Constitution

The Federation of Maltese Language Schools in Australia Constitution:

FEDERATION OF MALTESE LANGUAGE SCHOOLS INC. 

FEDERAZZJONI TA' L-ISKEJJEL TAL-MALTI 

1.  NAME

 There shall be a body, to be known as The Federation of Maltese Language Schools (FMLS), Federazzjoni ta' l-Iskejjel tal-Malti, having the aim of adopting and promoting a suitable language policy and strategy and to verify their performance and observance in every sector of Maltese life, for the benefit and development of the national language and the identity of the Maltese people.

 2. OBJECTIVES

The Federation shall provide a united organisation of Maltese schools for the development and promotion of Maltese language and culture in Australia and New Zealand, where:

 a.       Members agree to share knowledge, resources and activities for the benefit of all. It provides the opportunity for a unified approach between inter-schools, state/territory, national and international in the field of teaching of Maltese language and culture for the benefit of all those who attend member schools.

b.       Member schools agree to actively support a unified program of teaching methodology and professional development of teachers within the scope of the objectives of the Federation, and to uphold the spirit and intent of cooperation, coordination and communication for the benefit of all Federation members and their school community.

c.       It coordinates and assists in the activities of the member schools

d.       It develops, motivates and enhances the recognition and expression on the Maltese language.

e.       It raises funds by subscription, donations and grants from government and private sources to aid the activities of the FMLS.

f.         It establishes and maintains regular and frequent contacts with local, national and international organisations which have functions similar to or complementary to, those functions of the federation and establish exchanges of views and resources with them.

g. It develops National Coordination and Quality teaching assurance in all its member schools.  

3.    MEMBERSHIP

a.   FULL MEMBERS

All schools/classes involved in the active teaching of the Maltese language in Australia and New Zealand qualify and shall have the right to apply for full membership of the Federation.

b.   DEFINITION OF A SCHOOL/CLASS

A Maltese school-class is an educational entity which teaches the language and culture of the Maltese Islands.  The school/class is to be registered by an authoritative body to teach the Maltese language and culture and/or may operate under the auspices of an incorporated Maltese community organisation.

 c.   DELEGATES

Full members of the federation shall nominate one delegate and a proxy (substitute) to represent them on the Federation. The delegate shall be a person qualified to teach Maltese and/or proficient and competent in the Maltese language.   

d.   ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

Organisations/Persons other than the above whose participation in the work of the Federation is considered by the executive Committee to have advantages for the Federation may be offered associate member status on such terms and conditions as the Executive Committee may determine, but such person/s shall not have the right to vote or to hold office but may attend the meetings. 

4.   MEMBERSHIP REGISTER

The Executive Committee shall establish and maintain a register containing the names, addresses and other relevant details of all members and their delegates.

5.   MEMBERSHIP FEE

The annual membership fee shall be determined by the Annual General Meeting and shall apply until changed by any subsequent Annual General Meeting. Notice of intention to propose change shall be placed on the agenda of the meeting at which it is proposed to determine the matter.

6.   EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

a.       The business of the FMLS shall be conducted by Executive Committee who is elected every two years by the nominated delegates. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to manage, administer, supervise and direct the day to day duties of the FMLS in accordance with this Constitution and the wishes of the members as determined by decisions of annual and special general meetings.          

b.       The Executive Committee shall consist of the following officers:

 i.        President

 ii.      Vice President

iii.       Secretary

iv.       Treasurer

v.       Immediate Past President for the first year after retirement from the position of President and provided he/she remains a financial member of FMLS.  The immediate past president shall not have the right to vote unless he/she is a delegate of the FMLS.

The Executive Committee shall elect a Public Officer who may be a member of the Executive Committee. The Public Officer shall not have the right to vote unless he/she is a delegate of the FMLS.

7.   VACANCIES

Vacancies on the Executive Committee shall be filled from the nominated delegates. Notice of vacancy shall be notified to the members who will be invited to nominate for the vacancy. If more than one nomination is received, the Committee shall conduct an election among those delegates present at the meeting where the matter it to be decided.  The Executive may co-opt a replacement until the time of the subsequent election.

8.  SUB-COMMITTEES

The Federation may establish sub-committees for any purpose. The President and Secretary shall be ex-officio members of all sub-committees, but may appoint another Committee member to represent them should this be desirable.

