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This group has completed it's objectives and has been closed.


To propose, in consultation with the Melbourne Wireless community, a suitable constitution to provide the desired level of structure for the group to grow and sustain a community-operated wireless broadband network or networks in Victoria.


External linkClae


External linkDwayne





External linkSteven


Mailing List


WGStructure is intended to be the working group of interested parties discussed at the Melbourne Wireless meeting of 12/4/02... we forgot to take the names of interested parties.

Minutes of meetings

WGS160502 WGS300502


Some Ideas

Non-Incorporated Association (Club)

Incorporated Association


Decentralised/ Guided Anarchy

Non-Incorporated Association (Club)

A club can hold a bank account in its own name, and enter into contracts. Where it differs from an Incorporated Association is in the level of protection offered to members and directors. It's a bit of grey area.

from External linkthis Tasmanian Government pamphlet:

"Incorporation is not Obligatory

Some persons are under the impression that it is obligatory for associations to be incorporated. As long as persons are not associating for the purpose of profit any number may form an association without there arising any obligation to incorporate the association."

Use one of the publically available recommended constitutions provided by the Victorian Department of Consumer Affairs, with adaptions as the group sees fit.

from: http://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/cbav/fairsite.nsf/pages/of_asso

Incorporated Associations:

External linkIncorporated Associations are usually small bodies of people, clubs, etc that wish to gain legal status ( wish to purchase property in the name of the club, sue and be sued, etc ). Incorporation offers some protection for the organisations office holders from the debt and liabilities incurred by the association as long as the association does not trade or make a profit for its members. Incorporation is voluntary, and once incorporated the Act provides a standard for operation.

from External linkthis Department of Justice pamphlet:

The main reason for incorporation is the protection of members and of committee members of an incorporated association, since the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (the Act) provides that a member or an officer of the association shall not be liable to contribute towards the payment of debts and liabilities of the association nor the costs, charges and expenses of winding up the association,
provided the association does not trade or does not secure profit for its members.

External linkGuide to Incorporated Associations (pdf),

External linkModel Rules (pdf) and the

External linkForms


A External linkco-operative is a voluntary association of people formed to meet common economic, social and cultural needs. Co-operatives are based on the values of self help, self responsibility, democracy, equality, and equity.

A External linkcooperative is a user owned and controlled business in which benefits are distributed according to a member’s use of it. Three principles distinguish cooperatives from general corporations:




A External linkCo-operative is a body with legal status (it can purchase property, sue and be sued etc) that is formed and controlled by members for the common interests of the members. Co-operatives for a specific purpose such as running a kindergarten or producing a service eg: a wine club. Hence, Co-operatives are a more formal type of incorporation than associations and are more related to the conduct of a business activity though the main purpose is not profit for its members as with a company, but to advance the Co-operatives activities.

In Australia names such as Dairy Farmers, Malanda Milk, Caboolture Yoghurt and SAFCOL - all External linkco-operatives - have become household names. Other common forms of
co-operatives include External linkcredit unions, Friendly Societies, workers co-operatives, most university bookshops, news agencies such as ANCOL, food co-ops, and, of course, rental housing co-operatives.

It has been estimated that in Australia today there are over 6,000 co-operatives with assets valued at more than $35 million and an annual turn over of $16 billion. In NSW co-operatives contribute some $600 million annually to the economy, with most of that contribution being reinvested or otherwise remaining in the region where it was generated.

External linkSome examples of co-ops

External linkA history of co-ops

De-centralised / Guided Anarchy

This model would be somewhat similar to the relationship between the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the "Internet". A working group would sit to define a standard or code of practise for nodes wishing to become a part of the melbwireless network. This group would own no assets, and would not be responsible for the day to day running of the network. Individuals or groups wishing to connect would remain responsible for their own assets and behaviour. The working group would be elected by members/users.

Tyson Clugg has proposed that the GNU Public License External link(GPL) could be adapted for this form of structure.

Further Information

External linkCommunity.gov.au has links to useful resources and guides to starting a community group.

Australian Taxation Office External linkguide for non profit groups


This working group has not come to final conclusion yet. A formal announcement will be made before conclusion of this group.

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