Australian Constitution

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART A – Grand Priory
1......... Character of the Order
2......... Title
3......... Definitions
4......... Objects
5......... Powers
6......... Membership
7......... Ranks of Members
8......... Companions
9......... Classification of Members
10....... Promotions
11....... Investitures
12....... Head of Jurisdiction
13....... National Council
14....... Duties of National Office Bearers
15....... Election and Appointment of National Office Bearers
16....... Committees
17....... Resignation
17A..... Inactive List
17B......Emeritus List
18....... Suspension
19....... Expulsion
20....... National Chapters
21....... Dissolution of the National Council; New Elections
22....... Dissolution of the Australian Grand Priory
23....... Fees and Finance
24....... Flag and Arms
25....... Companionate of Merit
26....... Australian Meritorious Medallion
27....... Recommendations for Companionate of Merit and Australian Meritorious Medallion

28....... Other Awards by the National Council or a Commandery
29....... Amendment of the Constitution
30....... Rules
31....... Indemnity for Officers Bearers and Members


PART B – Commanderies
1......... Commanderies
2......... Commandery Office Bearers and Executive
3......... Duties of Commandery Office Bearers
4......... Meetings of Commanderies
5......... Compliance of Commanderies; Constitution
6......... Intervention with a Commandery
7......... Dissolution of a Commandery
8......... Observance of Saint Lazarus Day

THE MILITARY AND HOSPITALLER ORDER OF SAINT LAZARUS

OF JERUSALEMLIA

NATIONAL CONSTITUTION

PART A – Grand Priory

1. Character of the Order

1.1 The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is an international and ecumenical Christian Order of chivalry.  It is both a Military Order of Mercy and a Hospitaller Order dedicated to the care and assistance of the poor, the sick and the afflicted, especially lepers.  Always mindful of its origins in the Holy Land in the early centuries following the life of Christ, the Order aims to sustain and defend the Christian faith, to promote and maintain the principles of Christian chivalry, to work for Christian unity and to follow the teachings of Christ.

1.2 All Members of the Order shall be of the Christian faith and committed to upholding the principles of Christianity in their lives, fortunes and honour.  Persons not members of the Christian faith may be associated with the Order as Companions.

1.3 Members shall be committed to observe the Principles, Constitution and Decrees and Rules of the Order.

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2. Title

2.1  The title of the Order in Australia is "The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem Grand Priory of Australia".

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3. Definitions

3.1 In this Constitution and in the Rules the following expressions shall have the meanings hereinafter attributed to them:

(1) "Australian Order" means The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem Grand Priory of Australia and known to the Order as the Australian Jurisdiction, or the Grand Priory of Australia;

(2)  "Chancellor" means the Chancellor of the Grand Priory of Australia;

(3)  "Commanderies" means those component units of the Grand Priory of Australia based on territorial divisions of Australia (including States and Territories);

(4) "Grand Magistery" means the governing body of the International Order, of which the head is the Grand Master;

(5)  "Grand Prior" means the Grand Prior of the Grand Priory of Australia and the Head of Jurisdiction;

(6)  "International Order" means the world wide collective of the Order;

(7)  "Member" means a person whose application for membership has been approved;

(8)  "National Chapter" means a meeting to which all members of the Grand Priory of Australia are invited to attend;

(9)  "Order" means The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem in its organisation throughout the world, including Australia; and

(10) "Rules" means the Rules made by the National Council under this Constitution.

3.2 Where appropriate words used in this Constitution in the masculine include the feminine and vice-versa and the singular includes the plural and vice-versa.

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4. Objects

4.1 The objects of the Australian Order are to sustain and defend the Christian faith, to establish, organise, promote, aid or engage in activities for charitable, humanitarian, educational, religious, hospital, medical and chivalric purposes and in particular but without limiting the generality of the foregoing:

(1)  to give aid and succour to the sick, needy, aged, infirm, maimed, mentally ill, imprisoned and socially disadvantaged;

(2) to promote and encourage Christian and national unity;

(3) to promote and assist education in hospital care and administration, nursing and first aid;

(4)  to establish and provide aid and assistance to, and to promote the works of, hospitals, medical centres and institutions for the treatment of human ills of every kind;

(5) to promote and assist medical research;

(6) to further and promote chivalric ideals in society so that all people and nations may better understand each other;

(7) to promote the Order and its history and objects; and

(8) to grant honours, awards and prizes and to hold competitions so as to further the objects of the Order and to recognise achievements in the humanitarian, nursing, hospital, medical, charitable, religious and chivalric fields.

4.2 To co-operate with the Order and its organisation throughout the world and obey all reasonable directions of the appropriate governing bodies of the Order.

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5. Powers

5.1 For the purpose of advancing or achieving its objects the Australian Order shall have the following powers and authority:

(1) to buy, sell, lease or exchange or otherwise deal with any property, real or personal;

(2)  to appoint, employ, dismiss or suspend managers, clerks, servants or agents;

(3)   to establish or aid in the establishment of trusts, associations, institutions or partnerships;

(4)  to enter into agreements with persons, companies or institutions;

(5) to open, close and operate accounts with banks or other financial institutions as the National Council sees fit;

(6) to invest and otherwise deal with money of the Australian Order in such manner as the National Council sees fit, but in accordance with the provisions of the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia or any relevant laws of its States or Territories relating to the investment of trust funds;

(7) to raise or borrow money and give security for its repayment or the repayment of any debt, liability, contract, guarantee or engagement incurred or entered into;

(8)  to make, draw, accept, endorse, discount or issue bills of exchange, cheques or other negotiable or transferable instruments;

(9)               to take, hold or secure mortgages, levies and charges to secure the purchase price or part thereof of any of the Australian Order's property;

(10) to accept gifts of property, deeds, goods, chattels and money;

(11) to liaise, cooperate with or join any other association;

(12)  to publish or seek to have published any book, pamphlet or other written material;

(13) to impose and collect dues and assessments from its members and to pay all expenses in the operation of the Order from the funds of the Order;

(14) to remit moneys and dues to the appropriate governing body of the Order;

(15) to advise and inform the appropriate governing body of the Order of its activities;

(16) to cooperate in activities of the Order and its objects internationally; and

(17) to take any step in aid support or collateral to the abovementioned.

