Down to Earth (Victoria) Co-operative Society Ltd. ABN 77 380 803 219
This AGM has been held over from 2019, thus in places here is referred to as the 2019 AGM, even though it is being held in February 2020.
* Minutes of previous AGM
* Financial Reports
* Other Reports
* Opening of Director Positions
* Election of Directors
* Motions to be voted on Close
There are three (3) positions for Board of Directors.
Re-nominating board members: David Cruise, Coral Larke, Troy Reid
Retained board members: Robin McPherson, Mark Rasmussen, Kate Shapiro, Grant Waldram
Nominations for 2019 election:
Melody Braithwaite, David Cruise, Coral Larke, Kathy Ernst, Troy Reid, Peter Tippett
The 2019 Annual General Meeting of the Down To Earth (Victoria) Co-operative Society Ltd will be held at 7.30 PM.on Thursday 27th February 2020
(financial year, 2018-2019)
Location: “Ceres” Learning Centre, 8 Lee Street. Brunswick, 3057, and online through Zoom application https://dte.coop/zoom . Ceres map reference N11
Motions for the Annual General Meeting Thursday 27th February 2020
Motion 1. That no director should hold an Organising Committee, ConFest Committee, Market Committee or ConFab facilitator role.
1. Being a Director is a demanding and important role. Directors should be able to focus on performing their Director roles without becoming overcommitted by performing tasks which can be done by other members.
2. This will encourage greater involvement by other DTE members and allow more people to make a meaningful contribution.
3. Concentrating power and expenditure with a few individuals is a risk to DTE.
– Motion by Kathy Ernst, supported by Deb Moerkerken and Tania Morsman
Motion 2. That no one person or group should receive a general budget exceeding 10% of an OC appropriation made at a General Meeting for general OC operating expenses. Additional funds for a special project or capital expenditure can be approved as a separate appropriation at a General Meeting. Any area requiring more funding should be split up with different facilitators.
1. This motion is not just about expenditure, it is about sharing power and responsibility for practical reasons and in keeping with DTE values of participation and equality.
2. In writing this motion, I have used expenditure as an objective measurement of size of area of responsibility.
3. Large appropriations for OC operating expenses are made at General Meetings. The intention is that the Organising Committee distributes this money between the different areas requiring funding. But sometimes large amounts of money are allocated without a detailed budget. The Organising Committee then has little control over, or knowledge of how, the money is spent.
4. Giving any facilitator a large area of responsibility creates too much work for a few people. We risk jobs being done poorly due to lack of time and volunteers being overwhelmed and leaving.
5. Smaller roles would give more people the chance to be involved and allow people to concentrate on doing a good job.
6. Concentrating too much power and responsibility with a few individuals is a risk to DTE.
– Motion by Kathy Ernst, supported by Deb Moerkerken and Tania Morsman
Motion 3 MOTION: Transparency and Participation in Meetings
· That all General Meetings, Board Meetings, Meetings of Committees of the Board (Organising, ConFest, Market and ConFab) and Subcommittee Meetings are notified at least 48 hours in advance by listing on data.dte.org.au.
· That official written minutes of General Meetings, Board Meetings and Meetings of Committees of the Board are uploaded to data.dte.org.au.
· That minutes or notes of discussion and decisions of subcommittee meetings are uploaded to data.dte.org.au.
· That if an emergency meeting is required with less than 48 hours notice, the meeting and minutes/notes are still posted on data.dte.org.au , the meeting is restricted to urgent items and actions are justified at the next meeting
1. The DTE Constitution requires 48 hours notice for some meetings. People have attempted to circumvent this requirement by listing the meeting on an obscure website.
2. At least 48 hours notice should be given for all meetings to increase participation.
3. Some people are claiming that meetings of subcommittees in which they are involved are open to all, but reality is that they are not, because most people do not know when the meetings are happening.
4. In the interests of transparency and involvement, all people should be able to know what is happening at meetings. Realistically nobody can attend all the DTE meetings that are happening.
5. Some people are claiming that notes or minutes of subcommittee meetings are available but reality is that they are not, because most people do not know where to find the notes or minutes.
6. This motion specifies ‘at least 24 hours notice’ and is not attempting to override requirements for much longer notice periods for some meetings as required by the DTE Constitution or Cooperatives National Law.
7. This motion is not attempting to override requirements for Notices to be given individually to members for some meetings as required by the DTE Constitution or Cooperatives National Law.
8. When a meeting is added to data.dte.org.au an email is sent out and people do not need to keep checking a website to know about new meetings.
– Motion by Kathy Ernst, supported by Peter Tippett and Tania Morsman
Motion 4: That the market committee appropriate $20,000 for expenses for 2020 ConFest. These expenses will be itemised and budgeted at a Market Committee meeting.