9.   OFFICERS

The officers of the Federation shall have the following duties:

a.   President

i.       Has ultimate responsibility for carrying out the decisions of the Executive
         Committee and for ensuring compliance with the Constitution.

ii.      Signs or delegates the signature to the Vice President of all documents and
         correspondence on behalf of the FMLS.

iii.     Presides on Executive Committee, annual and special general meeting and official
         meetings of the FMLS.

iv.     Represents or delegates representation of the FMLS before other bodies.

v.      Acts as chief spokesperson for the FMLS.

vi.     Carries out other duties as determined by the Executive Committee.

b.   Vice President

i.            Assists the President in the above duties:

ii.           Substitutes for the President as required:

iii.          Carries out other duties as determined by the Executive Committee.

c.   Secretary

i.          Establishes and maintains the register of member;

ii.         Manages correspondence and maintains general correspondence files;

iii.        Arranges meetings and prepares the agenda of the Executive Committee,
           general and other meetings, in consultation with the President.

iv.        Keeps and circulates minutes of meetings;

v.        Carries out other duties as determined by the Executive Committee.

a.   Treasurer

i.        Establishes and maintains financial records of the FMLS;

ii.      Presents itemised income and expenditure statements to the Executive Committee
        on a regular basis.

iii.     Establishes and maintains such other accounts as are determined by the Executive
         Committee;
 
iv.     Carries out other duties as determined by the Executive Committee;

10.   RESIGNATION OR REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

 A delegate may at anytime resign or the body nominating him/her can withdraw his/her nomination by giving two (2) weeks notice in writing to the Executive Committee. A delegate who fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the Executive Committee without an apology or without a valid reason shall be deemed to have resigned and the body appointing he/her shall be requested to replace its nomination.  A delegate may, in case of misconduct, be removed from office by a two-thirds majority vote at a special general meeting called for this purpose.

11.   MEETINGS

a.     ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS

A general meeting shall be held annually. The date shall be determined and published not later than 6 weeks prior to the AGM and a call for motions made. The motions duly seconded are to be received by the Secretary, in writing within two (2) weeks from the date of issue of the call for motions and a formal agenda to include all motions received is issued three (3) weeks before the AGM.

The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:

i.     Consideration of reports by the President, the Secretary and Treasurer and
      adoption, modification or rejection of such reports and recommendations arising from
      them;

ii.    Amendments to the Constitution (if any);

iii.    Other business submitted by the Executive Committee or by delegates  
        of  which notice has been given in writing and which has been placed on the
        agenda;

iv.     Election of Executive Committee; (every other year)

v.      Appointment of an Auditor who shall not be a member of the Committee;

 The quorum for the Annual General Meeting shall consist of twenty (20) percent of the financial delegates as of that date. However, if after 30 minutes from the time the meeting was called there shall be still not a quorum, the meeting may commence with the numbers of delegates present.

Decisions shall be made by simple majority vote, except for amendments to the Constitution, which shall require a two-thirds majority in favour.

b.        SPECIAL GENERAL MEETINGS

Special general meetings may be held from time to time as determined by the Executive Committee, and shall be called within two weeks of the receipt by the Secretary of a petition signed by the majority of financial members calling for such a meeting and stating the purpose of such a meeting and any motions which it is proposing to place before the meeting.  Notification of the date, place, time and business of a special general meeting shall be issued to the delegates not less than five (5) days before the meeting. The quorum and voting procedures shall be as for the annual general meetings, and no other business shall be transacted.

c.      EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Executive Committee meetings shall be held regularly, as required. The date, place, time and agenda of the meeting shall be issued to members of the Executive Committee in time for the meeting.

The quorum of the Executive Committee shall be half the number of members plus one. If after thirty minutes the required quorum has not been reached, three members can form a quorum and proceed with the meeting.

d.  TIED VOTES

If at any meeting of the FMLS there shall be an equality of votes for and against a resolution, the matter shall be determined in the negative, and the chairperson shall not exercise a casting vote.

12.  ELECTIONS AND VOTING

Nominations for positions on the Executive Committee shall be in writing.

A delegate may nominate another delegate for any office. The nomination shall be seconded by the delegate and signed by the nominee.

Whenever an election is required, a returning officer and two scrutineers, who are not candidates, shall be appointed by the Executive Committee to conduct the election. 

All elections shall be by secret ballot, and where an election is required, the method of voting and of counting the ballot shall first be determined by the meeting at which the election takes place.

Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, all decisions shall be taken by simple majority vote.

