Promoting people’s rights and civil liberties. It is non-party political and independent of other organisations.
Report/minutes of 2017 eAGM (and Declaration of the Election)

Report/minutes of 2017 eAGM (and Declaration of the Election)

CLA’s electronic and postal Annual General Meeting for 2017 has concluded, with about 57% of members voting, slightly down on the percentage in the past two years. There were 49 members (about 20% of those eligible to vote) who recorded (optional) comments, the vast majority positive, which is about the same number and percentage as in previous years.

Report/’Minutes’ of 2017 eAGM (and declaration of voting/meeting)

CLA’s electronic and postal Annual General Meeting for 2017 has concluded, with about 57% of members voting, slightly down on the percentage in the past two years. There were 49 members (about 20% of those eligible to vote) who recorded (optional) comments, the vast majority positive, which is about the same number and percentage as in previous years.

Please remember that members can comment at any time online, or can contact the president, secretary and/or board members throughout the year whenever they like.

There were 243 members eligible to vote who received an electronic voting token by email, or a posted physical ballot paper. Members are scattered throughout Australia, with at least 10-12 living overseas – or long-term travelling throughout the world – at any one time, hence the need for an electronic AGM rather than a physical meeting. A total of 138 members voted in 2017, comprising 56.8% of those eligible to vote, which indicates a membership much more engaged than in many other like bodies.

The individual votes were:

  • Approve Minutes of 2015 eAGM: 138
  • Approve President Report: 135
  • Approve Annual Report: 138
  • Approve Financial Report: 138

Overwhelmingly, members approved the documents, with votes of 100% positive for the Minutes and Financial Report. Three members voted ‘No’ to endorsing the President’s Report. Only one of the three made a comment as to why, which was to the effect of not agreeing with the President’s support for programs to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

In conjunction with the AGM, in 2017 CLA elected its Board of Directors for 2017 and 2018 (members vote for Directors every second year). There were eight nominations. As that is fewer than the maximum of 12 positions available, the eight were effectively elected. Former Board Members are eligible to stand for election again, and the eight elected were all previously Board Members. They are:

  • Jennifer Ashton
  • Frank Cassidy
  • Richard Griggs
  • Mark Jarratt
  • Kristine Klugman
  • William Rowlings
  • Rajan Venkataraman
  • Timothy Vines

The former Treasurer, Phil Schubert, did not renominate. The Board wishes to record its sincere thanks for his magnificent work and great commitment as a Board Member since 2010 and as Treasurer since early 2011.

The 2017 Annual General Meeting is hereby declared closed.

– W.M. Rowlings, Secretary and Returning Officer, 28 March 2017

Members could make comments if they wished: here is a representative sample of comments received with the votes (some have been edited down in length). Most comments were positive:

CLA eAGM 17 Comments

Great work that very few are doing. In the age of fake news and its proponents, CLA is needed more than ever.

An extensive report. As a new member I really appreciated the history overview.

Are young people engaged with CLA or its membership ageing? Plans?
(Response: good question: the answers are yes and yes, with plans to encourage more young members).

CLA are a brilliant, dedicated, responsible team. Thank you for the work that you do. The 2016 Reports were detailed and informative.

CLA is so necessary.

Good job by the people running CLA. I’m delighted when I see some idea from the newsletter has been taken up by other people. Keep up the good work.

Have only just joined CLA and do not have a great deal of knowledge of the workings, but everything looked fine to me. Thank you.

I accept the Report as being reasonably in character for CLA and representing civil libertarian views. My own views are tending to shift a bit with my dissatisfaction with the major parties. More specifically I support Brexit and believe it will be good for Britain, and whilst I see problems with both Trump and Hanson – I welcome their growth as alternatives that will challenge the entrenched parties which I see as failing on so many levels.

I am in admiration of CLA’s work. (Member who had to do a six-hour trip to town to get her computer fixed, so she could vote).

Please, please, keep up the good work. CLA is needed more than ever during this ‘interesting’ time in our history. (submitted by one of our ‘special category’ CLA members).

I am inclined to the view that western powers are not able to resolve many of the issues in foreign countries where they have become involved in conflict and favor Governments focusing more on the problems to hand. I also don’t see allowing large scale refugee migration as beneficial for either the departing country or arriving country. Rough as it may seem I believe that countries need to go evolve their own form of democracy or Government through struggle and sacrificing their lives as has occurred in UK, France, and USA for example.