5.2 The National Council is empowered to appoint trustees for the purpose of holding interests in property on trust for the Australian Order.

5.3 The income and property of the Order will be applied solely towards the promotion of the purposes of the Order and no portion shall be paid or transferred, directly or indirectly, by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise to the Members of the Order.  However, payment may be made in good faith for remuneration of members, officers, servants or agents of the Order in return for any services rendered or goods supplied in the ordinary and usual course of business.

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6. Membership

6.1 Candidates for membership shall be proposed from men and women of such character and standing as to be a credit to the Order and an asset in achieving its aims.

6.2 Candidates shall:

(1) be baptised into the Christian faith, live according to Christian principles and be a member of a recognised mainstream Christian denomination;

(2) be of sound mind, be known to live honourably and be prepared to observe the requirements and rules of the Australian and International Orders;

(3)  be willing to make a solemn pledge of allegiance to the Order at a formal ceremony of investiture;

(4) be proposed by members on the active list of the Commandery which the candidate seeks to join;

(5) be not less than 21 years of age; and

(6) comply with any relevant Rules relating to nomination for membership.

6.3  All members of the Australian Order must belong to a Commandery.

6.4 Candidates for membership shall be proposed by at least two active members with comprehensive knowledge of the candidate and in consultation with  members of the Commandery.

6.5 Provided the Commandery President agrees nominations for membership and the recommended rank on admission are to be submitted by the President of the relevant Commandery to the Chancellor on the prescribed postulant's petition.  The Chancellor shall cause the nomination to be laid before the Grand Prior and, if approved, the nomination shall be forwarded by the Chancellor to the Grand Secretary-General of the Order.

6.6 New members will ordinarily be admitted as an Officer of the Australian Order but admission as a Commander may be approved if the age, service and position in society of the candidate warrants it.

6.7 All nominations for membership are subject to the final determination of the Grand Master.

6.8 Candidates accepted for membership shall be invested in the presence of members of the Order at an authorised ceremony of investiture as soon as practically possible after their acceptance for membership, and within 2 years of their acceptance, unless the Grand  Prior is prepared to extend the time period upon a reasonable request being made for an extension.

6.9 Ordained ministers of the Christian faith who are accepted for membership may be appointed by Commanderies as Chaplains to the Commandery. Only one Chaplain should be appointed for any one denomination.  Ordained ministers may be members of a Commandery without necessarily being Chaplains.  Chaplain members will be exempt from payment of any joining or annual membership fees.  However, ordained members of the Commanderies who have either retired or who are on stipends and who are not Chaplain members will also be exempt from any joining fee but will be obliged to pay any international component of the annual membership fee.

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7. Ranks of Members

7.1 The ranks in the Order in ascending order are:

(1) Officer ("OLJ");

(2) Commander ("CLJ");

(3) Knight or Dame ("KLJ/DLJ");

(4) Knight/Dame Commander ("KCLJ/DCLJ");

(5) Knight/Dame Grand Cross ("GCLJ"); and

(6) Knight/Dame Grand Cross with Grand Collar.

7.2 In the rank of Knight or Dame and above there are two categories, these being of Justice and Grace. Members of the Order may be granted the Cross of Justice on proof of nobility in accordance with the traditions of their national origins.

7.3 All ordained candidates for admission who are of the Christian faith shall be admitted as ecclesiastical members.

7.4 A candidate for admission who is ordained must submit with the candidate's petition proof of the fact that the candidate has been validly ordained and is in good standing as an ordained member from the candidate's appropriate ecclesiastical superior.

7.5 The ranks of clergy members, in ascending order are:

(1) Assistant Chaplain ("AChLJ");

(2) Chaplain ("ChLJ");

(3) Chaplain of Jurisdiction ("JChLJ");

(4) Ecclesiastic Commander ("CChLJ"); and

(5) Ecclesiastic Grand Cross ("GCLJ").

7.6 For purposes of precedence, Assistant Chaplain ranks with Officer, Chaplain with Commander, Chaplain of Jurisdiction with Knight, Ecclesiastic Commander with Knight Commander, Ecclesiastic Grand Cross with Knight Grand Cross.

7.7 A member proposed for promotion to Knight or Dame shall normally have served at least five years at the rank of Commander and shall have shown devotion in the Order, have a professional status or its accepted equivalent and have made a worthy contribution to the Order. No applicant shall be admitted to the Australian Order in the rank of Knight or Dame except in a very special case of distinguished and devoted contribution to the Order and with the approval of the Grand Master of the Order.

7.8 The title Chevalier, or its abbreviated form of "Chev.", shall be used preceding the name of Knights. Within the Order the title Dame shall be used preceding the names of ladies of that rank.

7.9 Members of the rank of Knight or equivalent and above who are entitled to the category of "Justice" may put the letter J in brackets ["(J)"] behind the letters indicating their rank.

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8. Companions

8.1 A person wishing to assist the Order who is not a Christian or who, if a Christian does not wish to make the oath of allegiance or to become a member of the Order, but nevertheless wishes to support the aims, ideals and work of the Order, may be accepted as a Companion.

8.2 The rules referable to applications for membership shall apply to those persons seeking to be associated as Companions save that the Chancellor shall have the discretion to relieve such applicants of compliance with those rules which it would be inappropriate for them to satisfy.

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9. Classification of Members

9.1 There shall be three classifications of members:

(1) active;

(2) inactive; and

(3) suspended.

