ARMA who are we? When were we formed?
Australian Recreational Motorists Association (ARMA) was the brainchild of several of the founding members back in late 2018. It was felt that there was not enough representation of people who use and enjoy being in the great expanse of public lands we have in this great country. We looked globally for an organisation that operates with similar ideals to us and found the Public Lands Alliance in the US, Canada and the UK. And so began the Australian Recreational Motorists Association. We formally became an incorporated association registered under the Department of Fair-Trading legislation in NSW in September 2019. We are established as a not-for profit organisation and registered with the Australian Taxation Office for GST.
What is ARMA’s structure?
ARMA was originally established with nine people coming together representing predominantly the four-wheel drive movement. This group represented a significant cross section of people right across Australia. This group did all the work in establishing the association and created the list of goals along with the association’s vision and mission. When constructing the Constitution, it was seen as important that there be a mechanism to ensure the association never falls away from those original statements. To achieve that the original nine were established as Trustee members.
ARMA is managed by a committee consisting of four office bearers and five ordinary members and has to report to the Australian Taxation Office (we are registered for GST) and to the Department of Fair Trading in NSW. We have a Public Officer who is a resident of NSW
Are any of the ARMA Founder Members or any of the current Committee also Committee members of any other National Association?
Do ARMA Committee members receive payment from ARMA or are they volunteers?
All Committee members are solely volunteers and receive no payment from ARMA, other than expenses that may be claimable as per the Constitution.
What rights do the Trustees have?
The Trustees have NO VOTING RIGHTS in the day to day operation of the association and are classed as individual members with the same rights as individual members. What they can do is if the Association falls away from its intended vision, they can ask the then committee of management to stand down and they have to call for a re-election within three months. For this to be effective, the decision must be unanimous.
The Trustees have formed the original Committee of Management, however the intention is to let as many of those positions go to other members at the first Annual General Meeting as is required.
Are the Trustees fixed in position for life?
No. The Trustees can resign and can be replaced, however any decisions made by the Trustees need to be made by 100% agreement.
Who can join ARMA?
ARMA was established to make it easy for individuals and groups to join, hence we have individual memberships available as well as group memberships. Group memberships are open to any formally constituted organisation with similar ideals to ARMA’s. These groups can be individual clubs or associations (peak bodies of a number of clubs). These groups pay an affiliation fee based on the number of individual (family) members in their respective organisations. Membership is also open to Associate members and these are usually corporate and for-profit organisations who partner with ARMA to achieve mutual objectives.
Is ARMA in competition with other Associations?
Definitely not. ARMA recognised that there is not a single national body to represent all recreational motorists who use our public lands, and decided to take up this mantle.
ARMA recognise other specific Associations may be able to represent their own activity better than ourselves, however we have positioned ourselves to provide a far larger voice and member base which will have much more impact at a National and State level, and be able to provide cheaper insurance simply by weight of numbers. This is why ARMA encourage other Associations to consider becoming a member.
What sort of Recreational Motorist Clubs can join?
Although ARMA was set up by members of the 4WD community, it was a conscious decision to make it an all encompassing Association that caters for all types of recreational motoring that uses our public lands.
This means that if you use a vehicle in any registered form, and that vehicle is used to perform your activity, for example hotrods, vintage cars, motorbike touring, trailbike riding, 4WDriving etc, or is used in order to transport you to your location of pursuit, for example hikers, rock climbers, fossickers etc, or is used in order to transport your object of recreation, for example horseriding etc ……….. then your constituted club is eligible to join.
What is ARMA’S Vision and Mission?
We have our Vision and Mission clearly stated on our website. In summary though our Vision is:
To be the National representative Association for all recreational motorists in respect to maintaining, improving and developing their activities.
And our Mission is:
- To partner with our members, Government Departments, Landowners and other interested parties to ensure continued access to public lands
- To partner with our members, Government Departments, Landowners and other interested parties to ensure our member’s activities continue to flourish by supporting them where there may be inter-party inequities
- To provide this support to our members whilst creating financial security in our Association and providing a range of benefits to our members.
