AABAT AGM: Special Resolutions

The 2022 AABAT AGM will see two special business items added to the meeting agenda.

Following significant reflection, consultation and consideration the AABAT committee humbly presents two proposals for a membership vote.

The Resolutions

At the annual general meeting of AABAT to be held at 7.30pm AEST on 5 October 2022 online, the members are to consider, and if thought fit, pass:

  1. the following special resolutions:
    • the legal structure of AABAT be converted from a incorporated association to a company limited by guarantee;
    • from the date of conversion, the constitution appearing in the form annexed to this notice will be adopted in full replacement of the current constitution;
    • from the date of conversion, the name of the organisation be changed to ‘Outdoor Health Australia Ltd’; and
    • once the conversion has been completed, the registration of the organisation as an incorporated association be cancelled.
  2. the following general resolution:
    • each member of the committee of management be authorised to do all things necessary to give effect to the resolutions passed at the meeting including, but not limited to, completing and lodging all required forms with appropriate regulators.

You can RSVP for the AGM here:

If you can’t attend the AGM, please submit your proxy vote using the form below.

Background to the proposed change in entity structure

As AABAT develops, it is important that its legal structure continues to reflect its organisational purpose and supports its operational requirements.  As members may be aware, our legal structure is currently a not-for-profit incorporated association, incorporated in Victoria. Under this structure, while ABBAT operates and represents members nationally, it is governed under state legislation.

Having taken substantial legal advice and informed by extensive discussion, it is the recommendation of the AABAT committee that the most common and appropriate legal vehicle for an association of AABAT’s size and intended actions including national representation is a public company limited by guarantee (CLG). As opposed to an incorporated association, a CLG is registered under commonwealth legislation and is governed by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cwth) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Most of AABAT’s professional peers operate through a CLG legal structure, including Australian Psychological Society (APS), the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), Outdoors NSW & ACT and Outdoors Victoria. 

As AABAT increasingly engages with federal legislators, regulators, and national bodies, such as commonwealth departments and health insurers, it makes sense that its legal structure also reflects that of a leading national body. 

The AABAT committee are proposing to our membership that AABAT convert its legal structure from a Victorian incorporated association to a public CLG.  In practical terms, this means voting to transition the current association structure, with a new name, with a new (adapted) constitution and governance structure.


Background to the proposed change in name

A change to the entity brings with it the opportunity to reflect on our name.

In 2018, AABAT was advised that considering an alternative name may support engagement with the government and attract greater funding. A new entity name will also support AABAT aspirations to broaden representation and engagement with the diverse communities of practitioners that sit under the broader ‘tent’ of outdoor and nature-based health and wellbeing modalities. 

Our hope is for a name that (1) feels like ‘home’ for the existing community of AABAT, and inspires us to continue forward with warmth and integrity, (2) extends an invitation to the ‘wider tent’ of nature-based practitioners who share our values but don’t necessarily identify as practitioners of Bush Adventure Therapy and (3) clearly communicates who we are to the public, government and other professional bodies.

After much consideration, consultation and discussion, the AABAT committee  proposes the name ‘Outdoor Health Australia’. Based on 3 years of sector consultation, trial with government policy makers, medical practitioners and the wider sector, investigation into the range of entities and names that may be appropriate, and advice from commercial and IP lawyers, this name seems to be our best fit for intended purpose, enabling revitalisation and continuation of our community. 

The decision to change (both the legal structure and entity name) will ultimately be up to our members to decide.

Further information about the special resolutions:

Initial email to membership advising of proposal

Slideshow presentation from Information session 1 

Recording from Information session 1
Passcode: Dq9H+pbE

Recording from Information session 2
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Draft Constitution of Outdoor Health Australia

If you have any questions about the AABAT AGM, the association or these resolutions, please feel free to get in touch at any stage. 

If you can’t attend the AGM, submit your proxy vote using this form

Please download this form, complete it, and return it via email to . Providing a digital signature is fine. The proxy vote is intended to be carried to the AGM by an attending member, if you need a proxy but don’t know anyone attending, please fill in the form and nominate ‘the deputy chair’ as your proxy who will carry your vote as instructed. If you need a hand please reach out via the same email address.

Proxy votes must be received by the Secretary (via the indicated email address) no later than 7:30 PM on the 4th October, 2022. This is 24 hours prior to the AGM.