9.2 An active member shall be one who meets the obligations of membership by paying fees and dues imposed and taking part in the activities of the Order.

9.3 An inactive member is one who is unable to meet the obligations of active membership. Members in this class shall pay no fees and have no right to vote.

9.4 A suspended member is one who has been suspended pursuant to clause 18 of Part A of this Constitution.

9.5 It is one of the duties of the Presidents of the Commanderies to ensure that members are in their correct classification and, if this not be the case, to take such steps as may be appropriate to ensure that the classification reflects the situation of the member. Members who fail to meet their obligations, or are unable to do so, should be approached by the Commandery President to discuss the situation and such active steps should be taken arising from such discussion as may be appropriate.

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10. Promotions

10.1 Nominations for promotion shall be submitted by the President of the relevant Commandery to the Chancellor in the prescribed manner and citing the reasons which merit promotion. The Chancellor shall cause the nomination to be laid before the Membership and Promotions Committee for consideration. If agreed by the Committee and approved by the Head of Jurisdiction the Chancellor shall submit the recommendation to the Grand Secretary-General of the Order. The Chancellor shall inform the Commandery President of the decision made. The Grand Prior also may initiate nominations for promotion to the Membership and Promotions Committee, to be submitted through the Chancellor's Office.

10.2 All recommendations for promotion will be subject to the final determination of the Grand Magistery.

10.3 Normally no promotion shall be granted unless the nominee has given a minimum of three years' active service in the current grade or category and such service merits promotion.

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11. Investitures

11.1 Provided there is at least one candidate, a ceremony of investiture shall be held within the Grand Priory at least once a year.

11.2 Investitures shall be held in a place to be determined by a committee of the Grand Prior, the Chancellor and the National Chaplain.

11.3 Unless the National Council shall otherwise decide consecutive investitures shall take place in rotation in the various Commanderies and be held in conjunction with National Chapters.

11.4 The Chancellor shall give to all National Council members and Commandery Secretaries not less than three months' notice of time, date and place of a proposed investiture. Commandery Secretaries shall inform all of their members of such details within one month of receipt of such notice.

11.5 The Commandery in whose area the ceremony of investiture is to be held shall be responsible for organising the investiture, including:

(1) the venue;

(2) the form of the service (in consultation with the National Chaplain);

(3) the form of the ceremony (in consultation with the Marshal); and

(4) such other arrangements as may be appropriate.

11.6 The National Chaplain, or in the absence or indisposition of the National Chaplain the person nominated by the National Chaplain, shall conduct the service in co operation with appropriate Commandery chaplains.

11.7 The Grand Prior, or in the absence or indisposition of the Grand Prior the person nominated by the Grand Prior, shall conduct the ceremony of investiture.

11.8 The form of the ceremony of investiture shall be as prescribed from time to time as the Grand Prior, Chancellor, Marshal and National Chaplain may consider appropriate.

11.9 Any Commandery may request through the Chancellor that the Grand Prior hold an investiture ceremony. This may be held in addition to the annual investiture.

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12. Head of Jurisdiction

12.1 The Grand Master of the Order may grant the honorary title of Bailiff or Grand Prior Emeritus to a member for exceptionally distinguished service.

12.2 The Grand Prior as Head of Jurisdiction shall be the most senior ranking member of the Australian Order.

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13. National Council

13.1 Subject to any direction by the National Chapter the National Council shall be responsible for the administration of the Australian Order, its work, rules, investitures and activities.

13.2 The National Council shall be responsible to the Grand Magistery, which is the governing body of the Order, through the Chancellor and shall obey the Constitution Rules and decrees of the Order and shall ensure that the Commanderies comply with such Constitution Rules and decrees.

13.3 The functions and powers of the National Council shall include:

(1) administration of the Australian Order;

(2) oversight of the activities of the Commanderies;

(3) liaison with the Commanderies;

(4) ensuring adherence to the Constitution and Rules;

(5) ensuring that the Constitutions and Rules of Commanderies are appropriate;

(6) encouraging the efficient running of the Commanderies;

(7) conduct of fund raising and other projects on a Grand Priory level where it is considered to be necessary or desirable;

(8) consideration of the Treasurer's audited national accounts and the financial viability of Commanderies;

(9) dissemination of information from the Order and elsewhere to the Commanderies;

(10) planning and co ordination of the overall strategy and direction of the Australian Order;

(11) planning and implementation of the expansion of the Australian Order; and

(12) consideration of policy relating to membership and promotion.

13.4 The National Council shall consist of the incumbent of the following offices:

(1) Grand Prior;

(2) Bailiff (where one is required);

(3) Chancellor;

(4) Referendary; (5) (5) National Treasurer;

(6) Marshal;

(7) National Hospitaller;

(8) National Almoner;

(9) National Chaplain;

(10) President of each Commandery or nominee; and

(11) immediate past Grand Prior.

13.5 A member may hold any two of the abovementioned offices except that the Grand Prior, Bailiff, Chancellor and the Referendary shall not hold any other office.

13.6 The National Council shall meet not less than once in each calendar year. Meetings shall occur at such reasonable time and places as the Chancellor shall nominate. Three months notice of each meeting shall be given by the Chancellor to the members of the National Council save that where an extraordinary meeting is called only at least two week's notice shall be given.

13.7 An extraordinary meeting of the National Council shall be called when one half of those entitled to vote at a National Council meeting request the Chancellor in writing to hold such a meeting. The Grand Prior or in his or her absence, the Bailiff will determine the time and place for the holding of such meeting and details of the matters to be considered shall be given to all members of the National Council by the Chancellor at the same time that notice of the meeting is given.

13.8 A quorum of the National Council shall be one-half of its individual members. Each member shall be entitled to one vote and the Chairman shall have a casting vote.

