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ASTEN Constitution

1. Name

1.1 The name of the network is “ASTEN”, which is the Australasian Science and Technology Engagement Network.

2. Administration Office

2.1 The ASTEN office shall be located at the institutional address of the ASTEN Executive Officer.
2.2 The ASTEN office may be transferred to another location within Australia or New Zealand by a decision of the Executive Committee.

3. Objectives

3.1 The objectives of ASTEN are to:

i. Encourage cooperation among science and technology centres, museums and other organisations which use an interactive approach to further the public understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
ii. Advocate for the roles and activities of member organisations

iii. Act as the Australasian focus and clearing house for information about the collective activities of member organisations
iv. Encourage and facilitate the creation or exchange of interactive exhibits, exhibitions, programs and partnerships between member organisations
v. Share information on the wide range of activities of member organisations
vi. Support the professional development of people in Australia and New Zealand around informal STEM engagement and the display and communication of STEM exhibits.

4. Activities

4.1 Major activities of ASTEN shall include:

(i) organising professional development seminars, conferences and workshops for member organisations;
(ii) arranging opportunities for skill sharing between staff of member organisations
(iii) sharing good practice and developing industry standards
(iv) collecting and disseminating relevant information within member organisations by way of a regular communication
(v) representing member organisations in national, regional and international events and programs;
(vi) providing a forum for information exchange about touring exhibitions
(vii) providing a directory of members showcasing their areas of expertise or specialisation
(viii) liaising with other similar Australian, New Zealand and international networks
(ix) facilitating the provision of professional assistance and advice
(x) facilitating the establishment of special interest groups appropriate to member organisations.

5. Membership

5.1 Eligibility for membership shall be to those organisations and individuals with objectives that are consistent with the objectives of ASTEN.

5.2 Application for membership shall be made in writing to the Executive Officer.

5.3 ASTEN shall comprise three categories of membership: Full, Associate and Corporate.

5.3.1 Full members are not-for-profit institutions and organisations within Australasia that offer interactive exhibitions and/or programs to further the public understanding of STEM.

5.3.2 Associate members are not-for-profit organisations or individuals within or outside of Australia and New Zealand who are not eligible for full membership, but who demonstrate a strong interest in and support the objectives of ASTEN.[Note: This category could include those involved in formal or informal education and interested in the business of `full members', such as science teacher associations and individual educators.]

5.3.3 Corporate members are corporations, private firms and other for-profit organisations that demonstrate a strong interest in and support the objectives of ASTEN.

5.4 Membership of ASTEN will be decided by the Executive Committee.

5.5 Exclusion from membership will be decided by the General Council.

6. Organisation and Management

6.1 General Council

6.1.1 Each full member organisation shall nominate one representative to be a member of the General Council and shall have one vote.
6.1.2 The General Council shall meet not less than once every two years. The date and place of the meeting shall be determined by the Executive Committee. Notice of such meetings shall be communicated to all full member organisations not less than three months in advance.
6.1.3 The purpose of the General Council meeting shall be to:

(i) formulate policies of ASTEN

(ii) receive the report of the Executive Committee

(iii) receive the financial report of the Executive Officer, including the recommended budget and audited accounts
(iv) elect the President, Executive Members and Executive Officer of ASTEN.

6.1.4 Between meetings of the General Council, business may be conducted by email, fax or written correspondence. Postal or electronic voting will be accepted for all elections and resolutions. In all cases there will only be one vote per member organisation.
6.1.5 Associate and Corporate members may attend General Council meetings but do not have voting rights.

6.2 Executive Committee

6.2.1 Subject to the decisions of the General Council, the management of the affairs of ASTEN shall be vested in an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall implement the policies formulated by the General Council, and organise the activities of ASTEN.
6.2.1 The Executive Committee shall comprise the President, up to five Executive Members, and an Executive Officer elected at the General Council Meeting. At least one member of the Executive Committee will be a resident of NZ.
6.2.2 The President will provide leadership for the ASTEN and preside as chairperson of the General Council and the Executive Committee for a maximum of two consecutive terms.
6.2.3 The Executive Members will assist the President and represent ASTEN when and as requested by the President.
6.2.4 The Executive Officer will maintain records for ASTEN and will liaise with the President to conduct the business of the ASTEN.
6.2.5 All members of the Executive Committee will hold office from the end of one General Council meeting to the next and will have a maximum of two consecutive terms in office.
6.2.7 The Executive Committee may co-opt to its deliberations persons having specialist skills that help the Executive Committee discharge its obligations. However, such co-opted persons have no Executive or voting power beyond that provided for in this Constitution by virtue of Membership rights.

7. Finances

7.1 An account will be established and maintained in the name of ASTEN by the Executive Officer.
7.2 The Executive Officer will invoice members, receive and bank monies, send receipts for subscriptions, and prepare an annual financial statement for the General Council meeting.
7.3 The Executive Committee shall recommend to the General Council annual subscription fees for different categories of membership in order to raise the income needed to meet the expenditure of ASTEN.
7.4 Subscriptions shall be due on the first day of April each year. Full members who have not paid their subscriptions before the General Council meeting will not be eligible to vote. Full, Associate or Corporate Members who have not paid their subscriptions before an ASTEN Meeting or event will be ineligible to attend at the Members’ rate.
7.5 The Executive Committee shall recommend a budget to the General Council each year.
7.6 The Executive Committee shall distribute an audited financial statement to the General Council each year.

8. Annual Report

8.1  report of the Executive Committee shall be made to all members in all categories of membership at the General Council meeting

9. Amendments to the Constitution

9.1 Changes to the Constitution may be proposed by any full member organisation and shall become effective if agreed to by a two-thirds majority vote of the General Council.

10. Dissolution

10.1 If the Executive Committee by a simple majority decides at any time that, on the grounds of expense or otherwise, it is necessary or advisable to dissolve ASTEN, it shall call a meeting of the General Council. If such a decision shall be confirmed by a two-thirds majority vote of the General Council, the Executive Committee shall have the power to dispose of any assets held by or on behalf of ASTEN. Any assets remaining after the settlement of all debts and liabilities shall be distributed equally among full member organisations of ASTEN.

Updated: April 2017

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