Glossary of terms

aboriginal corporations
annual general meeting
audited financial returns
breach of contract
breach of fiduciary duty
breach of trust
certified agreement
charitable organisation
coercive powers
community associations
community sector
community work
community worker
company limited by guarantee
conflict of interest
continuing professional development
employment contract
enterprise bargain agreements
external supervision
family or domestic violence
family relationship centre
government sector
internal supervision
legal advice
mandatory reporting
neighbourhood centres
non government organisations
non profit associations
office bearers
power of attorney
private sector
pro bono
professional associations
professional negligence
public interest
public service
service providers

aboriginal corporationsBack to top

Aboriginal corporations are associations under the Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act 1976 (CTH) or under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

adviceBack to top

Advice is information given by a professional which is tailored to particular needs or circumstances. For example legal advice and financial advice.

advocacyBack to top

Advocacy is a process of speaking up for, or representing, a person or cause.

annual general meetingBack to top

The annual general meeting (AGM) is a requirement of incorporated associations and corporations where once each year all members are invited to receive the audited returns and annual report of the organisation. Often the AGM also considers motions such as amendments to the constitution as well.

attorneyBack to top

An attorney is a person appointed under the Powers of Attorney Act 1998 to perform tasks on behalf of another person.

audited financial returnsBack to top

Audited financial returns are the financial statements of the organisation that have been examined by an auditor and reflect a true statement of the organisation's financial situation.

awardBack to top

The amount and conditions of remuneration payable by classification of work type or area.

breach of contractBack to top

A breach of contract occurs when one party to a contract fails to do what they promised the other party they would do as a part of the contract or a part of their contractual duty.

breach of fiduciary dutyBack to top

A breach of a particular duty where a person must act in good faith towards another person or for the benefit of another person. It arises where there is a fiduciary relationship. For example between trustee and beneficiary or solicitor and client. It is a relationship of trust and confidence.

breach of trustBack to top

A breach of trust occurs where a trustee fails to meet the obligations of a trustee. This could include obligations under Trusts laws or breaches of a duty to act honestly and reasonably.

caseworkBack to top

Casework means assisting a client in an ongoing way and implies that more than information or advice is given to the client.

certified agreementBack to top

A certified agreement is a written outline of the terms of agreement reached between employer and employee and then certified by an industrial relations commission such as the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

charitable organisationBack to top

A charitable organisation is often also called a Charity or Charitable Institution. They are organisations that carry out charitable purposes and are often exempt from taxes and charges.

coercive powersBack to top

These powers are usually found in legislation and give bodies such as Centrelink the ability to make requests for information and documents. Where a request is not satisfied there are sometimes criminal penalties involved.

community associationsBack to top

See 'what are community organisations'.

community sectorBack to top

A collective term for community organisations. See 'what are community organisations'.

community workBack to top

See 'what is community work'.

community workerBack to top

See 'who are community workers'.

companyBack to top

A company may also be called a corporation. It is an association of a number of persons with common objects and usually has a profit motive.

company limited by guaranteeBack to top

A company limited by guarantee is a company formed with a view that any liability is limited to particular amounts.

conflict of interestBack to top

A conflict of interest refers to a number of circumstances. Firstly where a person lets their personal interests interfere with their professional duties. Secondly, for professionals it refers to a situation where they act against the interests of their client.

constitution/rulesBack to top

The formal written rules of the organisation adopted by the members.

contemptBack to top

Contempt can be disobeying an order of a court or interfering with a Court's administration.

continuing professional developmentBack to top

Often called CPD this refers to professional training that is recommended or required by professional bodies and associations.

contractBack to top

A contract is an agreement between parties.

contractorBack to top

A contractor is someone who agrees (usually for a fee) to perform a service. They are to be distinguished from employees.

corporationBack to top

See 'company'.

counsellingBack to top

Counselling is where a person is assisted to resolve matters including personal, educational, vocational, financial, relationship, psychological.

employerBack to top

A person who engages another to work under a contract of employment.

employment contractBack to top

An employment contract is also called an employment agreement or contract of employment. It is a contract under which a person (the employee) agrees to do work for another (the employer).

enterprise bargain agreementsBack to top

An enterprise bargain agreement is an agreement reached between employer and employee which sets out the terms of employment.

external supervisionBack to top

This usually refers to professional peer supervision by a superviser from outside the workplace or management.

family or domestic violenceBack to top

Family or domestic violence is defined by the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act (Qld) as including: wilful injury; wilful damage to the other person's property; intimidation or harassment of the other person. Intimidation and harassment includes following an estranged spouse when the spouse is out in public, either by car or on foot; Positioning oneself outside a relative's residence or place of work; Repeatedly telephoning an ex-boyfriend at home or work without consent (whether during the day or night); Regularly threatening an aged parent with the withdrawal of informal care if the parent does not sign over the parent's fortnightly pension cheque.