13.9 The Chairman of each meeting of the National Council shall be the Grand Prior. If the Grand Prior is not present the Chairman shall be the Bailiff or in the absence or unavailability of the Bailiff such person as the Grand Prior may nominate and in the absence of such nomination the Chairman shall be elected by the members of the Council present. 13.10 13.10 The National Council shall endeavour to rotate its meetings among those areas where Commanderies exist.

13.11 No Commandery shall have more than three of its members on the National Council at any one time. However the Commandery President will not be included in the 3 members for the purpose of this rule.

13.12 The National Council is empowered to create such other National Offices and appoint such persons to them as it may decide.

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14. Duties of National Office Bearers

14.1 The duties of National Office bearers of the Australian Order are as follows:

(1) Grand Prior - Head of Jurisdiction The Grand Prior will be head of jurisdiction, and will participate at investitures and all major ceremonies. The Grand Prior will be an ex-officio member of all committees, he or she elects to be involved in and will promote and represent the Australian Order. The Grand Prior may delegate those duties as the Grand Prior considers appropriate to any Bailiff appointed, the Chancellor or the Referendary. The Grand Prior shall liaise with the appropriate bodies and persons of the Order outside Australia. If a Bailiff is not appointed the Grand Prior will act as chairman of the meetings of the National Council and National Chapter and will ensure the overall direction of the Australian Order.

(2) Bailiff The Bailiff will ensure the overall direction of the Australian Order and will act as Chairman of the meetings of the National Council and National Chapter. The Bailiff will work with the Chancellor on the day to day activities and functioning of the Australian Order between meetings of the National Council. The Bailiff will participate at investitures and all major ceremonies and will be senior officer in the absence, unavailability or at the discretion of the Grand Prior and will be able to exercise all of the Grand Prior's rights of appointment and duties under this Constitution. The Bailiff will be an ex-officio member of all committees.

(3) Chancellor The Chancellor will superintend the national administration of the Australian Order, act as supervisor of the National Council and National Chapter, implement policies and decrees including those from the Grand Magistery of the Order, maintain liaison with the Grand Secretary General of the Order and with the Commanderies. The Chancellor will also conduct the day to day activities and functioning of the Australian Order between meetings of the National Council and will make decisions for the good functioning of the Australian Order and its activities to enhance its prestige, work, membership and growth. The Chancellor may act for the Grand Prior or Bailiff in their absence or unavailability.

(4) Referendary The Referendary shall monitor the Constitution and Rules of the Australian Order and its Commanderies and ensure that they are in harmony with and do not contravene the Constitution or any Rules made under it. The Referendary shall act as Returning Officer for elections and shall arrange and superintend the taking of such secret ballots as may be held. The Referendary shall act for the Grand Prior as delegated by him including the conduct of any investiture.

(5) Treasurer The Treasurer shall maintain accounts of the Grand Priory, prepare budgets, receive and disburse moneys and oversee the Australian Order's finances at the Grand Priory level. The Treasurer shall receive from Commanderies their accounts and shall monitor their proper keeping. The Treasurer shall also collect and forward any moneys owing to the appropriate governing body of the Order.

(6) Marshal The Marshal shall maintain membership and archival records, with the assistance of the Secretary-General. The Marshal will be Master of Ceremonies at all national investitures, vigils and other services and ceremonies and will liaise with the Chancellor and National Chaplain on the planning and conduct of ceremonies at National Chapters and other national gatherings. The Marshal will advise on all matters of tradition, heraldry, armorial bearings, titles and honours in relation to the Order. The Marshal shall be the authority in relation to obtaining insignia and regalia.

(7) Hospitaller The Hospitaller shall encourage and oversee the Australian Order's humanitarian work, keep records of Commandery projects, ensure co ordination of Commanderies' activities, and inform the National Council, through the Chancellor, of current and future Commandery activities. He or she shall identify appropriate projects for consideration by the National Council. He or she shall also plan and execute Grand Priory humanitarian projects in liaison with the Almoner and ensure Commandery co operation for such projects. The Hospitaller is to maintain liaison with various appropriate bodies relevant to the Order's work.

(8) Almoner The Almoner shall plan and organise national fundraising projects in accordance with directions of the National Council. In co operation with Commandery Almoners and with their assistance he or she shall initiate and manage those fundraising activities agreed as national projects and major appeals. The Almoner shall implement disbursement of funds for national works of the Australian Order keeping the Treasurer and Hospitaller informed of progress. As required he or she shall advise and co operate with Commandery Almoners in the pursuit of their fundraising objectives. The Almoner is to ensure that all funds raised are recorded and channelled through the account of the Grand Priory or relevant Commandery Treasury.

(9) National Chaplain The National Chaplain is to ensure the Australian Order's spirituality is maintained, co operate with Commandery Chaplains and assist with religious ceremonies of the Australian Order.

(10) Commandery President The Commandery President shall represent the Commandery on the National Council and report on the activities of the Commandery.

(11) Deputy Chancellor The Deputy Chancellor shall be a member appointed by the Chancellor to assist in the discharge of the general duties of the Chancellor including publishing and disseminating items of interest to members in the Grand Priory's magazine, Lazarus Letter, and being responsible for providing the Australian contribution to the Order's International Bulletin. The position is not one of election.

(12) Secretary-General The Secretary General shall be appointed by the Grand Prior on the advice of the Chancellor and shall be responsible for general administration of the Order in accordance with the policies laid down within the Grand Priory, including taking suitable action on correspondence and decrees. The Secretary General shall act as secretary to the National Council, the National Chapter and the Chancellor's Committee and shall keep members suitably informed of the Order's policies and activities. The position is not one of election.

(13) Deputy National Chaplains Up to 2 Deputy National Chaplains from the ranks of Chaplain members shall be appointed by the Grand Prior on the advice of the National Chaplain. These positions are not ones of election.