Money will be used to contribute to machinery operations, sullage preparation and improvements, lighting, shade and decoration for the market space including an entrance way to be built at one entrance. Shade structures will be made from 6m cypress posts reinforced and braced with timber and topped with shade cloth similar to the structure built by Corrine at the old site. Sullage will require pipe work and a settling tank. Machinery use/implement hire is required for the project. Improvements to lighting and decorations is also planned with purchases of paint, wood and associated sundries (screws, brushes etc).
Any persons wishing to join the market committee and contribute to actions required is welcome.
– Motion by Emma Bennett, supported by Steve Gregory and Fulvio Gerardi
Nominations for the Board
There are three positions on the Board to be filled at this AGM.
The six candidates standing for election have given the statements below in support of their application.
I Melody Braithwaite am dedicated to using my skills, experience and knowledge from across the corporate, government and private sector to support the ideals of Confest as a community of Cooperating individuals with a common goal to enhance the health, well-being and experience of a vibrant resilient and creative community.
My policy aim for ConFest would be to streamline processes such that they are transparent across the organisation, people could find out easily what they needed to do for a particular task – improving the accessibility of information and orientation of new members into the Coop. This also extends to supporting Facilitator teams and leaders in a two way information flow while avoiding information overwhelm – so they can get the support and acknowledgement as and when required for the tremendous job they do often under trying circumstances.
My goal would be to help facilitate better communications both vertically and horizontally across the organisation – to reduce the amount of non- constructive correspondence. I would like to contribute towards improving chairing and minutes to participants meeting experience as being positive, enriched each person’s feeling of moving towards a desired goal that is worthy and worthwhile for the givers and those that receive these services.
ConFest appears to me, to be unique in the world. There are many festivals in the world but none that are a lived in experience of an alternate way of being, how human communities could live. ConFest is a therapeutic community.
I have been a DTE Director a number of terms since 1990. My current term ends with this AGM. I was 50 years old when I went to my first ConFest I am now over 80.
I believe the core spirit of ConFest must be protected from those who will organse it out of existence. My fear is the mantra “best practice” from the outside world. We can only find ConFest best practice in ConFest. ConFest is over 40 years old.
The Down To Earth Co-op was registered 7th July 1977. Both still doing well.
I have spent 30 plus years working to further and protect the body and spirit of ConFest. I would like to continue. ConFest is a pocket of hope for humanity, a therapeutic community. Please share my delusion and keep ConFest alive.
I love Confest. My motivation to nominate is to ensure DTE remains viable and Confest continues forever.
I want to ensure that Confest remains true to its origins as a Conference Festival exploring alternatives and a genuinely non- commercial grass roots event where community, inclusiveness, diversity and participation are core values.
I want to ensure that DTE retains its self-organising, bottom-up structure where everyone can participate and everyone is heard.
I believe the role of the Board is to ensure compliance with Government regulations and that DTE meets high standards of financial accountability, transparency and community expectations for safety and wellbeing and I will work to achieve this.
DTE and Confest should be run by the members who participate in the Committees and Subcommittees. As a director my responsibility would be to support these committees and encourage members to participate in decision making, not override them.
Confest has changed our lives for the better. Let’s work together to ensure that the magic of Confest continues.
I asked myself the question if I ran again as a director would I be doing it for the right reasons? Can I offer DTE something of value and could I commit to another two years. The answers would determine if I should run again. After soul searching I believe ‘yes I can’.
The contributions I have made to DTE as a director are: acted as DTE Secretary for 18 months, cleaned up years of incorrect information listed on Corporate Affairs records, ensured that meeting minutes were produced, started a Cultural Change program and bank work.
The Board needs to be held accountable. I have witnessed questionable behaviours: if the status quo remains I worry for DTE in the long term. The areas I will focus on if re-elected are: creating a mechanism where directors are held to account, develop a Board Code of Conduct collectively with the standing committees and directors & quarterly peer review assessments.
The fun stuff outside the Board: I enjoy working at the Working Bees, Cause Camp, 4ArtSake, Recycling at Confest and of course the River, the endless beautiful restorative power of the Edward River.
For me, DTE has a mission well beyond organising successful gatherings. It can play an important role to shape society by nourishing our communities, facilitating knowledge and skill sharing, reconnecting generations both young and young at heart, and literally grounding us through a shared connection to the land where we gather.
I have a vision that the one day we could offer the skills our community has developed to help other communities throughout Australia and develop partnerships with similar organisations to help achieve our broader social-change objectives. I have a vision that our cooperative will eventually become a better reflection of the diverse and inclusive ConFest community.
Through constructive teamwork, consistency and stability, I see this organisation growing in size and resilience. Critical to this, we must provide sustainable quality volunteer experiences with respectful boundaries for people to thrive.
Together let’s create opportunities for meaningful engagement with the organisation and with each other. Together, let’s build upon the work of those who came before us and create a solid foundation for those who follow. Together, let’s have some fun.
I believe I have demonstrated experience, energy and commitment to contribute to this endeavour.
I would like to enable others and contribute myself.
I see too many turn away.
I believe the way to clean things up is to provide information. This is what I will do.