How will I know what to say?
As a representative, your job is to present the position and policies of Council at the meetings you attend or committees on which you serve, and not your own particular individual views. Council’s claim to be a representative body can only be sustained if the decisions taken by Council are followed up by its representatives and used to guide input on committees. However, your own experiences as a school parent will be useful in illustrating problems and Council's position in relation to them.
Council's Policy Document serves as a guide to action by Council representatives. This extensive document brings together the collective, agreed view of parent associations throughout the ACT (see here for more information about how Council policy is formalised). Read the relevant sections to inform you of Council’s position and guide your input to committees. In addition, Council's Executive forms positions on timely issues, which will be communicated to General Meetings, so it is important to attend these, or read the minutes.
You may find that other attendees at meetings or committees do not agree with the Council position, as expressed by you. In such cases, try to report to Council on other arguments or positions in a timely manner. Your aim in representing Council is to achieve the best outcome consistent with the direction of Council policy. It will not always be possible to obtain complete implementation of Council policy. You have the authority to negotiate and make necessary compromises, with the guidance of Council and its officers. Where compromise is not possible or desirable, you are entitled to present minority recommendations and positions which reflect Council views.
Council operates on the basis that our Policy Document is a guide to action, but if you feel it is necessary, Council may reconsider issues and refine its position. Any changes to Council policy occur through our annual policy conference.
What if something arises at a meeting and I don’t know what to do?
Where something arises and you are unsure how to proceed, you can always contact Council office for clarification or advice.