ARMA is a not-for profit – what does that mean?
The best place to start with the definition is the description provided by the Australian Taxation Office. Their definition says:
Not-for-profit (NFP) organisations are organisations that provide services to the community and do not operate to make a profit for its members (or shareholders, if applicable). A few examples are childcare centres, art centres, neighbourhood associations, medical centres and sports clubs.
All profits must go back into the services the organisation provides and must not be distributed to members, even if the organisation winds up.
What this means in practice is that we can generate profits that must be put back into the organisation. What it also means importantly is that no member or individual can be given any of the generated profits of the Association. Individuals are entitled to be paid compensation for expenses incurred, but no one in the Association can benefit by simply being a member. This is the same as any incorporated association.
How is ARMA funded?
ARMA in this first year will be generating its funds by asking its members to pay an affiliation fee. This fee is based on a sliding scale, so the bigger the group, the more the discount on the starting affiliation fee of $5.00 per member. It is proposed that ARMA will be generating funds through grants, sponsorships and commissions earned on the referral of products and services.
ARMA has insurance – what is that for?
As an organisation we need to provide cover for our members whilst they are undertaking any activities associated with ARMA or their clubs. ARMA has negotiated a Group Policy that provides cover for Public Liability, Management and Association liability (including Professional Indemnity) for all our members and that includes their committees. We also have a policy that covers our members for a range of personal accidents that may occur when undertaking activities associated with ARMA or their club.
This insurance does not cover your normal Third Party/Fire and Theft/Comprehensive insurance, and every member is expected to maintain this by themselves as usual.
The insurance premium is paid by ARMA and for those groups who wish to avail themselves of this service are asked to make a contribution for their members. This contribution is equal to or less than the total premium divided by the total number of members who are involved. ARMA do not and cannot by law make a profit on the insurance contribution.
Can individual members be covered by ARMA’s insurance?
Individual members cannot take advantage of the insurance policy. To do so, they would need to be a member of an affiliated club.
How transparent are ARMA’s financials, minutes, decisions etc?
ARMA prides itself on being totally transparent. We have been asked for copies of our strategic plan and as soon as that document is finalised it will be posted on our website. Copies of minutes of meetings are also available on request as are copies of financial statements. We believe that through being transparent people can see who we are and what we are trying to achieve. Of course, there will be confidential documents, but generally these are working documents that ultimately lead to a final document which will be published.
What links do we have with other associations and organisations?
To date we have the Queensland Four Wheel Drive Association as a full member. We have an associate membership of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association. Our aim is to attract peak bodies of a range of different organisations representing all recreational motorists. This may include bodies such as motor bike riders, horse riders, prospectors and miners, historic vehicle clubs, sporting car clubs etc. The one thing they will all have in common is they use our public lands and want to see them preserved.
It is also our aim to affiliate with other similar organisations to ourselves, not necessarily becoming a member but aligning our activities so together we can provide a bigger voice.
Can member clubs provide delegates to ARMA?
Yes. Every member club with more than 5 members can nominate one or more delegates depending on the size of their club.
Our constitution states that clubs can nominate one delegate if they have between 5 and 100 members plus one more delegate per additional 100 members (or part thereof) up to a maximum of 5 delegates.
What voting rights do delegates have at General Meetings?
Delegates are encouraged to attend General Meetings and will be eligible to vote on any issues raised at that meeting that require voting on.
Nominated delegates who cannot attend can assign a proxy for that General Meeting.
Both Delegates and any Proxy must be a financial member of their Club, and their Club must be a financial member of ARMA at that time
Can Facebook Groups become members?
No. Only fully constituted and registered groups/clubs can. This ensures that all members have an accepted constitution that lays out their legal requirements to operate.
ARMA can not offer insurance to Facebook Groups as our policy requires that Groups/Clubs are registered and fully constituted. Facebook groups cold become a registered Club or individuals can join member clubs if they want to take up our insurance.