I am a firm supporter of CLA and it’s fight against the death penalty for any persons anywhere but specifically for Australians who are caught overseas in countries that still have the death penalty. Most especially, I am against the AFP giving information to overseas countries that enable the capture, imprisonment and death of Australians. The memory of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, both rehabilitated and important members of the Indonesian prison community who were strung up and shot in Indonesia, remains an enduring one.

I am proud to belong to CLA, and the way it upholds humanity, human rights, decency and wisdom in its advocacy and decision making.

If only we had governments (particularly NSW and Canberra ) who could even approach the same level of concern for the public interest, rather than rampant privatisation and a priority for the prosperity of the ultra-wealthy, this country would not be wallowing in backward thinking as it presently is. Yelling insults and robotic rhetoric across the parliament at Opposition parties rather than working to formulate intelligent policies is deeply embarrassing and a pathetic reflection of a breathtaking lack of leadership when it is so desperately needed at this time. More power to the arm of the CLA.

I applaud the work that you’re doing and I want to support you.

I believe the WORK of CLA is fundamental, it voices all concerns where liberties of Australians may be effected, in doing so it emphasizes on Human Rights, whether circumstances are faced by individuals, groups and/or society. Thank you CLA!

I have found myself in support of the stands taken on major issues during the past few years and have no specific comments to make at this stage. If at any time I think a wrong or unwise line is proposed I will certainly be quick to let you know my views.

I have full confidence in the CLA team’s ability to keep abreast of issues that fall within its remit. Indeed, I am always pretty well stunned at the breadth and depth of what it gets involved in. Thank you to those who support this cause far more than I.

I much appreciate what CLA does on behalf of all of us.

I sincerely appreciate the hard work CLA Board does; it is the most important time in history that Civil Liberties be front and centre of being preserved in absolute terms, and a priority in making all major decisions. CLA should look at sitting on the Law Society, as it is a phoney organisation and a complete sham. We need to push for a National ICAC and investigate the recruitment process of Territory Governments. We need to look at the rights of Contractors being manipulated by the ATO and other Public Servant Departments, exploiting this arena to erode Industrial relations rights.

I strongly support CLA but cuttingly (sic) am engaged in a change of hem (sic) and so apologise for not participating as I would like. But I hope to retain my membership with you.

I think CLA does an excellent job in fighting for integrity and justice. My only regret is that I am so involved with commitments to U3A and other organisations that I can only offer moral support.

I think CLA is doing a wonderful job and is more needed now that ever. Let’s join up our friends and neighbors!!

I wanted to abstain re the President’s report because I don’t see how there is a human right for one human being to kill (or terminate, if you will) another. That was my only reservation.

I would like to thank the Board of CLA for their outstanding effort & contribution in promoting & protecting civil liberties in Australia during 2016 & to wish the Board continuing success going forward. Thank you & well done.

Important that some dedicated people take on civil liberties causes, as CLA does.

Is it odd that membership numbers are up but membership income is down? Well done to you for all your hard work and thank you.

It is clear there is a lack of community support to actually introduce a Bill of Rights in Australia. I would be interested in delving into the reasons for this.

It may feel like a losing battle at times with the steady erosion of our civil liberties but keep up the good work.

Just keep up the good work! Keep up the good work! Keep up the great work!! Keep up the valuable work, thanks for your efforts, etc

Keep up your good work in law reform And helping people to maintain their rights.

Remain impressed by the homework done to ensure a challenging and thought-provoking newsletter!

Seems to be well on track with so many items to cover. With Manus closing there is more concerns for the wellbeing of their future and where they will go. It sounds quite scary at the moment and how we can help is unknown.

Thank you to the President, committee and other office-bearers for these detailed and informative reports. Congratulations to the eight Board members re-elected this year.

The highlighting of the following issue alone, merited my support: “… The need for a national charter (or bill) of rights is again becoming increasingly apparent as the federal government persists in passing draconian legislation which is frequently mirrored by the states…”

Well done to the hard working board and to president and secretary who are tireless in their efforts and dedication to raising awareness of civil liberties in our country. Thank you all.




One comment

  1. I found myself resonating with all the issues mentioned above. Especially the report on the U.S. death penalty mess. To get it right gay wise- about time; then to still have the death penalty at all and all the human emotion. In relation, we see our AFP shopping for court outcomes they could never get in Australia, to kill those Australian’s they deem worthy of death. Refer Ass. Commissioner Phelan’s charming response and position statement on this.

    Ian Potterton

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