Australian History, 1947.

Constitution and Standing Orders; Annual or Special Conferences; Board of Management, 1947.

by The Victorian Labor College

Source: "Reason in Revolt", Source documents of Australian Radicalism.
Published: by The Industrial Printing & Publicity Co. Ltd., Carlton, 1947.
Transcription/HTML: by Kevin Goins.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

The Victorian Labor College




Standing Orders

(Annual or Special Conferences)
(Board of Management)


[This pamphlet was marked with
  a stamp entitled: “Union Label”]


April, 1947

MAY BRODNEY, Secretary
Room 42, (Box 39)
Trades Hall, Melbourne





1. The name of the College shall be the Victorian Labor College.

2. The objects of the College shall be to equip the workers of Victoria with a knowledge of Industrial History, Economics, English Grammar, and Literature, and such other subjects as may be approved by the Board of Management.  The point of view of teachers shall be frankly working class, and the aims of the College shall be to enable working men and working women to serve their class.

(b) That the Board may take any action that it considers necessary to prevent any move by any organisation, person or persons to change the independent working class character of the College.

3. Each Union or branch desiring affiliation with the Victorian Labor College, and having a membership of less than 500, shall pay an annual fee of £1; 500 and under 1000, £2; 1000 and under 1500, £3; 1500 and under 2000, £4; 2000 and upwards, £5.

4. The financial year of the College shall be from the first day of January to the 31st day of December.

5. Affiliation fees shall become due on the 1st day of January of each year, and shll be paid not later than the 1st day of March in each year.

6. The property of the College shall be vested in three Trustees, but the three, or any of them, may be removed, and new Trustees appointed in their stead by the Annual Conference.

7. The Trustees shall be deemed to be members of the Board, with full voting powers at meetings thereof.

8. The Annual Conference shall meet in Melbourne on a day to be fixed by the Board of Management, but not later than the second Saturday in February, and shall be composed of delegates from affiliated Unions on the following basis: Up to 2000 members, two delegates, 2001 to 3000, three delegates, over 3000, four delegates.  One delegate from each affiliated Union shall be nominated as a delegate to the Board of Management.  None other than credential delegates shall have power to vote at Annual Conference or on the Board of Management.

9. Should a member of the Board absent himself from three consecutive meetings without reasonable excuse, the President shall declare his seat vacant.

10. No member of the Victorian Labor College will be permitted to sit or vote at any Conference of the Victorian Labor College or on the Board of Management unless the Union represented by such member is financial with the College.

11. Annual Conference shall elect a President, Secretary, two Auditors, and two Bookstall Managers.

12. (a) The Board of Management at its first meeting after the Annual Conference in each year shall elect from its credentialed delegates an Executive Committee consisting of five members, which shall be subject to control of the Board of Management.

13. In the event of any Committee member missing three consecutive meetings, the Board of Management shall have power to declare his seat vacant and elect a new member.

14. The duties of the Executive shall be to carry out the instruction of the Board of Management, to make recommendations to the Board of Management, and to deal with any matters which may arise between meetings of the Board of Management that may require immediate attention, but all matters so dealt with must be reported to the next meeting of the Board of Management.  The Executive shall not have power to spend any more than £5 in any one month unless it is authorized by the Borard of Management.

15. No fees shall be charged to students attending the classes of the Victorian Labor College.

16. Subject to these rules and the resolutions of the Annual Conference, the Board shall govern the College, and may regulate, add to, take from, or vary the course of study.

17. This Constitution may be altered at any Annual Conference, but no alteration shall be made reducing or destroying the representation in Annual Conference of any subscribing trade union, trade union branch, or trades council without its consent; nor shall the representation in Conference of any subscribing trade union, trade union branch, or trades council be increased out of proportion to the representation of other trade unions, trade union branches or trades councils without the consent of these bodies whose proportional representation may be reduced.

18. Any alteration or addition to the Constitution either by the Board of Management or affiliated unions must be in the hands of the Secretary not later than November 30 of each year.  The Secretary shall place all suggested alterations or additions to the Constitution on an agenda paper, and all affiliated unions shall be supplied with copies of the agenda paper not later than December 31 of each year.