(14) National Herald The National Herald shall be appointed by the Grand Prior on the advice of the Marshal and shall be responsible to the Marshal for the marshalling of members and shall be the Sword Bearer at National Chapters and other national ceremonies. The National Herald in conjunction with the Marshal shall advise members on the correct manner in which decorations, medals and other insignia may be worn and on appropriate dress for ceremonies and other formal occasions. The National Herald will support the Marshal in the Marshal’s role. The position is not one of election.

(15) Custodian of Insignia The Custodian of Insignia shall be appointed by the Chancellor on the advice of the Marshal, and shall be responsible to the Marshal for the purchase and supply of insignia, dress, and other items of a ceremonial nature. The Custodian of Insignia will ensure that members of the Order are advised on the appropriate insignia in accordance with their rank and standing in the Order. The Custodian shall be the repository for insignia returned by members and will arrange for re-issue at a reasonable price. The Custodian will provide information to members as to approved suppliers for those members who wish to purchase direct from such suppliers and will account for all funds to the Marshal and the Treasurer. The position is not one of election.

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15. Election and Appointment of National Office Bearers

15.1 The positions of the Grand Prior, Bailiff, Chancellor and Referendary are appointments by the Grand Master following the recommendations of the National Council.

15.2 Election to positions of the Treasurer, Marshal, Hospitaller, Almoner and National Chaplain shall be by secret ballot of members of the National Chapter duly called for business which includes such elections. Nominations signed by proposer, seconder and nominee are to be lodged with the Referendary. Balloting shall be by members present and voting or by written proxies to members present which proxies are to be lodged with the Referendary.

15.3 Those eligible to be nominated or to vote shall be active members in good standing. Only Chaplains as defined in rule 6.9 may vote for the position of National Chaplain and only Chaplains shall be eligible for election to such position.

15.4 The returning officer in all elections or nominations shall be the Referendary or if the Referendary is a candidate the returning officer shall be a Chaplain appointed by the Referendary. Unless the National Council otherwise decides, the decision of the Referendary on eligibility of a candidate or the eligibility to vote in any election shall be final.

15.5 A casual vacancy to the National Council shall be filled by appointment by the Grand Prior or in the Grand Prior's absence or incapacity by the Referendary and in the case of the absence or incapacity of both the Grand Prior and the Referendary then by the Chancellor. The appointee shall serve until such time as the next election is held.

15.6 A casual vacancy will be deemed to have occurred on the resignation, death, dismissal or incapacity of any office bearers, or on suspension or on advised absence on leave from the position for more than six months.

15.7 National Office bearers shall hold office after election or appointment for a term of three years but the office bearer is eligible for re-election or further appointment at the end of the first term. The maximum continuous term for any National Office shall be six years. After a break the member may stand again but no office bearer shall be eligible to serve more than twelve years in total in any one of the elected National Offices. Any National Office bearer who consistently fails to attend meetings and other duties of office without leave of the appropriate person or body may be declared by the National Council to have vacated the office, in which event the position shall be one which may be filled as a casual vacancy.

15.8 Any period of six months or more which is served in a casual vacancy shall count as a one year term of office and a period of less than six months shall not be counted.

16. Committees

16.1 The following committees shall be established by the National Council:

(1) Chancellor's Committee. It shall comprise the Chancellor as Chair, Referendary, National Treasurer, Marshal, Grand Prior (ex officio), Deputy Chancellor and Secretary General. It shall perform executive and administrative functions for the Australian Order during periods between National Chapters and National Council meetings.

(2) Membership and Promotions Committee. It shall comprise the Chancellor as Chair, Referendary, Bailiff, National Chaplain, Marshal and one President of a Commandery to be co opted to the Committee. The Grand Prior is an ex officio, non-voting member of the Committee. In the event of a tied vote the Chancellor shall also have a casting vote. The Committee shall consider the merits of nominations for promotion and convey its decision to the Grand Prior. It shall also keep under review rules for membership, standards of membership and the policy pertaining to rank on admission to the Australian Order.

(3) Hospitaller Committee. It shall comprise the National Hospitaller of the Australian Grand Priory and the Hospitallers of each Commandery. It will plan, review and co ordinate the Australian Grand Priory's humanitarian activities, be a forum for discussion and review, and, with the approval of the National Council, initiate major projects. It shall meet not less than once a year. A quorum shall be not less than three. Hospitallers may appoint nominees to attend meetings. The National Hospitaller shall be chairman and shall have a casting vote in the event of tied voting. Minutes of the meetings shall be forwarded to the Chancellor for dissemination.

(4) Ecumenical Committee. It shall comprise the National Chaplain, Chancellor, all Commandery Chaplains and the Bailiff and in the absence of a Bailiff the Grand Prior. The Chair shall be the National Chaplain. It will encourage and supervise the Australian Order's efforts towards Christian unity and shall plan, co ordinate or implement seminars, conferences, church services, functions or any activities which may advance and promote Christian unity. It will liaise and co operate with organisations promoting Christian unity. It may co opt other members as it considers desirable.

16.2 The National Council shall have the power to establish any other committee for such purposes as it may see fit and form the rules for and duties of such committee. It shall also have the power to dissolve, re constitute or alter the membership of a Committee.

16.3 All committees shall be responsible to the National Council. They shall provide an annual report to the Chancellor to be submitted to the National Council.

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17. Resignation

17.1 A member with good cause may, by notice in writing to the President of the member's Commandery, offer resignation from the Order. The letter of resignation shall be forwarded to the Chancellor together with the recommendation of the Commandery President. The Chancellor will confer with the Grand Prior and advise in writing the Commandery President and Marshal if and when the resignation is accepted. Resignation shall not carry entitlement to a refund of fees, donations or levy. A resignation shall not be used as a means of avoiding expulsion from the Order. A person who has resigned is not entitled to use any of the titles, insignia or robes of the Order. Resignation takes effect from the date of notice by the Chancellor to the person that the resignation has been accepted and is a release of the member of the Oath and other obligations of membership.

