The RSA is an association incorporated under the Victorian Associations Incorporation Reform Act. It is managed by a Committee of seven Members that meets monthly other than in January. Meetings are held in Melbourne with interstate members participating via Skype.
The Committee has appointed two subcommittees. The Finance Advisory Committee monitors the Society’s income and expenditure and the performance of investments and recommends changes thought desirable to maintain a prudent investment strategy. The Editorial Subcommittee oversees the development and production of the Society’s publications.
Until the 2017 AGM, the Committee is:
Dr Meredith Doig
Meredith Doig is a professional company director and governance consultant. After a career in manufacturing (Ford Australia), mining (Rio Tinto) and banking (ANZ Group), she has spent the last 20 years or so consulting in organisation effectiveness and on the boards of commercial and not-for-profit organisations, and university councils. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and for five years taught their flagship Company Directors Course. For 10 years she was a Moderator with the Cranlana Programme on Ethics & The Good Society. Her Australian honour was for service to business, higher education and the community. For 50 years she was a passionate motorcyclist and was Australia's first Chief Motorcycling Instructor.
Luke is a leading constitutional law scholar in the field of separation of religion and government and religious freedom under the Australian Constitution. The principal focus of his research is on developing a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of section 116 of the Australian Constitution in terms of its history and underlying purposes, its relationship and interaction with broader Australian constitutional culture and how it might be best interpreted and applied.
Christopher joined RSA in late 2018 as the Admin officer. In April 2019 he was invited to join the board as casual board member. At the 2019 AGM Christopher was elected to the board and became Secretary.
Brendan Liveris has worked for a multinational in the construction industry for over a decade. The majority of that time has been in logistics & operational management and he now works in sustainability management. From 2017 to 2019, Brendan worked in various countries in Europe, gaining significant exposure to different cultures, and the opportunities and challenges that brings. He has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours), a Master of Business, and is currently studying finance. Brendan has other social interests in homelessness & democracy, and fills spare time learning German, rock climbing & playing guitar.
With qualifications in both Economics and Political Science, Chris has worked with various state government departments and has been an adviser in both state and federal MPs offices. He is secretary of the Victorian branch of Economic Development Australia, the agency responsible for the professional development of economic development specialists. Over the years, he has helped many local councils with their economic development strategies, and with securing grants to support jobs and capital projects. He has also developed investment strategies, major event plans, trade missions and public relations strategies for multiple business sectors.
Apart from being on the RSA board, Stella is a member of SA Humanists and is the SA contact for FIRIS (Fairness in Religion in Schools). Her journey with religion in schools began in 2005 when her own children were exposed to religious proselytising and she has been an indefatigable lobbyist for genuinely secular state schools ever since. She has a background in business management and administration with her family's truck repair business and is now studying environmental sustainability.
Vicki is a project manager and consultant with qualifications in political science, public policy, and arts management. She has vast experience in strategic planning, policy development, program and project evaluation, organisational development and change management.
She has been a Principal Policy Adviser in a state ministerial office, conducted wide consultations on indigenous governance and housing, and devised award-winning programs in diversity education and employment.
Apart from her professional skills, Vicki served as Executive Director of the WA Music Industry Association and founded and managed "The Next Big Thing WA", an original music competition
Tanya Watkins has been working in the secular community since 2011 when she first joined the Secular Society at university. Her role as Captain of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has included involvement in a long-running court case to have the organisation registered as a not-for-profit association, plus making numerous submissions to government inquiries such as prayers before parliament, voluntary assisted dying, abortion and religious discrimination.
The Committee is ably supported by:
- David James, Editor of the RSA’s quarterly hard copy journal, the Australian Rationalist. Email David at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brett Davis, Accountant (responsible to the Treasurer for financial book-keeping).
Role and Responsibilities
Committee members are responsible for both the good governance of the RSA and for promoting its aims and objectives through active campaigns. Because the Society has no paid staff, campaigns are actively led by members of the Committee of Management.
- lead at least two operational activities per year (eg, writing an article for the quarterly journal, organising an event, writing a submission)
- participate in campaigns run by other Committee members.
- attend all committee meetings or send an apology
- read committee meeting papers; prepare comments and / or questions
- follow up on tasks between meeting
- monitor the RSA’s financial position
- as part of succession planning, seek and recommend suitable candidates for the Committee
- persuade people to join or renew their membership of the Society.
- knowledge of and enthusiasm for the free-thought movement and its issues
- event management skills
- submission writing skills
- time to attend committee meetings and contribute to operational activities.