Saturday, July 29, 2006

TAQ Constitution



The existing constitution our Association is nearly 25 years old.  Our members are from more than one or two countries, including Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, and South Africa. 
We need to attract the young people to become active members of the Association.  They are asking “what is in for them to join the Association?  In addition, many people have suggested that the Association needs to amend its constitution in order to accommodate change in time and needs and interests of the current and future members. 
During the past two years, we reviewed the activities of the Association in terms of the constitution, activities and future direction needed to take the Association into the next 10 to 20 years. 
As a result, we, the immediate past and current Management Committee unanimously considered amending the constitution, so as to be more accommodating and less open to misinterpretation. We are proposing the following amendments to the constitution:
  1. Include a mission statement into the constitution as included below.
  2. Delete any reference to specific country from the constitution, except in the case of human right violations and stateless Tamils.  This situation exits only for the Tamils in Sri Lanka.  Thus, we need to have a clause for this specific purpose.  Otherwise, this will strongly support our activities in support of the plights of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. 
  3. Include refined objective into the constitution
  4. Delete specific operational activities in line with the refined objectives of the Association 
We welcome your thoughts, comments, suggestions, and opinions on the proposed amendments.  You as a financial or non-financial member can send your comments to the Secretary, Tamil Association Queensland on or before 30th September 2006.  Please send your written feedback, opinion and suggestion to:  All written feedback will be considered.
We are only proposing the changes.  This is a process.  I hope we all, as the Queensland Tamils, achieve a cooperative and compromised and improved version of the constitution soon.  We have just started the consultative process, your input and support are vital to create an agreeable outcome from this consultative process.
We are proposing to include the following mission and purpose in line with the composition of our current and potential membership.  In our constitution, we will not be making any specific reference to any country of origin of Tamils settled in Queensland.  By doing this, we can become a more inclusive Tamil community than ever before.


Tamil Association Queensland Inc. is a community based non-profit organization, representing Tamils from India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries.  The Association aims to help the Tamil members and the general community with social, cultural, employment, education and training opportunities and encourage them to achieve their full societal and individual outcomes, inter-community relationships and satisfaction.




The specific objectives of the Association include the following:


                   -     Provide social, cultural, sporting, educational, welfare and services to the Tamil and the general community members in Queensland.

                   -     Help the Tamil community members become aware of employment opportunities and issues and encourage them to develop their occupational skills in Australia.

                   -     Undertake intercommunity based projects for local, state and commonwealth governments and other funding agencies.

                   -     Encourage the members to become involved in collective participation, decision making and executing actions that would lead to continuous development and improvement in inter-community development and welfare activities.

                   -     Protect and preserve the social, economic and cultural identities of the Tamil community in Queensland.

                   -     Assist new Tamil migrants to settle down in Queensland and lead them to their quest for job or job related training.

                   -     Help Tamil students with school related curricula and extra curricular activities.

                   -     Guide the members in their endeavor to integrate with the Australian society and to become proud Australians.

                   -     Provide and assist in projects designed to improve the socio-economic conditions of members and the general community.

                   -     Print and publish news letters, periodicals, or leaflets and broadcast information that is deemed important for the members and the general community.

                   -     Maintain a library of Tamil books, audio and video materials and equipment for the members.

                   -     Organise educational and cultural classes, workshops and seminars and other relevant activities for the members and the general community.

                   -     Celebrate events of cultural and social significance in Australia.

                   -     Nurture multiculturalism and harmony among the members of all ethnic backgrounds.

                   -     Highlight the plight of Tamil people who are persecuted in any countries and lobby among the Australian governments and non-government agencies to take appropriate actions to help those affected people. 

                   -     Contribute to the multicultural activities supported by at local, state and commonwealth governments.

                   -     Undertake activities to meet the needs and interest of future and young members of the Queensland Tamil community.


In this way the Association will pursue all appropriate means to achieve goals common to the members and current interested young people, for so long as the Association is in existence and remains organised exclusively for social and cultural support services, charitable, political lobbying for the plight of Tamil people around the world, and other purposes within the meaning of constitution, as amended.

We would like to achieve unity among the Tamil community in Queensland.  Unity for common purpose, unity for raising the plight of the Tamils around the world, unity for cultural and social functions and unity to embark on our identity in Queensland as peace loving and dedicated community minded Queenslanders.  We know now how urgent is that we have to unite the Tamil community around our respective causes.
Our ability to unify will be judged by our ability to come together under a common vision that will erase the divisions and disengagement that hold us back as a united community. We come to you today with this unity focus and call on you come together, join together, and work together to achieve the common outcomes as a Queensland Tamil community. 
Now, is our time to march forward as one Tamil community.  We seek your wisdom and we trust in your commitment to the common good, to the swift actions you will take.  We would appreciate your feedback on the proposed amendment.  Our focus is unity and use this unity create a united voice and identity not only for the Tamil community in Queensland, but also globally.  We have a PDF version of the old constitution and you can request for a copy from the management committee members. 
Management Committee,
Tamil Association of Queensland.
22 July, 2006


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