Esperance Community Arts (ECA) began its life as Esperance Arts Council in 1973 with an organisational re-structure leading to the name change in 1998. ECA has grown and developed steadily, thanks to operational funding from Country Arts WA and the Shire of Esperance. ECA is now a significant peak body, supporting artists and arts groups in the Esperance region, and partnering with local organisations and funding bodies to deliver community programs across multiple artforms and venues.
Under the provisions of the constitution adopted in 2001, ECA was run by a Management Committee, which consisted of representatives nominated by each member organisation, plus 3 individual members. Committee size increased with the number of member organisations and became unwieldy. As the amount of funding secured by ECA also increased, the Management Committee determined that a review of governance arrangements was required.
In July 2016, with the support of key stakeholders, ECA commissioned the ‘Esperance Arts Review’, an extensive community consultation conducted by Karrak Consulting. The review examined the current arts structure in Esperance including funding, governance, service delivery, human resources and built infrastructure. That review, completed in October 2016, made a total of 51 recommendations including the revision of ECA’s membership structure and replacement of the Management Committee with a Governance Board.
Following receipt of the Karrak report, ECA established a working group to examine the Recommendations and to propose actions and strategies to address the issues raised. The working group endorsed the proposal for the establishment of a Board and recommended the development of a new constitution for ECA that would both enable the implementation of the new governance structure and secure compliance with the Associations Incorporations Act 2015. The report of the working group was adopted by the Management Committee on 21 March 2017.
The new constitution was adopted by ECA members at the Annual General Meeting held on 22 June 2017, and came into effect from 5 July 2017 following receipt of notification from the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.
In accordance with the new constitution, the responsibility for the management of ECA shifted to the Interim Board elected by members at the AGM. The Interim Board is responsible for implementing the new membership structure and expediting the election and appointment of the Inaugural Board, whilst also overseeing the ongoing management of the organisation.
The key organisational changes are:
1) The transition from a representative management committee to a skills-based Board;
2) A new membership structure open to corporate members, individual members and junior members, including a concessional rate.
Individual Members (with the exception of Junior Members) are eligible to nominate for Board positions and to vote for Board members.
Nominations for the Inaugral Board of Esperance Community Arts must be submitted by 13th October 2017.
The Board will be elected at a Special General Meeting on 10th November, 2017.