Branch Guidelines November 2020
The AUSA branches play an important role in engaging the members in their region. Localised activities and communications help build relationships and provide an opportunity to identify and cooperate on local issues. It also provides an opportunity for individuals to gain leadership experience and potentially nominate for an executive role in the association.
Branch chair responsibilities
It is expected that branch chairs will organize their local branch/chapter and plan regular events. Ideally, they will request additional local members to help support them, in roles such as deputy chair and communication officer.
The branch chair (or substitute), is invited to attend a national leadership video conference meeting with the executive team every two months. Branch chairs are also asked to provide a brief written or verbal report on branch activities or plans at each leadership meeting. This will be a standing item at each leadership meeting.
The report should include:
Events planned or hosted, including attendance numbers.
Significant topics, or issues of interest to members.
Any relevant issues or concerns relating to the association.
(If the branch chair is unable to attend, please appoint a proxy to represent your branch in your absence)
It is anticipated that each branch would arrange at least three local events per year. These may be in-person gatherings or webinars. It is encouraged that an agenda is provided, and any items of interest or actions noted in minutes and posted in the document library. An agenda template is provided. Ideally, gatherings will add value for members so should discuss topics of interest, include presentations from members, or have invited speakers on relevant topics. Guest speakers may include academics, product or services providers, legal firms or other persons relevant to Health, Safety and Wellbeing.
Each branch will also be encouraged to host a national webinar at least once per year. It is suggested that the webinar be on a specific topic, and include one or more presentations, or a panel discussion with time for questions. The format and content will be at the discretion of the branch however should normally not exceed 90 minutes. Dates should be coordinated with the Secretary and consider member time zones. Event invites should be sent to all members
When the annual conference has been designated to occur in their region, the branch chair should help support the conference organizing committee. They should engage with the chair of the organising committee and offer support, and/or mobilise other branch members to assist.
There are a number of ways to communicate with branch members. This can be done via email or using the group chat function. Branch chairs and/or nominated communication officers will be provided with access to the association management software for this purpose.
In addition, each branch chair and/or nominated member (e.g. Communication Officer) is encouraged to actively participate in AUSA chat rooms and blog posts. Interesting articles, ideas, questions, and other relevant information should be shared with all members.
Each branch also has a dedicated web page and folders in the document library. Any requests for web page changes can be submitted to the executive communication team for inclusion. Branches are encouraged to add documents, photos, and blogs directly to the website. Alternatively, they can request help from the executive communication team.
The association finances are currently limited; however, it is anticipated that the funding diversification strategy will allow branches to be able to submit requests for funding for specific events or initiatives in future. Requests should be submitted to the executive committee and will be considered for approval by the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.
All members should help promote the association and direct any suggested improvements or other feedback on the association to the President. It is also hoped that branch chairs and members will help encourage new members of both existing and unrepresented organisations. The association primarily serves tertiary education and research sector, however other organisations with a close relationship to our sector may be considered for associate membership, supplier member or sponsor.