Photo by Michael Sale, Pseudomys hermannsburgensis

Duties of the Council Members

The constitution of the Australian Mammal Society Inc. outlines the office-bearers and appointed members of the Council of the Society. The office-bearers of the Society are the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and Assistant Secretary/Newsletter Editor.

A further three or four people are elected as Ordinary Council Members, who may fill the roles of Conservation Officer, Membership Officer, Student Representative and Ordinary Member. There are two appointed Council Members, the Editor of Australian Mammalogy and the Webmaster. A Public Officer is appointed to fulfil incorporation responsibilities.

The Public Officer is not a member of Council.

The Society employs a Secretariat to assist with financial matters.

Select an option below to learn more about the duties of our Council Members:


  • Ensure that the goals of the Society are met.
  • Direct the business of the Council and Society meetings in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Act as a spokesperson for the Society.
  • Initiate business that is appropriate for action by the Society.
  • Receive enquiries, which are answered or directed to the Secretary or other Council members.


  • Update the Duty statements and Regulations after consultation with the other Council members for handover to the new Council.
  • Carry out presidential duties in the absence of the President.

Otherwise, the Vice-President does not have any specific duties but is given various jobs to do as they arise. A Vice-President’s report is sometimes tabled at AGMs but this is not a requirement.


The Treasurer of the Society, or a Council-appointed delegate (e.g. the secretariat), must:

  • Collect and receive all amounts owing to the Society and make all payments authorised by the Society.
  • Keep (and ensure the Secretariat keeps) correct accounts and books showing the financial affairs of the Society with full details of all receipts and expenditure connected with the activities of the Society.
  • Ensure that all subscription income statements are forwarded to the Secretariat (currently Convention Associates) for accounting purposes.
  • Present quarterly financial reports, including Profit and Loss, and Balance Sheet to Council meetings (end March, June, September, December).
  • Ensure that an auditor has been appointed (in consultation with Council) at each AGM.
  • Ensure the auditor receives all of the Society’s financial transaction details (including a list of all accounts, books and records, usually via the Secretariat) for preparation of the annual audit.
  • Prepare and present an annual statement of accounts and the auditor’s report to the Society’s AGM.
  • Ensure term deposits etc are rolled over to obtain maximum interest (taking into consideration the risk profile of the Society, i.e. invest in relatively conservative investments).
  • Ensure the annual lodging fee is paid to the Registrar-General’s Office in the ACT. The Society is incorporated, and hence the Public Officer must present the auditor’s report to the Registrar-General’s Office in the ACT and pay an annual lodging fee. This must be done within 6 months of the end of the Society’s financial year. The financial year of AMS is 1 May to 30 April. The Australian Mammal Society Incorporation Number is A04309. The AMS Australian Business Number (ABN) is 37 728 182 200.
  • All cheques, drafts, bills of exchange, promissory notes and other negotiable instruments must be signed by two members of the Council (or employees of the Society, being members of the Council or employees authorised to do so by the Council). This duty is normally delegated to the Treasurer, the President and either Vice-President or Secretary. These members need to be official signatories on the cheque account and provide their details to the bank.
  • The Society is currently not registered for GST, and therefore no GST is charged on subscriptions. The Society pays GST on services that are supplied such as printing of journals and newsletters, Secretariat services, and services provided for conferences. However, because we are not registered for GST, we cannot claim these GST components back. The advantages of not being registered for GST is that it reduces the cost for members and reduces the amount of paperwork that needs to be done. Not-for-profit organisations such as the AMS do not have to register for GST if the annual turnover of the Society is below $150,000. Thus the Council/Treasurer need to keep an eye on annual turnovers in case the $150,000 threshold is reached.


1. General

  • Receive AMS correspondence, reply as appropriate and archive into AMS records (note much of the incoming correspondence is by email via the AMS web page or President).
  • Keep hard copy records of correspondence, minutes, etc.

2. Council Meetings

  • Prepare agendas for Council meetings by liaison with other Council members, and circulate to all Council members prior to the meeting.
  • Prepare Secretary's report for each Council meeting covering incoming and outgoing correspondence, and other material as required.
  • Attend Council meetings or delegate another Council member to deliver report and take minutes of meetings.
  • Take minutes at Council meetings and distribute copies to other Council members, prior to the following Council meeting.
  • Prepare and archive minutes into AMS records.

3. Annual General Meetings

  • Prepare agenda for Annual General Meeting by liaison with other Council members.
  • Prepare annual Secretary's report for delivery at Annual General Meeting.
  • Attend Annual General Meeting or delegate another Council member to take on duties at AGM.
  • Take minutes at Annual General Meetings.
  • Prepare and archive minutes into AMS records and for inclusion in newsletter.

4. Archive Council and AGM minutes and lodge with the Australian Academy of Science, Canberra.

Assistant Secretary/Newsletter Editor

1. Council meetings and Annual General Meetings

In the absence of the Secretary, take minutes of AMS Council meetings and AGMs and perform other duties of the Secretary as required.

2. Newsletter

  • Solicit written articles and other material from AMS members and from a variety of sources that is likely to be of interest to the Society’s members.
  • Review the AMS Council’s correspondence of with external bodies that may be of interest to members, for inclusion in the Newsletter.
  • Collate and format this information to compile two AMS Newsletters per year.
  • Newsletters are published in April and October of each year.
  • Abstracts from the Annual Scientific Meeting (usually held June/July) are published in the October edition for the benefit of members unable to attend the conference.
  • Newsletters are generally produced in Microsoft Word, and then converted to Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format.
  • The pdf document is uploaded onto the AMS website and an email is sent out to all members with download link.

