"A shared responsibility"
Co-op Members share in the administration of the Co-op and work together through the Board of Directors, committees and projects and by taking on convenor roles.
Members of the Co-op are expected to commit to, and work towards the Co-op’s objectives. We do this by observing our rules and policies, attending meetings and actively participating in decision making processes. This requires time, energy, expertise and financial support.
Round the Bend Conservation Co-operative is registered under the Co-operatives National Law, with 32 shares owned jointly or individually. Co-operatives are traditionally based on values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.
Our Rules provide a comprehensive description of the formal provisions which are binding on all members. Our polices reflect our commitment to conserving the natural bush in our care.
The Co-op’s affairs are run by the membership. Seven elected Directors form the board responsible for the day-to-day business of the Co-operative. Directors meetings are held monthly, and all Members are welcome to attend. General Meetings are held three times a year and Directors report to Members regarding their activities and to discuss any issues. The General Meetings are another opportunity for Members to be involved in decision making and to provide input to Directors.
Membership is gained by being a shareholder. Shares can only be purchased with the approval of Directors.
Members are expected to follow the rules, policies and procedures of the Co-op and to participate in the ongoing administration of the organisation.
Serving as a Director, convenor or committee member
Maintaining sites to the required standards
At least 6 conservation work parties per year (or payment of a work party levy)
Payment of an annual levy
Roles on the Board of Directors include Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.
Other committees and roles are:
Work party coordinator
Site visits coordinator
Flora management committee
All of the land is owned by the Co-op (i.e. jointly by the 32 shareholders). There are 32 pre-determined house sites that can be built upon. Currently, there are eight sites that have not been built on.
Each Member is entitled to a 200-year lease for a house site to a maximum area of 1500sqm. The building is part of the leasehold and is owned by the lessee. The conditions of the lease have been written to complement the objectives of the Co-op.
Our work parties are held monthly and consist of a variety of conservation tasks for the management of our common land. They focus on the three areas of flora management, burning for biodiversity and soil conservation. Each of these areas has a strategy or plan to guide us in what needs to be done.
Tasks at work parties may include weeding, planting, surveying, digging, raking, laying bricks (on our access tracks) and general track maintenance like filling pot holes and clearing drains to prevent soil erosion.
Work parties can be strenuous, but are also social and provide a sense of achievement. They often involve walking through our bushland with other members of the Co-op and offer the opportunity to learn about our environment.
Work parties are one way that we learn about the indigenous flora on the Co-op, how to correctly identify a weed, and the skills to differentiate one from the other when they look alike.