17.2 Any committee member may by reasonable notice in writing to the committee Chairman resign from that committee.

17.3 Any member holding any appointment or office may, by reasonable notice in writing to the Chancellor, resign from that appointment or office.

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17A. Inactive List

17.1 Any member may apply in writing to that member's Commandery President to be placed on the inactive list. The President of the Commandery shall consider such application and, if granted, the member shall immediately be placed on the inactive list and the Chancellor informed in writing of the circumstances. A member will, unless there be special circumstances, only be placed on the inactive list because of a temporary inability to undertake the responsibilities of full membership. A very lengthy or permanent inability to be involved in the Order should ordinarily result in a formal resignation. Commandery Presidents also have authority to place a member of the Commandery on the Inactive List whether or not the member applies to be on the inactive list.

17.2 An inactive member may at any time re apply to the relevant Commandery President for readmission to active membership.

17.3 Any member who dissents from a Commandery President's decision may apply to the Chancellor's Committee to review the decision, which decision shall be final.

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17B Emeritus List

17B(1) The Secretary General shall establish and maintain a register of members to be known as the Members Emeritus Register.

17B(2) Any member who has been a member of the Order for not less than ten years and who is no longer able to undertake the responsibilities of full membership but nevertheless wishes to remain in communion with the Commandery may apply in writing to the President of the Commandery to be placed on the register of Members Emeritus. The President shall consider such application and, if granted, the member shall be placed on such list and the Chancellor shall be so informed in writing.

17B(3) A Member Emeritus shall pay such annual fees as may be determined by the National Council.

17B(4) A Member Emeritus may apply at any time for re admission to active membership.

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18. Suspension

18.1 An active member may be suspended from the Commandery by a majority vote of its members. Suspension shall only be for failure to meet the member's duties and obligations or for other grave fault or for misconduct not warranting expulsion. Such suspension of a member shall only be effective where it is approved by the President of the Commandery to which the member belongs and also by the Grand Prior.

18.2 The period of suspension shall be determined by the President of the Commandery concerned, provided that a member shall not be suspended for more than one year without the approval of the Grand Prior. No term of suspension shall exceed three years.

18.3 A member may appeal from any order of suspension to a committee comprising the Bailiff and in the absence of a Bailiff the Grand Prior, the Chancellor, and the Referendary which committee shall have full powers to deal with it. The decision of that Committee shall be final.

18.4 During the period of suspension the suspended member shall not be eligible to take part in any meetings, activities, elections, or hold any office, but shall remain subject to payment of annual fees.

18.5 On being notified of suspension the suspended member shall return to the Custodian of Insignia any insignia of the Order held by him and the Custodian shall not return the insignia to the member until the period of suspension has expired.

18.6 The failure of a suspended member to return insignia or to pay annual fees when due shall constitute ground for expulsion.

18.7 The President of the Commandery shall keep the Chancellor and the Marshal fully informed of any decision concerning suspension of a member.

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19. Expulsion

19.1 Members of the Order may be expelled for grave fault or for such misconduct as may bring the Order or the relevant Commandery into disrepute, or on conviction of a serious criminal offence.

19.2 Provisional expulsion from the Order shall be by a majority vote of not less than two thirds of all active members of the Commandery to which the member concerned belongs. The member concerned is to be given notice of the meeting and its purpose and have the opportunity to rebut the allegations laid.

19.3 If a Commandery duly votes for expulsion notice of the provisional expulsion together with the reasons therefore shall be sent to the Chancellor for consideration by a committee comprising the Grand Prior, the Bailiff the Chancellor, the Referendary and the National Chaplain. A majority of such committee may confirm that a member be expelled and if it confirms the provisional expulsion the member shall be expelled from the date of the provisional expulsion by the Commandery. Should the committee not approve the provisional expulsion a meeting of the Membership and Promotions Committee shall be convened to consider the question, whose decision shall be final.

19.4 Upon expulsion an expelled member's insignia are to be returned by him to the Custodian of Insignia and the member's name struck off the roll of members. All Commanderies within the Grand Priory are to be informed by the Chancellor of the expulsion having taken place.

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20. National Chapters

20.1 A National Chapter of all members of the Australian Order shall be held not less than once a calendar year.

20.2 A National Chapter shall be held on a date to coincide with a meeting of the National Council.

20.3 The business of a National Chapter meeting shall include:

(1) review of Grand Priory activities;

(2) reports from office bearers of the National Council in respect of their activities;

(3) reports from chairmen of committees and Presidents of Commanderies and consideration of the annual accounts;

(4) appointments as may be appropriate;

(5) elections as may be appropriate;

(6) amendments to the Constitution or the Rules; and

(7) any other business it considers appropriate.

20.4 The Chancellor shall give to all Commandery Secretaries not less than three months notice of the time, date and place and agenda of the proposed holding of a National Chapter. Commandery Secretaries shall inform all their members of such details within one month of receipt of such notice.

20.5 The Commandery in whose area the National Chapter is held shall be responsible for making all appropriate arrangements for the conduct of National Chapter meetings in due consultation with the National Office bearers.

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21. Dissolution of the National Council; New Elections

21.1 Any Commandery may request the Chancellor to call a National Chapter to consider the dissolution of the National Council and its office bearers and election of new office bearers. The Chancellor shall give such notice to each Commandery to seek its response thereto. If a majority of Commanderies are in favour the Chancellor shall forthwith call a National Chapter for that purpose.

21.2 Notice of such a National Chapter to consider such resolution must be given to all members of the National Council and the Secretaries of the Commanderies not less than two months before it is proposed to be held.