1. At all Annual or Special Conferences of the College the order of business shall be that on the notice convening the meeting.

2. Any member desiring to speak shall rise in his place and address the President.  If two or more members rise at the same time, the President shall call upon the member who, in his opinion, first rose to speak.

3. Any member speaking shall at once resume his seat if the President rises to speak, or if a point or order is raised, and shall not resume his speech until the point of order is decided.

4. No member shall speak more than once, nor longer than five minutes, on any one motion or amendment, except the mover of a motion, who shall have ten minutes to introduce the matter and five minutes for reply.  An extension may be granted to any speaker on a vote of members so deciding.

5. Not more than two members shall speak in succession either for or against any question before the meeting, and if at the conclusion of the second speaker's remarks no member rises to speak on the other side, the motion or amendment shall be at once put to the meeting—subject to the right of reply, as per Rule 4.

6. Motions and amendments shall be in writing, and handed to the President if so desired by him.

7. When a proposition is duly moved and seconded, no other motion shall be in order, except to adjourn the meeting, to postpone the question, to put the question, to refer to a committee, to divide the question, to grant permission to withdraw, or to amend.  The motions to adjourn the meeting or to postpone the question shall be decided without debate, unless time is mentioned, when the discussions and amendments shall be strictly confined to the question of time.

8. whenever an amendment is made on original propositions, no further amendment can be taken until the first be disposed of.  If the first amendment be carried it shall become the motion, and any further amendment may be moved.

9. All questions shal be put to the meeting, first in the affirmative, and then in the negative, except when various sums or times are placed in competition.  In filling up blanks the least sum and the longest time shall be put first.  Any five members rising may demand a division, when the President shall take the vote by asking the “Ayes” to go to the right and the “Noes” to the left.

10. Questions of order shall be decided by the President, but in case of an appeal from his decision being duly seconded, the President shall vacate the chair, which shall be taken by a person so appointed.  The party appealing and the President shall each have five minutes to explain, after which the acting-chairman shall put the question in this form: “All in favor of sustaining the decision of the chair?  All opposed to that decision?”

11. If any member persists in speaking, or conducts himself in a disorderly manner, after being called to order by the President, he may be reported to the organisation he represents.

12. Members rising to points of order, or to make explanations, must not occupy more than two minutes in either case.

13. The motion “That the question be now put” may be proposed, seconded, and put without debate.

14. In all cases not herein otherwise provided for, resort shall be had to the rules of debate of the Trades Hall Council, which shall be followed so far as the same are applicable to the proceedings of the Conference.




1. The business of ordinary meetings of the Board shall commence with the reading of the minutes of preceding meeting; but in the case of an adjourned or Special Meeting the minutes shall not be read.

2. After the minutes have been read and confirmed, the President shall sign them in the presence of the meeting.

3. The roll shall be called half an hour after the time fixed for meeting.

4. The order of business shall be as follows:—Minutes, correspondence, questions without debate, reports, general business, accounts, and notices of motion.

5. The circulars notifying the meetings of the Board shall contain a synopsis of the business to be brought forward.

6. No member shall speak more than once on any subject, not for more than five minutes, except the mover of a resolution, who may be allowed ten minutes to introduce the matter, and five minutes for a reply; but any member may apply for permission of the President to explain or correct any statement during a debate, to which explanation or correction he shall strictly confine himself.

7. When a motion has been duly proposed and seconded, the President shall at once proceed to take the vote thereon, unless some members rise to oppose it or to propose an amendment.

8. A member shall not be held to have spoken if he only uses the words, “I second the motion,” or “amendment” as the case may be.

9. Any member called to order by the President shall at once sit down.  Persistence in disregarding the call of the President shall subject the offender to being dealt with by the meeting.

10. All motions and amendments must be submitted in writing when deemed necessary by the President.

11. Motions discussed and voted upon shall not be reconsidered unless notice of motion be given seven clear days before the meeting and appears on the notice convening the meeting.