Pride WA has defended their decision to allow one committee member to hold the positions of both Secretary and Treasurer and the creation of a new role of Chair. The community organisation denies that they have contravened their own constitution. Concern was raised by community members after the announcement of roles and responsibilities last week.
Alice Newport-Holden, the organisation’s Media Liaison has told OUTinPerth,
‘The constitution states that those certain roles must be filled, but it does not state that one person cannot fulfill more than one role of those roles so we are not in breach.’
Newport-Holden explained that committee member Sonja Jovovic had taken on the dual roles of Secretary and Treasurer while the organisation searches for a suitable person to be co-opted on to the committee to handle the organisation’s finances. Newport-Holden revealed that the committee will be meeting with a potential candidate in the coming week.
Newport-Holden also explained the rationale behind the creation of the new Chair position that she will be taking on; the committee is taking the step as both Co-Presidents Paul van Leishout Hunt and Rebecca Hills have portfolio responsibilities alongside their leadership roles. Hills will be fulfilling responsibilities as the Women’s Officer, Community Liaison and looking after volunteers, while van Lieshout Hunt will be continuing as the Youth Officer and taking on responsibilities as a Community Liaison.
‘The other portfolios taken on by the Co Presidents this year, especially the Community Liaison role, will be very time consuming and we were undecided about who would have the capacity to take on the role of Chair.
‘The suggestion was made that another member of the committee took on the Chair role, which would relieve some of the pressure that they would be under and would also provide some continuity to the committee, ensuring that one person would be chairing the meeting at all times. Both Paul and Rebecca, along with the rest of the committee, were fully supportive of the decision, which was voted on, and thought it supported the idea of an equal distribution of roles and responsibilities.
‘The committee understands the Co Presidents have a lot of responsibilities within the committee and with the community itself, and this is a sensible solution, allowing everyone to work to their full potential.’
With the multiple roles required of each committee member Pride WA is eager to hear from other community members who are interested in joining their team. The organisation’s constitution allows for up to 12 committee members and there are currently four vacant spaces. The Committee will also need more of their members to step up for sub-committee roles and to assist in creating the annual calendar of events.
Newport-Holden told OUTinPerth that the organisation is eager to increase the number of people contributing to the organisation.
‘We are always looking for more people to be involved… We encourage anyone who is interested…in Pride WA, in any capacity, to contact us.’
Community Members interested in joining the Pride WA committee can contact the organisation via their website.