Become a Member

We welcome applications for membership from interested individuals and incorporated bodies. The following is a summary of the main legal rules that apply to membership of BEING – Mental Health Consumers.

What kind of organisation is BEING – Mental Health Consumers?

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 both our Constitution and our Code of Conduct before applying for membership – please click on the links to read or download a copy.

Why become a member?

Becoming a member is a demonstration of your interest in our work and a commitment to promoting the goals of BEING – Mental Health Consumers. Importantly, ONLY members can:

  • vote at the AGM;
  • elect board members; and
  • stand for election on the BEING board.

Who can become a member?

Individuals and incorporated bodies may apply to be a member of BEING. To apply for membership, you must support the purpose of BEING’s work.  Over and above this, you must satisfy each of the membership requirements and then our board will either approve or reject your application. If you are an individual, those requirements include that you:

  1. are 18 years old or above
  2. have current or previous personal lived experience of mental health issues
  3. are a resident of, or work in, New South Wales
  4. have applied for membership in accordance with the rules set out in our Constitution and
  5. have agreed to be bound by our Code of Conduct.

Application Process

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.

An individual stops being a member if they:

  1. are deceased
  2. resign, by writing to the secretary
  3. are expelled, or
  4. 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 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:

  1. 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
  2. if BEING is wound up and has surplus funds, these will be transferred to charities engaging in similar activities
  3. each member of BEING has a single vote at our annual general meeting (and any other general meetings)
  4. BEING cannot pay dividends or issue shares
  5. BEING must reinvest any profit towards the organisation’s purposes.

To apply for membership, click here.

Thank you for your interest in BEING – Mental Health Consumers.