board relating to its work. Tasmania has the highest rate of ageing in the general population in Australia. This fact is consistent within the migrant community also. In addition, many older migrants/refugees to Tasmania have little support from family members due to the high need for younger people to seek employment outside Tasmania. With aspects of ageing such dementia prevalent within society, it is particularly important for aged care services to provide culturally appropriate care within facilities or in the home. Loss of memory in older migrants can often mean migrants return to their native language and may have difficulty in understanding English. It is essential that MCOT is effective and 4

5 responsive in its consultations and advocacy on behalf of these issues and encourage the employment and training of bi-cultural workers within the sector. 3.4 Meeting Schedule Management Committee Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month. Council meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month. The Annual General Meeting is usually held in the last quarter of each year. The Sub-committees should meet at least 4 times per year. 4. ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND EXPECTATIONS OF BOARD MEMBERS Day-to-day operational management of MCOT is the responsibility of the Manager of MCOT. While the Manager proposes policies and strategic management of the Council, these require Management Committee approval. The following roles and responsibilities and expectations of Management Committee members includes the collective responsibilities of the Management Committee, individual responsibilities of Committee members and responsibilities of individual office bearers. 4.1 Collective responsibility of Management Committee members determine that the Aims and Objectives of MCOT are implemented and from time to time reviewed; ensure proper accountability to MCOT s Members through regular reports, consultation and the production of audited Annual Accounts; formally appoint the Staff of MCOT; ensure effective organisational strategy and planning through engagement with staff and regular strategic planning sessions with the adoption of a Strategic Planning Document that will guide the activities of the organization; ensure that good staff management strategies are in place and that policy relating to staff is current and appropriate; ensure that the facilities and resources provided for the MCOT staff and volunteers meet Occupational Health and Safety standards and are adequately serviced and maintained and to ensure the availability of adequate resources to carry out the Aims and Objectives of MCOT; manage resources effectively with oversight management of the finances of MCOT including the adoption of annual budgets and monitoring their implementation; formulate, monitor and strengthen services to members and programs of research and advocacy in conjunction with staff through the production and implementation of effective and current policies and position statements; ensure legal and ethical integrity through the implementation of effective management processes, procedures and measures; 4.2 Individual responsibility of Board members Board members will: upon election confirm in writing that they have received the Guide for Management Committee Members and MCOT documents, i.e. Strategic Plan, Work Plan etc; attend meetings regularly, read background documentation prior to the meeting and participate in an informed manner; observe confidentiality and solidarity of Management Committee membership; 5

6 enhance the public image and standing of MCOT by representing the organisation in a positive manner to the public and the media and other players in the field; support the staff by providing feedback on issues when requested and in as timely manner as possible. Management Committee members are encouraged, where possible, to participate in any functions or consultations organised by MCOT. 4.3 Responsibility of office bearers In addition to their responsibilities as Management Committee members, specific responsibilities of individual office bearers are as follows: (a) The Chairperson Provides overall leadership in close co-operation with the Policy and Research Officer, setting high standards of participation and engagement by practical example. Maintains an open door policy and is receptive to the concerns of both Management committee members and staff, taking appropriate action when necessary. Maintains regular contact with the Policy and Research Officer, liaising closely with him or her and ensuring adequate ongoing practical and moral support. Represents MCoT at public functions and with the government and the media when appropriate. In conjunction with the Policy and Research Officer, constructs the agenda for regular meetings and checks the draft minutes for accuracy prior to circulation. Produces a written report for inclusion in the Annual Report, chairs the Annual General Meeting and produces a report for regular meetings.. Ensures the annual Performance Appraisal of the Policy and Research Officer and staff are undertaken. Chairs meetings in a manner that facilitates maximum participation. (b) The Senior Vice Chair Provides support for the Chairperson Deputises for the Chairperson when the incumbent is absent or unavailable. In conjunction with other Executive Members, provides leadership through active participation and engagement with Management Committee members and staff.. Represents RCOA publicly when the need arises. (c) The Secretary Assist the Chairperson in preparing for Committee and Council meetings. Prepares agenda and minutes for distribution to members prior to meetings. Disseminate other appropriate documentation prior to meetings. Ensures effective conduct of Committee and Council meetings. Records attendance at Committee and Council meetings. Takes minutes and records decisions of Committee and Council meetings. Prepare briefing papers as requested by the Chairperson. (d) The Treasurer In line with the responsibilities outlined in the MCOT s constitution, the Treasurer Oversights the collection and receipt of all moneys due to MCOT and the payment of moneys authorised by the Council. 6

