ACON will meet with its members next week to discuss becoming an incorporated company.

The move from incorporated association to a public company limited by guarantee will not change its not-for-profit status or eligibility for government funding.

Members will buy into the company, but this will happen at registration renewal time and will not come with any indemnity in the case of bankruptcy. In the event of winding up, members would be liable for $20 each.

The shift to being a federally registered organisation will allow for growth overseas and will put tighter regulations on ACON’s auditing and liability requirements.

It was an inevitable move for the organisation in light of its size, ACON president Mark Orr told Sydney Star Observer.

The incorporated association model is really only suitable for community-based groups with budgets of around $500,000. We can’t be called small and our budgets are around $10.5 million.

Given our current size and the strategic plan we’re in the process of finalising, we need to have a legal structure that provides us with the flexibility we need, including allowing us to work internationally.

The change would bring ACON under the watch of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission with strict guidelines to employ a registered auditor and provide written financial statements and reports to members.

It would become like any other public company with all of those safeguards for members and those interacting with the organisation. It takes it up a step in terms of the responsibilities and accountability, Orr said.

Members will discuss these plans, as well as the drafting of a new constitution under the name of ACON Health Limited, at a meeting next Wednesday.

info: The members’ information night will be held next Wednesday, May 6 at the ACON offices, 9 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills, 6pm.

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