Chairperson’s Bulletin No. 4 – 2015

Members present at the June General Meeting of the VPTA voted to accept rule changes to the VPTA Constitution, as recommended by the Committee of Management. The revised Constitution has been lodged with, and accepted by, Consumer Affairs Victoria. The full document may be viewed by visiting the VPTA website.

There has been no change to the Statement of Purpose of the VPTA, but some other significant changes have been made:

  • There is NO provision for membership (meaning that we no longer have members)
  • Any Public Housing Tenant may attend a VPTA General Meeting and vote, provided they can provide evidence of public housing residency (e.g. a rent statement) and agree to abide by the VPTA Code of Conduct
  • Meeting notices are required to be displayed on the VPTA website (meaning the VPTA does NOT have to provide individual notices mailed to residential addresses)
  • The VPTA will be governed by an appointed ‘Governing Body’ (Board) comprising a maximum of 9 persons, appointed on a skills-based merit process, of whom a minimum of 3 must be Public Housing Tenants (meaning that there will NOT be elections for Committee positions)
  • The Governing Body (Board) will ensure a merit-based Expression of Interest process for Board appointments is determined and clearly advertised on the VPTA website
  • The current Governing Body (Board), as it nears the end of its 2-year period of office, is responsible for the selection process of new Board members to take office at the commencement of the next 2-year period
  • The Governing Body (Board) shall select a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer from amongst the Board membership

The current Governing Body (Committee of Management)’s term of office expires at the forthcoming VPTA Annual General Meeting, to be held on 29th September 2015. (More information will be displayed on the VPTA website closer to the date.) The incoming Board membership will be announced at our AGM.
The VPTA has also negotiated our new 3-year Service Agreement with the Department. This includes our Work Plan and funding arrangements. As part of our new Work Plan, the VPTA will be establishing a visiting service, with the co-operation of Divisional and local DHHS offices, to meet with public housing tenants at their local Housing offices or otherwise, at venues to be arranged by the VPTA. The details of this visitation service will take a little while to be finalised; further information will be displayed on the VPTA website in due course.

We will no longer be producing and mailing out the VPTA News. Instead, more timely information will be posted to our website (an improved website is currently under construction) and public housing tenants may elect to have e-bulletins sent to an email address of their choice. The VPTA is also negotiating with the Department to have VPTA information included with DHHS mail-outs to tenants.

These changes to the VPTA rules and activities demonstrate the work being done to transform the VPTA into a more skilled and effective organisation. We will have improved ‘on-the-ground’ interactions with public housing tenants in the communities where they live. We will raise the professional profile of the VPTA by moving to a Governing Board that includes people living in public housing with the requisite skills, expertise and experience, and with the best interests of public housing at heart.

A new staff member will shortly commence with the VPTA – this new position is to develop and conduct the VPTA visitation service, to improve our social media presence and to assist with the strategic planning required to further position the VPTA as an influential organization within the housing sector.

Public Housing tenants are welcome to attend the VPTA’s Annual General Meeting on 29th September. The Annual Report and Financial Statement will be presented at this meeting, which is also an opportunity to meet staff and volunteers. Details of the meeting time and place will be confirmed (depending on confirmed numbers) in early September.