3. Items for inclusion in the Newsletter are:

  • Title page with AMS logo and the title Newsletter of the Australian Mammal Society Inc.
  • ISSN Number (ISSN 0262621213)
  • Council members and their positions
  • Table of Contents
  • Minutes of Annual General Meeting (October issue)
  • Annual financial audit and statement (October issue)
  • Abstracts from the previous AMS Scientific Meeting (usually in October issue)
  • Articles and photographs from AMS Scientific Meeting and associated trips
  • AMS Annual Scientific Meeting limericks, highlighting the winner
  • Winners of AMS awards including: Bolliger, Lyne, Presidential Post Doctoral, Scruffy, and occasional awards (Troughton, Honorary Life memberships)
  • Occasional articles, e.g. students seeking internships, state roundup of research, special articles and member notices.

Membership Officer

1. General duties

  • Send a copy of the membership list to the Public Officer (twice a year is probably sufficient). It is a requirement of our incorporation that the Public Officer has a copy of the current membership list.

  • Take a count of membership numbers to each Council meeting and add to the numbers recorded in previous years (table originally supplied by previous Membership Officer).

  • Update the paper membership application and renewal forms as necessary.

  • Check that the membership information on the web site is correct.

  • Note that as per the decision made at the 2004 AGM, the cost of membership will rise each year by an amount equivalent to the CPI (Consumer Price Index), rounded up to the nearest dollar.

  • Arrange the postage of back issues of the journal upon request.

  • The Secretariat should notify the Membership Secretary of returned mail they receive – attempt to find a new address for lost members.

2. Scientific Meeting duties

If registration for non-members at the Scientific Meeting is set at a higher rate than for members, a list of members should be forwarded to the Scientific Meeting organisers prior to them receiving registrations, so that they can check the membership status of registrants.

3. Take to the Scientific Meeting

  • Up-to-date membership lists, showing financial and unfinancial status.

  • Liaise with convenors to provide computer with internet access for registering new members at the conference.

Conservation Officer

  • Monitor conservation and land management issues to identify opportunities for AMS input to the planning process for issues of national significance to the conservation of Australian mammals.
  • Prepare letters and submissions to appropriate agencies and the media to encourage adequate consideration of the conservation needs of Australian mammals.
  • Report on matters of national significance for mammal conservation via the Newsletter and Annual General Meeting.

Student Representative

The primary role of the student representative is to communicate with students and represent the interests of students to the Council. In addition, other duties maybe assigned from time to time. Duties include:

  • liaise with students about relevant Society issues
  • organise student events at the Scientific Meeting
  • meet with and support students, especially those new to the society
  • keep information on student awards up to date, and communicate these changes whenever possible to student members
  • submit material to the website regarding student activities 
  • promote Society membership to students whenever possible
  • receive and process student feedback. With respect to feedback from the Scientific Meeting, distribute and collect student questionnaires at each Scientific Meeting and compile this information for the attention of the Council, other Society members and the organisers of the next Scientific Meeting
  • organise social events (where and when appropriate).

Ordinary Member

The Ordinary Member has no fixed duties but assists the Council as requested.

Editor of Australian Mammalogy

The role of the Editor is to oversee the publication of the Society’s journal, Australian Mammalogy, through CSIRO Publishing. The details of this role will be handed directly from one Editor to the next.


The role of the Webmaster is to maintain the Australian Mammal Society website. The website address is:

1. The website must include the following information, updated regularly:

  • Current membership of Council
  • Constitution
  • Details of forth-coming Annual General Meeting and Scientific Meeting
  • Adopted policy statements

2. Members-only access to:

  • Newsletter – past and current issues
  • Australian Mammalogy – past and current issues
  • Minutes of Council meetings
  • Current membership list with contact details
  • Award guidelines and information.

3. Additional information might include:

  • Links to other websites and other societies
  • Books, software etc
  • Mammal literature and relevant formation
  • Current research projects
  • News from Around the Traps, events and opportunities

Any material sent to the Webmaster for inclusion on the webpage needs to be approved by the Council first. All material sent to the Webmaster from the Council for inclusion on the webpage should state clearly if it is to go onto the public domain or the Members Only page.

Select an option below to learn more about the duties of other AMS officers

Public Officer

The role of the Public Officer is to fulfil our obligations under the Associations Incorporation Act of the ACT. The Public Officer needs to be over 18 years of age and reside in the ACT. They are to lodge the annual audited financial statement of the Society and pay the annual lodging fee.

The current Public Officer is Dr. Linda Broom

Dr. Linda Broome
Senior Threatened Species Officer
Department of Environment and Conservation,
P.O. Box 2115
Queanbeyan NSW 2620 Australia.
Telephone: 02 6298 9719
Facsimile: 02 6299 4281

The Secretariat

The Society employs a Secretariat to manage the finances of the Society under the direction of the Treasurer.

The current Secretariat is Convention Associates, contact details:

Belinda Gould
Convention Associates
8 Ewart St
Malvern, VIC 3144
Phone: (03) 9509 0323

Services required from the Secretariat:

  • Manage all accounts, including funds
  • Provide financial statements (quarterly, including YTD) including Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss statements to Council via Treasurer.
  • Maintain the Accounts Receivable (i.e. membership subscriptions) received.  Subscriptions broken down into the categories of Full Subscriptions, Concessional Subscriptions (i.e. Student/Retired/Unemployed Subscriptions as one total) and Family Subscriptions.  Receive and prepare cheques for payment of bills and supply to Council (via Treasurer) for signatures and mailing.
  • Prepare of invoices that may be required to be sent for monies due to the Society
  • Do bank reconciliations of both our CBA business account and Term Deposit Account
  • Prepare of all financial and other documents for audit, liaising with the auditor and ensuring Statutory Documents are completed correctly