Broadly speaking the role of a Councillor is to carry out the functions of a Councillor as defined in the Parents and Citizens Associations Incorporation Act 1976 No 50 and P&C Federation Constitution.
Essentially this means:
- Councillors are elected for a two-year term
- Councillors form the Board (of 16) of the NSW P&C Federation which is responsible for:
- Advising the Department of Education and other entities about P&C Federation’s views on matters relating to public education;
- Liaising with national organisations on matters relating to public education;
- Implementing decisions of the NSW P&C Federation made at the Annual General Meeting;
- Determining policies of P&C Federation in relation to matters involving public education; and
- Overseeing and contributing to the implementation of these.
Councillors form the Board of P&C Federation and as such have the legal responsibilities attributed to the directors of a non-profit, charitable corporate entity.
As a member of the Board, Councillors are expected to actively prepare for and participate in meetings of the Board along with the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Board meetings are held in Sydney or online, are usually held on weekends and normally occur six times per year. The AGM is held on a weekend in August, usually preceding the August Board meeting.
For each Board meeting, Councillors are expected to attend the full day and are expected to prepare by reading the Board papers circulated prior to each meeting and then be ready to contribute to the discussion of each paper. A Councillor should be willing and able to prepare and submit a Board paper should they wish to propose that P&C Federation pursue a course of action or adopt a policy.
In general, Councillors are expected to bring suitable knowledge and experience relevant to the operation and concerns of P&C Associations and the parents of children in public education and be able to apply those skills to the oversight and direction of P&C Federation as the peak body for P&C Associations in NSW.
Once elected as a Councillor:
- Councillors must attend the Board induction and training, which will occur approximately 2-3 weeks following the elections
- Councillors can stand for election to P&C Federation Executive which may involve additional meetings during the year
- Councillors are expected to understand and act in accordance with P&C Federation positions and policies
- Councillors are expected to support and promote P&C Federation and public education
- Councillors act as a representative for the electorate in which the Councillor was elected and as such should be identifying and advocating for issues within their electorate
- Councillors may be invited to assist, advise and/or attend meetings of P&Cs within their electorate as a complement to advice provided by P&C Federation’s paid staff
- Councillors may be invited to join Department of Education merit selection recruitment panels for non-school-based positions or in respect of schools which have no P&C Association
- Councillors may stand for election as a NSW P&C Federation representative on external boards and Committees having relevance to public education. This will require additional time commitments above and beyond the time required for P&C Federation meetings. Representatives are expected to support P&C Federation positions, produce written reports and act in accordance with NSW P&C Federation policy
- Councillors may also elect to participate in internal subcommittees of the Board. Such subcommittees have their own meeting schedules, often convening by evening teleconference.