The 2014 APS Annual General Meeting is being held in conjunction with the 2014 APS Annual Conference held at Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Tasmania.

Date: Thursday 2 October 2014
Time: 4pm (AEST - Australian Eastern Standard Time)
Venue: Hotel Grand Chancellor, 1 Davey Street, Hobart, Tasmania

Information about voting by proxy

The APS has received some enquiries from members about how our proxy voting system works. This information has been prepared to answer members' questions and help members to understand how the system works. Members should also note that no vote can be conducted at a meeting of members without a quorum being present. A quorum for a General Meeting of Members of the APS requires 50 members eligible to vote to be present for the meeting.

Why appoint a proxy?

All motions put to the members of the APS for vote at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) or General Meeting (GM) of the APS must be passed by a vote of members present and eligible to vote. Sometimes members cannot make it to an AGM or GM. If a member cannot attend an AGM or GM they can appoint someone else as their proxy so that their vote is counted.

Can I appoint more than one proxy?

No, however you can appoint an alternate proxy in case the first person you appointed does not attend the meeting. The proxy form issued by the APS appoints the chair of the meeting as your proxy by default if you do not nominate anyone else or your nominated proxy does not attend.

If I appoint a proxy, does he or she cast my vote on every motion?

Not necessarily. Motions may be passed at an AGM by a simple show of hands of those people eligible to vote who are in the room. Proxies are not counted on a show of hands; proxy votes are only counted if a ‘poll' is demanded. A ‘poll' means that every vote is counted. A poll may be demanded by the chair or at least five members holding a membership grade of Associate Member or above.

How is my proxy vote counted in a poll?

If a poll is demanded, then a list of people who have been appointed as proxies will be called out and those people will be asked to indicate they are in the room. If a nominated proxy is not in the room then the proxy vote will go either to a nominated alternate proxy, or the chair, depending on what was written on the proxy form nominating them as a proxy.

All members eligible to vote have their name checked off a roll and all proxies have their names checked off the list of proxies, and receive an allocation of all the votes they have been nominated to cast. So, if someone is appointed as a proxy by 35 people and they are a member who is eligible to vote, then they will have 36 votes to cast in a poll. All members who are eligible to vote but haven't been nominated as a proxy, each have one vote.

For each poll that is called, the votes are recorded on pieces of paper then collected and counted to get a specific result.

What process does the APS have for collecting proxy nominations?

The APS has the following system for collection of proxy nominations:

  • An official proxy form is published each year and distributed to members with hard copy AGM or GM materials or distributed electronically (subject to the members' notified preferences).
  • Members have up to 48 hours prior to the AGM or GM to submit their proxy nominations, as set out in the proxy form
  • Proxy nominations can be submitted to the APS via email or pre-paid post
  • A member of staff is designated to collate proxy nominations received, with a second person available to support them
  • As proxy nominations are received they are recorded against the designated nominee
  • All proxy forms are double checked against the recorded list prior to that list being tabled at an AGM or GM
  • Proxy forms are retained for a period of six months after the conclusion of an AGM or GM

The Governance Committee of the Board reviews voting processes annually after the AGM to ensure that processes meet with best practice guidelines and whether or not alternatives need be investigated for future years. This process is rigorous and in compliance with the requirements of the Corporations Act 2001 (C'th).

Can I direct my proxy on how to vote?

The proxy form issued by the APS specifically states that a member nominating a proxy directs the proxy to vote 'as he/she thinks fit'. If you would like your Proxy to vote for or against a particular motion to be put to the meeting, please speak to your Proxy directly about your wishes to ensure that you nominate a Proxy who shares your voting preferences.

What if my proxy nomination didn't get recorded?

Despite the processes that the APS has in place there are matters which fall outside the control of the APS which impact whether or not proxy nominations are received in time, or at all.

In previous years the APS became aware of at least one proxy form which was posted in plenty of time but received after the AGM due to being caught and damaged in Australia Post mail sorting machinery.  It is not possible for the APS to track proxy forms which are not, in fact, received in the National Office by the required time.  Proxy forms that are received late cannot, unfortunately, be counted.

Can I appoint a proxy to vote for me in an election of Directors?

No. All members of the APS who are eligible to vote in the election of directors must cast their vote personally, either by returning their paper ballots to the APS or recording their vote electronically.

Can I appoint a proxy to vote for me in an election of Office Bearers in a Member Group?

No. The Society's governing documents only allow for members to cast their votes in elections personally. Electronic voting was implemented for APS College National Committee elections in May 2010. Otherwise, elections for Member Group committees are conducted by secret ballot at the AGM.