7 Ensures that correct accounts and books showing the financial affairs of the Council are kept and that these show full details of all receipts and expenditure connected with the activities of the Council. Submits to each meeting of the Board, a statement on the financial affairs of the Council. Oversights the preparation of an income and expenditure statement and balance sheet for each financial year. Ensures that MCOT s financial records are independently audited at least once each financial year. Ensures that the accounting records and books of the Council be available for inspection by members. In addition, the Treasurer In conjunction with the Chairperson and other Executive Members, provides leadership through high standards of participation and engagement with both other Management Committee members and staff. Provides appropriate advice with regard to fiduciary duties and responsibilities. Chairs the Governance Committee and provides a report on the Sub-Committee s deliberations. Checks draft minutes of the Governance Sub-Committee for accuracy and submits these to the Policy and Research Officer. Represents MCOT publicly when the need arises. (e) Chairpersons of Sub-Committees Convene sub-committee meetings at regular intervals, according to the schedule and, taking into account the availability and convenience of the members. Work closely with the staff members to prepare the agenda and any documents for the sub-committee meetings. Ensure that accurate minutes of the meetings are produced and distributed. Present a report on the activities of the sub-committee to the regular meetings Ensure that the most up to date information relating to the work of their subcommittee such as financial statements, relevant Government documents or legislation, latest statistics on relevant matters, political statements affecting migrant and refugees is available for presentation and discussion at sub-committee meetings. Make every effort to ensure that the sub-committee members actively participate in all meetings. Respond to requests for advice or assistance from the staff and, if unavailable to respond, delegate the task to another member of the sub-committee. Encourage other members of the sub-committee to respond in a timely fashion to requests from staff for advice or assistance. 5. CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ALL MEMBERS OF THE MCOT S MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE 5.1 Commitments required of Board members Members agree to: Fully commit to the aims and the objectives of MCOT. Be actively involved in the activities of MCOT, sharing their expertise, knowledge and experience and engaging with and assisting the Staff when invited. Abide by democratically arrived at resolutions of the meetings. 7

8 Declare any possible or perceived conflicts of interest [see below] and withdraw from subsequent discussion and decision making relating to them. Identify with and represent MCOT at appropriate meetings and functions in conjunction with others.. Refrain from making public or private statements that may in any way compromise the good name and integrity of MCOT. 5.2 Accountability and the Management Committee The Management Committee is ultimately responsible and may be liable for the actions taken or not taken by the Council. The Board should ensure that the Council has proper systems and procedures in place which: safeguard the Council; ensure its operations comply with all legal and professional requirements; ensure regular monitoring and reporting of activities and finances; evaluate activities and performance against targets; guarantee reliable internal accountability systems amongst staff members, 5.3 Conflict of interest A conflict of interest is where a person stands to gain or lose, personally or financially through situations relating to any aspect of the operations of the Council. A conflict of interest can arise when a Committee member for example has employment or other involvements or interest that may make it difficult for them to always act in the best interests of the Council. The conflict of interest may lead to the following consequences: Financial benefit or loss; Political benefit or loss; Personal benefit or loss. It is important to acknowledge that Board members will experience conflicts of interest from time to time but that this does not have to cause a problem if the situation is managed well. Where there is a known or perceived conflict of interest the member should make a statement outlining what the conflict is; APPENDIX 1 Constitution of MCOT APPENDIX 2 Strategic Plan APPENDIX 3 Reimbursements for Management Committee members/staff when representing MCOT (Finance & Asset Management Policy) APPENDIX 4 MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE LIST APPENDIX 5 STAFF WORK PLAN 8

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