13.  FINANCIAL PROCEDURES

a.       BOOK-KEEPING

 i.       Income and expenditure shall be fully tabulated according to accepted book-keeping standards;

ii.       The Federation's fiscal year shall be from July 1 in any year to June 30 in the following year;

iii.       All cheques and withdrawal vouchers shall be signed by the Treasurer and any other member of the Executive Committee.

iv.       Maximum provisions may be made by the Committee for petty cash and automatically replenished;

 v.       All other payments shall be authorised by the Committee, either under general terms of written instructions to the Treasurer specifying the types of routine payments which shall be made, or by a specific resolution of the Committee.

b.       LIMITATIONS

The Federations shall undertake no major financial obligations for which it does not provide or has not obtained adequate financial cover beforehand.

 c.       USE OF INCOME AND PROPERTY

The income and property of the FMLS shall be applied solely towards the promotion of its objectives. No portion of the income of the FMLS shall be paid, transferred or distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the Federation, provided that nothing shall prevent the payment in good faith or remuneration to any officer or employee of the Federation or to any person other than a member, in return for services rendered to the Federation.

 14. OTHER PROVISIONS

 a.       DISCIPLINARY MEASURES

 i.       In the event of a member becoming un-financial, i.e., annual membership fees being more than 12 months in arrears, the name of the member shall be removed from the membership register, and its representation on the Federations will be deemed as being withdrawn.

ii.        In other cases the Executive Committee shall when necessary recommend to a general meeting what disciplinary measures are to be taken. Any decisions by the general meeting must be supported by 3/4 majority of members present and voting.

 iii.       The Executive Committee shall seek the withdrawal of any delegate for proven misconduct or when a delegate has abused his/her position for personal gain. However in these cases the decision taken by the Executive Committee shall be supported by at least 3/4 majority of the Executive Committee, present and voting at the meeting. Provided that the delegate shall not form part of the quorum and shall not participate in the meeting other than to justify his/her position.

  iv.      Any member found in breach of this constitution shall be notified of the breach and shall be requested to justify its action. No member shall be removed from the membership register unless such a decision taken at a general meeting is supported by 3/4 majority of members present and voting, and the member informed of the decision in writing within seven (7) days.

 b.       APPEALS

A member/delegate against whom action has been taken under clauses 14 (ii), (iii) or (iv) above shall have the right to appeal to a general meeting of the Federation. This may be either the annual general meeting or a special general meeting called to consider the appeal.

 A member wishing to appeal against a disciplinary measure against him/her must give written notice of intention to appeal within thirty (30) days of the date of the notice of the action being taken.

 At the general meeting considering the appeal, the President or an Executive Committee member appointed for the purpose by the Executive Committee shall make a statement setting out the reasons for the disciplinary measure. The person/body against whom/which the action has been taken shall make a statement setting out an explanation and giving reasons why the decision of the Federation should set aside or varied.

A motion to reverse or vary the Federation's decision may then be put to the meeting without further debate, and if carried by 3/4 majority vote of those present and voting, the appeal of the member/delegate shall be considered to have succeeded.

15. ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Any member may propose additions, deletions or amendments to the constitution by submitting a request in writing to the Executive Committee. The proposed alteration/s shall be submitted to the Annual or Special General Meeting for consideration. If the amendment is approved by a Three quarters ¾ majority it shall take immediate effect.

16. AFFILIATIONS

The Federation may affiliate with any other organisation on such terms and conditions as may be mutually arrived at, and approved by a 3/4 majority of the committee at the annual general meeting.

17. THE COMMON SEAL

The Federation will have a commonseal upon which its corporate name will appear in legible characters.  The seal will not be used without the authorisation of the executive committee. The seal will be kept in the cutody of the secretary or such person the committee may, from time to time, decides.

18. DISSOLUTION                                        

The FMLS may be dissolved or wound up by a resolution passed by a 3/4 majority at a special general meeting called for the purpose. Any funds or other property remaining after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities of the Federation and the costs, charges and expenses of that winding up shall be distributed-

a.       To another Federation incorporated under the Act; or

b.       For charitable purposes as the case requires shall be determined by resolution of the members when

           authorizing and directing the Executive Committee under section 33(3) of the Act to prepare a   

           distribution plan for the distribution of the surplus property of the Federation.

 19. INSPECTION OF RECORDS

 An affiliated member may at any reasonable time inspect without charge the books documents, records and securities of Federation.