It also includes indecent behaviour to the other person without consent or a threat to commit an act.

family relationship centreBack to top

Family Relationship Centres are a source of information and confidential advice for families at all stages in their life.

Funded by the Australian Government, the Centres are staffed by independent, professionally qualified staff offering confidential and impartial services in a welcoming, safe and confidential environment.

All the Centres have facilities for children and free internet access to help you find more information online. Many of the services are free or are offered on a sliding fee scale, according to your level of income.

Through providing information or referring you to services in your area that can help, the Centres can help families strengthen relationships and deal with relationship difficulties.

Where families separate, the Centres provide information, advice and dispute resolution (such as mediation) to help people reach agreement on parenting arrangements without going to court.

The Centres also offer individual, group and joint sessions to help separating families make workable arrangements for their children without having to go to court.

government sectorBack to top

The government sector refers to the services offered by governments at local, state and federal level, also often called the public service.

incorporatedBack to top

If an organisation is incorporated it means that the organisation has followed legal procedures to establish itself as a separate legal entity. For example as a company or an incorporated association.

information Back to top

Many organisations offer information or information services. It is usually in the form of handouts, brochures, factsheets, self-help kits. It can also be telling a person about referral sources, services or processes without tailoring the information to specific needs, where it might called advice.

insuranceBack to top

Insurance describes the contract between insurer and insured.

internal supervisionBack to top

Internal supervision refers to supervision within the workplace often by a manager or senior officer but can also be between peers.

lawBack to top

Law is a generic term that refers to legislation and the common law made by judges as they hand down decisions called judgments.

legal adviceBack to top

Legal advice refers to advice given by a legal practitioner (either solicitor or barrister) to their client.

mandatory reportingBack to top

Mandatory reporting is where certain persons are obliged to report reasonably held suspicions to government authorities. For example the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) has mandatory reporting provisions for some professionals.

membersBack to top

Members refers to the actual members of a community organisation who join by completing a form and sometimes paying a fee. Members then have a range of rights under the constitution which include attending meetings, voting on motions, joining committees and being involved in the governance of the organisation.

neighbourhood centres Back to top

Neighbourhood centres are community organisations situated in the neighbourhoods they service. Sometimes called community centres or neighbourhood houses.

negligenceBack to top

Negligence is a type of legal action where a person alleges that another who owed them a duty of care breached that duty which caused damage.

non government organisationsBack to top

See 'what are community organisations'.

non-profit Back to top

See 'what are community organisations'.

non profit associationsBack to top

See 'What are community organisations'.

office bearersBack to top

Office bearers are members of the governing committee of an organisation and who have a specific title and role. For example, President, Treasurer and Secretary.

policyBack to top

Policy has many meanings. For community organisations it means a written set of instructions about how a particular task, process or service is undertaken. It can be a set of steps, guidelines or procedures.

power of attorneyBack to top

A power of attorney is a legal document that a person completes to give power of their affairs to another person called the attorney.

private sectorBack to top

Private sector refers to persons and companies that operate for profit providing goods, services etc.

pro bonoBack to top

Pro bono is latin and means for free and sometimes refers to free legal work or legal work undertaken in the public interest or for the public benefit.

professional associationsBack to top

Professional associations are bodies that are formed to look after the interests of professional members. For example, the Australian Association of Social Workers.

professional negligenceBack to top

Negligence caused by a professional such as a lawyer, doctor or accountant. Often called malpractice.

public interestBack to top

An interest that is shared by the public at large.

public serviceBack to top

See 'Public Sector'

retainerBack to top

The contract between parties for provision of specialised services such as between lawyer and client.

service providersBack to top

See 'What are community organisations'.

subpoenaBack to top

A document issued by a Court or Tribunal that requires a person to attend court and give evidence or produce documents. Also called a summons.

summonsBack to top

See 'subpoena'.

unincorporatedBack to top

Unincorporated refers to a collective not established through any formal process. Usually a collective of persons.