21.3 A National Chapter may by a two thirds majority of those present resolve to dissolve the National Council and vacate the National Offices and then proceed to elect new office bearers for a new National Council, except that the positions of Grand Prior, Bailiff, Chancellor and Referendary are conferred only with the agreement of and by the Grand Master of the Order.

21.4 At a meeting of the National Chapter to consider a motion for dissolution and vacation of offices not less than four members of the National Council shall have the right to address the meeting.

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22. Dissolution of the Australian Grand Priory

22.1 Should the Australian Grand Priory be dissolved all assets held by the Commanderies and the Grand Priory shall be realised and disbursed towards humanitarian projects being carried out by them. Where there are no humanitarian functions still being conducted then all realised funds shall be applied towards public hospitals or other public benevolent institutions being organisations which qualify under Income Tax Law as recipients of tax deductible gifts, with preference being given to an institution engaged in the care of lepers in Australia. Upon dissolution there shall be no disbursement of funds to any individual member or group of members of the Australian Order.

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23. Fees and Finance

23.1 Each member on joining shall pay a joining fee which amount shall be fixed by the National Council. Unless the National Council decides otherwise, two thirds of such fee shall be retained by the Commandery to which the member belongs and one third shall be sent to the National Treasurer to be forwarded to the GrandMagistery.

23.2 Each Commandery shall pay to the National Treasurer an annual levy on each member in such sum as is determined by the National Council. The levy shall be paid by the National Treasurer to the Grand Magistery. In addition the National Council may levy Commanderies an amount per member to offset expenses of the Australian Order.

23.3 Each member shall pay to that member's Commandery the said joining fee, the said levies and such further annual levy as the Commandery shall decide is appropriate for its running expenses. Each member shall also pay to that member's Commandery any donation for charitable purposes, the amount of which shall be fixed by that member's Commandery.

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24. Flag and Arms

24.1 The flag of the Grand Priory shall be white with an eight pointed green cross in the first quarter and shall be adorned with the Southern Cross in green on the fly. It shall be flown or displayed on special occasions of the Australian Order.

24.2 The arms of the Order comprises a shield argent with a cross vert mounted on an octagonal green cross and surrounded by the chain of office of the Order. Below the shield is the motto of the Order "Atavis et Armis".

24.3 The banner of the Order is of white silk and bears a green square cross. The banner shall be carried at all solemn processions of the Order immediately preceding the members.

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25. Companionate of Merit

25.1 The Companionate of Merit is an Order of distinction which is designated to reward persons who have rendered outstanding services to the Order of Saint Lazarus. It is awarded only by the Grand Master on the recommendation of the Head of Jurisdiction. An essential characteristic of the Order of Merit is that it may be awarded to non-members of the Order as well as to members. No member of the Order can receive a rank in the Merit higher than the rank the member has in the Order.

25.2 The categories in the Companionate of Merit in ascending order are:

(1) Member of Merit ("MMLJ");

(2) Officer of Merit ("OMLJ");

(3) Commander of Merit ("CMLJ");

(4) Grand Officer of Merit ("GOMLJ"); and

(5) Grand Cross of Merit ("GCMLJ").

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26. Australian Meritorious Medallion

26.1 The National Council may recommend to the Grand Prior for approval or otherwise the award of the following Medallions of Merit to be known as the Australian Meritorious Medallion:

(1) Gold Medallion for outstanding service to the Australian Order or humanity;

(2) Silver Medallion for distinguished service to the Australian Order or humanity; and

(3) Bronze Medallion for meritorious service to the Australian Order or humanity.

26.2 The general design and conditions of awards of Medallion of Merit must first be approved by the Grand Master.

26.3 Outstanding, distinguished or meritorious service will normally consist of long service to the Order coupled with active participation in and support of its works and activities.

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27. Recommendations for Companionate of Merit and Australian Meritorious Medallion

27.1 Recommendations for Companionate of Merit awards shall be made by Commandery Presidents, or by the Grand Prior, through the Chancellor to the National Council. Provided the National Council approves the recommendation it may then be forwarded by the Chancellor to the Grand Secretary General of the Order for approval by the Grand Master.

27.2 Recommendations for the Australian Meritorious Medallion shall follow the same procedure as for the Companionate of Merit except that final approval lies with the Grand Prior and not the Grand Master.

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28. Other Awards by the National Council or a Commandery

28.1 The National Council or a Commandery may award plaques, trophies, certificates or other awards provided that prior approval therefore is obtained from the Chancellor. The applicable procedures for approval shall be such as the National Council or the Commandery, respectively, shall determine.

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29. Amendment of the Constitution

29.1 This Constitution may be amended by a resolution of the National Chapter to that effect. Notice of any proposed amendment shall be given by the Chancellor not less than one month prior to the holding of the National Chapter. Such amendment shall become effective if approved by two thirds of the members present and voting at the Chapter, provided that any amendment shall not contravene any decrees or rules of the governing body of the Order.

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30. Rules

30.1 The National Council is empowered to make Rules and to issue decrees, which are not inconsistent with this Constitution, for the implementation of the objects of the Australian Order and its smooth and effective organisation and operation.

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31. Indemnity for Officers Bearers and Members

31.1 Office bearers and other members who incur liability in the faithful and conscientious discharge of their duties in the Order are entitled to be indemnified out of the assets of the Order, if any, for such liability. A request for indemnification should be made to the National Council which is empowered to decide on the matter. If the office bearer or other member is dissatisfied with any decision of the National Council, or if the National Council refuses or delays in making such decision, the person has a right to take the matter to the next National Chapter. Any decision by the National Chapter shall be final and binding.

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PART B – Commanderies

32. 1. Commanderies

32.1 1.1 The Grand Priory shall comprise the constituent members of the Commanderies.

