Adopted by members on Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
Our purpose is to report the affairs of the parliament to the people it serves. Our first duty is to the people of Australia, who expect us to hold their parliament and their government to account. We continue the work of journalists who have held a place in federal parliament since federation, in a tradition recognised by generations of elected representatives as part of the Westminster system.
- The Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery is a non-profit association of professional journalists who report on the Australian parliament, the federal government and national affairs at Parliament House, Canberra.
- Full membership of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery shall be restricted to journalists, photographers, camera operators and technicians whose primary purpose in Parliament House, Canberra, is the collection and dissemination of parliamentary or government or political news, or commenting upon parliamentary or government or political news.
- The elected committee of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery shall decide on applications for membership of the association, using due diligence to examine the credentials of applicants. The committee shall decide the requirements to be set for membership applications.
- The committee shall set and vary from time to time a membership fee.
- Those excluded from membership of the Gallery shall include:
- any person engaged in lobbying or public relations;
- any person who is a candidate for political office;
- any person who is an employee or representative of a foreign government or foreign power;
- any person employed by a political party;
- any person the committee decides does not meet the requirements set out in Section 2 of this Constitution.
- The committee may at its discretion review memberships. If, in the opinion of the executive, any active member has ceased to possess the qualifications for membership, the membership shall be suspended or revoked.
- The committee shall consist of full members of the Gallery who are elected to the following roles:
- Vice President;
- four other general committee members.
- Full members who have paid their membership fees have the right to vote to determine who shall occupy all committee positions. The committee members shall be elected by secret ballot annually and shall hold office until the election of their successors.
- Where the committee is unable to reach a majority decision on any matter, the question shall be referred to a general meeting of the members within 30 days.
- The Press Gallery shall hold an annual general meeting after the election of the committee.
- Other meetings can be held whenever the committee thinks necessary.
- The President must within 7 days call a special meeting if 21 members request such a meeting in writing.
- A majority vote at a special meeting of the members shall be binding on the Executive Committee.
- Attendance by at least 21 members of the Gallery shall constitute a quorum for any special meeting.
- Members shall be given at least 3 days written notice of meetings.
MEMBERSHIP ROLL AND BUREAU CHIEFS
- The Secretary shall in each Budget session draw up a roll of full Gallery members which he or she shall revise each Parliamentary session.
- In dealing with membership applications and other matters, the committee may confer with the heads of services within the Press Gallery, such as the bureau chiefs at each organisation, to consider their views.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
- An amendment of the constitution shall be considered only by a special meeting called by the President, and shall be made only with the approval of a majority of the membership at the meeting.
Press Gallery members met in Parliament House on Wednesday, November 20, 2018, and agreed unanimously to this Constitution. This amends the Constitution adopted on March 26, 1984, and signed by former committee secretary Peter Harvey. (David Crowe, committee president, November 20, 2018).