We welcome applications for membership from interested individuals.
We have designed a set of legal rules about who can be a member and what being a member involves. Below is a brief summary of some of the rules that apply.
BEING – Mental Health Consumers Limited is a company limited by guarantee, meaning it is a type of public company registered under the Corporations Act 2001. This company structure is commonly used for not-for-profit and charitable organisations in Australia and we are governed by a board of directors. As well as the Corporations Act 2001, we have a constitution that sets out more information about how BEING should be run. We recommend you read our Constitution before applying for membership – please contact us to obtain a copy. If you become a member, you must consent to become a shareholder of BEING – Mental Health Consumers Limited.
In summary, only individuals (and not e.g. corporates or trusts) may apply to be a member of BEING and in that capacity you must support the purpose of our work. Over and above this, you must satisfy each of the below requirements and then our board will either approve or reject your application. Those requirements include that you:
- are 18 years old or above
- have or have had personal lived experience of mental health issues
- are a resident of New South Wales
- have applied for membership in accordance with the rules set out in our Constitution and
- have provided at least 2 references with your membership application and agree to be bound by our Conduct of Conduct.
We recommend you also read our Code of Conduct before applying for membership – please contact us to obtain a copy.
Approximately four times a year our board will consider applications for membership. After your application has been considered, we will write to you and let you know if your application was successful or not. Please note that we do not have to give reasons if your application is rejected.
If your application is successful, we are required by law to notify the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) that you have agreed to become a member and we must provide ASIC with your name and address. If you don’t provide us with your name and address, we won’t be able to complete this important legal step, so please ensure you answer all questions on the membership application form if you want to apply to be a member.
Please note that whilst we don’t currently charge a membership fee, in the future that may change. A person stops being a member if they:
- resign, by writing to the secretary
- are expelled, or
- have not responded within six months to a written request from the secretary that they confirm that they want to remain a member, unless the directors determine otherwise.
As mentioned above, BEING – Mental Health Consumers Limited is a company limited by guarantee. As we are also a charity, we are also regulated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), which is the independent national regulator of charities.
Some key features of companies limited by guarantee include:
- members (or shareholders) have limited liability if the company is wound up owing money. The amount members have to pay to help with the costs of winding up the company is limited to the amount each has agreed to contribute, which in the case of BEING – Mental Health Consumers Limited is $1
- if BEING is wound up and has surplus funds, these will be transferred to charities engaging in similar activities
- each member of BEING has a single vote at our annual general meeting (and any other general meetings)
- BEING cannot pay dividends or issue shares
- BEING must reinvest any profit towards the organisation’s purposes.
An application for membership can be accessed here and thank you for your interest in BEING!