32.2 1.2 With the approval of the National Council one or more Commanderies may be established in each State or Territory of the Commonwealth of Australia.

32.3 1.3 No Commandery shall be established without National Council approval, which shall include:

(1) the area in which it is to operate;

(2) its Constitution; and

(3) the members who are to inaugurate it.

32.4 1.4 Any dispute as to the division of boundaries, assets, activities and responsibilities of Commanderies shall be decided by the National Council.

32.5 1.5 No person may belong to a Commandery unless he is a member of the Australian Order. 33. 2. Commandery Office Bearers and Executive

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33. 2. Commandery Office Bearers and Executive

33.1 2.1 Each Commandery shall elect the following office bearers:

(1) President;

(2) Secretary;

(3) Treasurer;

(4) Hospitaller;

(5) Herald; and

(6) Almoner.

33.2 2.2 The offices of Minutes Secretary and Archivist may also be created and filled by election or appointment of the Executive.

33.3 2.3 All office bearers of Commanderies shall be elected each year at the Annual General Meeting of the Commandery.

33.4 2.4 No office bearer may be elected to serve in any one position for more than six consecutive years.

33.5 2.5 The office bearers shall comprise an Executive which, subject to the Constitution and to direction from a meeting of members, shall be charged with the affairs of the Commandery.

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34. 3. Duties of Commandery Office Bearers

34.1 3.1 The duties of Commandery office bearers shall be those set out in the Commandery Constitution.

34.2 3.2 Such duties will be similar, but not identical, to the duties of the National office bearers of the same title.

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35. 4. Meetings of Commanderies

35.1 4.1 Each Commandery shall hold a Chapter meeting of its members at least once per year.

35.2 4.2 The business of a Commandery Chapter meeting shall include:

(1) reports from all office bearers;

(2) consideration of the annual accounts;

(3) elections as appropriate;

(4) appointments as appropriate; and

(5) any other business it considers appropriate.

35.3 4.3 Other meetings of the Commandery, its Executive and its committees shall be held at such intervals as the members of the Commandery shall determine.

35.4 4.4 In the event that there is a period of more than four months between general meetings of the Commandery then a meeting of the Executive shall be held at least once in the intervening period. Where there is a period of more than six months between general meetings of the Commandery then meetings of the Executive shall be held at least twice in the intervening period.

35.5 4.5 Provided not less than seven days notice is given an extraordinary meeting of the Commandery or of the Executive may be called by the Secretary, and shall be called if requisitioned by no less than two thirds of all members or two thirds of the members of the Executive.

35.6 4.6 Notice of ordinary meetings of the Executive shall be given at least two weeks prior to the holding of the meeting.

35.7 4.7 A report of proceedings of the Executive shall be submitted to the next ordinary meeting of members of the Commandery.

35.8 4.8 A quorum at a meeting of members of the Commandery and at an Executive Meeting shall consist of the number of persons that the Commandery Constitution determines.

35.9 4.9 All matters to be determined by the Executive, or at a general meeting of the Commandery, shall be determined by a majority vote unless the Constitution otherwise provides. The Chairman shall have a casting vote. Votes may be cast in person or by a proxy given to a member present at the meeting. No member may hold more than one proxy.

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36. 5. Compliance of Commanderies; Constitution

36.1 5.1 Each Commandery shall comply with:

(1) the provisions of this Constitution and any Rules made under it; and

(2) any Ordinances, regulations or decrees of the National Council.

36.2 5.2 Each Commandery shall establish its own Constitution and Rules to further facilitate its administration. Neither its Constitution nor Rules shall contradict the provisions of this Constitution nor any Rules made under it. The provisions of the Commandery Constitution shall be approved by the National Council.

36.3 5.3 Each Commandery shall be an incorporated body.

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37. 6. Intervention with a Commandery

37.1 6.1 In the event that a committee comprising the Grand Prior, Chancellor and National Treasurer are satisfied that financial or other mismanagement has occurred within a Commandery the committee may intervene and take such steps as are appropriate to improve the financial and other administrative areas of the Commandery and may appoint officers to oversee and implement any such improvements and take actions as it shall determine.

37.2 6.2 During such period of intervention the committee may:

(1) direct that a particular activity be carried out;

(2) direct that money held by the Commandery be paid to either the National Council and used for a humanitarian purpose or to a particular humanitarian institution for a humanitarian purpose;

(3) take control of the financial affairs of the Commandery;

(4) appoint a new Executive; and

(5) move to dissolve the Commandery

37.3 6.3 No period of such intervention shall exceed one year.

37.4 6.4 A Commandery may appeal to the National Council from such intervention but during the period from intervention until appeal the intervention shall be valid.

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38. 7. Dissolution of a Commandery

38.1 7.1 The National Council may by a two-thirds majority vote dissolve any Commandery of the Australian Grand Priory.

38.2 7.2 Upon such dissolution and in accordance with section 78 of the Income Tax Act, there shall be no disbursement of the funds to any individual member or group of members.

38.3 7.3 Prior to the vote or a motion for dissolution the President of the Commandery affected or the President's nominee shall have the right to address the National Council.

38.4 7.4 Dissolution shall only take place in the following circumstances:

(1) at the request of the Commandery to be dissolved;

(2) where it is established to the satisfaction of the National Council that within the Commandery there is grave fault or continuing mismanagement including: (

(a) actions which bring the Commandery or the Order into disrepute;

(b) persistent failure to obey the Constitution or Rules of the Commandery;

(c) persistent failure to obey this Constitution or Rules established under it or;

(d) persistent financial irresponsibility; and

(e) failure to carry out humanitarian work or activity or to promote Christian unity.

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39. 8. Observance of Saint Lazarus Day

39.1 8.1 Each Commandery on or about 17 December of each year shall arrange for religious observance of Saint Lazarus Day at which service members sustain their Christian faith and renew their commitment to the Order.

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