Meetings: Preparation, Opening & Chairing

In this section we look at preparing, opening & chairing your group's meeting.

Whether you are the Body Corporate Manager or the Presiding Officer (Chair) good meeting preparation and technique are critical to the success of your meeting.

Checklist

Before the Meeting

  • Print an up-to-date list of owners to be uses as an attendance list
  • Copy the current insurance certificate
  • Minutes of the last two years (take all if possible, just in case)
  • Have the Treasurer/Manager produce an arrears report - advises who is unfinancial
  • Ensure you have a copy of the groups articles and policies at hand
  • Print a pro-forma set of minutes
  • Prepare a draft budget and recommendations
  • Retrieve last year's archives and this year's correspondence and accounts
  • Ensure you have a copy of the agenda with spares copies just in case
  • Print a copy of the strata plans along with a Google Earth image if possible

Opening the Meeting

Opening is often nothing more then a welcome to all in attendance along with introductions as needed. An extract from our pro-forma minutes follows:

CHAIR:
The Presiding Officer welcomed those present & opened the meeting.

" I declare the meeting of . . . . . . . . . open at ........am/pm

I welcome members and guests (name guests, ask them to stand.. Have those present introduce themselves if needed.

Apologies - Read or ask for names."

# The Manager was requested to assist the Presiding Officer in the conduct of the meeting and the Secretary in recording the minutes).

Legislation: Section 34(7) Except where a unanimous resolution is required, a vote is not exercisable in relation to a unit unless all amounts due and payable to the strata corporation in respect of the unit have been paid.
Note: Unfinancial members can form a quorum but have no vote under Section 34(7).

QUORUM:
A quorum was declared with ______ of the _____ Units represented in person or by proxy.
OR
The meeting was declared inquorate after 30 minutes and continued with the following minutes of the meeting subject to ratification at a Reconvened Annual General Meeting as provided for in the Act.
OR
The meeting was declared inquorate after 30 minutes and adjourned to a Reconvened Annual General Meeting to be held on ___/___/___.  (must be 7 to 14 days from date of this meeting).

Policy – Meeting Non-Attendance:
It was resolved  “that any unit holder unable to attend any AGM or EGM, in person or by proxy or who does not tender an apology shall be deemed to be "absent & silent" and shall have a non attendance levy of $25 charged to their respective unit, due & payable with the next quarterly contribution following the meeting.”
Moved____________ / Seconded ____________ Motion carried.
.
CORPORATION MEMBERS REGISTER:
The members’ register/unit holder list was circulated and updated. It was agreed to forward a copy to all unit owners.

Hint

As chairperson:

  • Try not to take sides.
  • Bring in the ‘quiet ones’.
  • Paraphrase discussion & check back.
  • Build up good ideas.
  • Don’t forget to vote yourself.

General Introduction

  • Have everyone introduce themselves.
  • Have everyone check in at the start of the meeting by signing next to their unit number on the draft minutes.
  • Set a finishing time to aim for. (Suggest 60-90 minutes)

Note Taking

  • Record only the decisions made, not a detailed account of the discussion. 
  • Include an action plan.  i.e. Record what action was decided on, who is responsible and a date by which they are to accomplish the action.

e.g. After discussion it was decided that Jo Smith will arrange for two quotes for new letterboxes to be presented to the management committee before 'date __/__/__'.

Keeping the meeting on track

  • Follow agenda items.
  • Stick to the facts.
  • Focus on the immediate agenda item for discussion.
  • Avoid discussing other items on the side.  If need be, stop the side discussion and request it may be more appropriate to discuss this at a later stage in the meeting.

Voting

  • Try to have a clear majority vote on all important decisions.  If the vote is tied, encourage more discussion on the topic before voting again.

Tools

The following may be of assistance.

Meeting Minutes Pro forma

minutes proforma
Click on picture to view & edit

Three Laws of Meetings

unite group
Click on picture to view

Meeting Manage Video

meeting video
Click on picture to view video

Meeting Hints Sheetmeeting hints
Click on picture to view

Meeting Procedure Rules

meeting rules
Click on picture to view

Access to Satellite Images

satelitte image
Click on picture to view


Link to next step - Previous Years Minutes