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Committee members and officers

Committee Members

The association's rules must state who has the power to administer its affairs. In the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 (SA), this group is called the committee. Most associations use this term, but other names such as board, management, or collective can be used.

Under the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 (SA), no person can be refused membership of a committee by reason only of the fact that she or he is a member of a class of persons for whose benefit the association is established. Employees of an association may also be committee members, unless the rules of an association state that they cannot.

The following people cannot be committee members or be in any way (whether directly or indirectly) concerned in or take part in the management of an incorporated association, unless they obtain the permission of the Corporate Affairs Commission (part of Consumer and Business Services). A person who does so without permission can be fined up to $5000.

  • A person who is bankrupt;
  • a person convicted in the last five years or someone released from gaol within the last five years, for the following offences anywhere in Australia:
    • an offence connected with the promotion, formation or management of a body corporate
    • a fraud or dishonesty offence carrying a maximum penalty of more than three months gaol
    • an indictable offence (that is, an offence that can be tried before a jury)
    • an offence concerning the duties of officers of an association [Associations Incorporation Act 1985 (SA) s 39A]
    • an offence of falsely representing that a body is incorporated so as to gain a personal advantage [Associations Incorporation Act 1985 (SA) s 60]
    • certain other offences under the Corporations Act 2001(Cth) [as set out in s41E Associations Incorporation Act 1985 (SA) ].


Under the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 (SA), the officers of an association include the committee members and also include any person:

  • acting as a committee member
  • occupying or acting in the position of secretary, treasurer, or public officer
  • concerned in or taking part in the management of the association
  • holding any other office mentioned in the rules, except positions that have no management rights, like a patron
  • from whom the committee is accustomed to take directions or instructions.

Under this definition, it is likely that a co-ordinator of a community organisation could be considered an 'officer' of the association.

Committee members and officers  :  Last Revised: Tue Apr 16th 2019
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.