In a Body Corporate, a new Committee is elected at each Annual General Meeting by the Lot Owners. This Committee is responsible for the administrative and day-to-day running of the community, including making decisions on behalf of Lot Owners, and enforcing lawful decisions of the Body Corporate. Committees generally consist of three executive members – the Chairperson, the Treasurer and the Secretary, and Ordinary Members. Here we take a closer look at some of the duties of the Chairperson.
What is the role of a Chairperson?
The Chairperson plays a pivotal role. The Chairperson of a Strata community can be a sounding board for the Body Corporate Manager to create solutions for discussion with the Committee, a facilitator of effective meetings and a steward of the legislative code of conduct. Other duties include:
- chairing general meetings and committee meetings they attend.
- when chairing a general meeting the Chairperson will rule a motion out of order if:
- it is unlawful or unenforceable
- it conflicts with a by-law
- the substance of the motion was not included in the agenda for the meeting
- declaring the results of votes on motions at the meeting.
Ron Henry, Chairperson for Fairway Villas, stated “I am a great believer in communication. A Chair or Committee Member really has a great responsibility to listen to all stakeholders. It is only after listening that collective decisions can be made in the best interests of all or most. These decisions usually come from regular, honest communication with all both prior to and after open decision-making processes occurs. It is all about respect.”
There are a number of ways to become an effective Chairperson which are simple to implement and will go a long way to help you chair the meetings.
- Reading meeting papers carefully in advance;
- Arriving early for meetings and be there to greet members;
- Give all members an opportunity to contribute to the discussions;
- Be willing to question and challenge but be supportive of others’ contributions; and
- Agree to accept special projects between meetings so that specific matters can be progressed.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. If taking on the role of Chairperson is something that you are interested in doing, we encourage you to contact your SSKB Body Corporate Manager to discuss further. They can advise you on the specific roles of Committee Members and present ideas to meet the unique challenges which may be associated with your scheme.
Click here to watch our guide to being a great Chairperson video.
We asked Jacqui, Chairperson and Secretary for Bayview Tower what advice they would give to someone who is newly appointed on the Committee. “As a new Chair/secretary (and originally as a Committee member) I soon realised how much I didn’t know. Leveraging the whole Committee, and building a team/collaborative approach was essential along with the support of a strong, competent Strata Manager. I also believe it is important to work closely with the prior Chair/Secretary when taking on those roles, if at all possible so that continuity can be achieved and that person can help coach for a period. Finally, use the learning resources that the government has, plus the various publications that are produced regular.”
If you are considering applying for a place on the Committee and would like more advice, please don’t hesitate to contact your SSKB Community Manager for more information and guidance specific to your scheme. Click here to contact SSKB today for an obligation free consultation.