Dear Colleagues, students,
The GANZ Council AGM is to be held later this year. One of the important parts will be the election. Serving on the GANZ Council offers an opportunity to connect with other Gestalt practitioners, to be a part of a role designed to support Gestalt sustainability, practice and development in Australia and in New Zealand. It allows you to work alongside peers committed and excited by Gestalt. The roles cater to various experience levels. GANZ Council welcome students and experienced practitioners – people with a passion for gestalt and a wish to connect with others. This year our one Kiwi Council member is stepping down. We encourage New Zealander’s also to think of joining the Council and would greatly welcome their presence.
We are putting the call out for nominations for the following roles –
President, Vice-President, Secretary, Community and Membership and International Relations.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any interest/queries/chat!
The role of the President is to hold the space for a shared leadership model on council. This requires an experienced Gestalt Therapist to steer the mission and vision. It requires supporting the relationships within the Council, strengthening the relationships between GANZ and the training institutes and taking on any projects of interest. Some compliance duties for a registered association and overseeing the compliance matters also form part of the role. The president is supported by the executive committee and any external consultants as needed.
The role requires about 3 hours per month and some of the skills and responsibilities include:
- To have strong leadership and communication skills.
- To confidently chair council meetings, develop and collate agenda with the secretary. Collaborative assistance with decision-making processes.
- Responsible for maintaining a focus on the Objects of the Association as outlined in the constitution in the development of initiatives by Council.
- Responsible for vision-based long-term strategy, while monitoring changes in the field.
- Initiates reviews of GANZ Strategic Plans.
- Raise issues with respect to potential constitutional change.
- Maintains an awareness of international trends and advises council of issues that impact on GANZ.
- To maintain and constantly revise vision and the direction and development for the GANZ community.
- To keep up to date with relevant changes in related organisations (AAGT & EAGT).
- To actively liaise with the Journal Editor as well as other members in council. To delegate tasks and responsibilities.
- To have good written communication skills and be comfortable and available to talk to the members.
- Capacity to work with others
- Good writing skills, some computer skills- formatting documents, email, zoom Availability for council members to connect via email, phone, text
- Ability to see the bigger picture – vision- and support and guide projects.
The GANZ Vice President is responsible for operations and systems e.g. IT, website, policy and procedures, keeping track of when things need to be done by. An IT support provider is available to support the role. This is an important role both for GANZ as an organisation and the GANZ Council. While the constitution remains as it is, a Vice-President is required for the Council to function. Like the President’s role, the image of the Vice- President role may suffer because the title and constitution evoke a leader who holds power in a hierarchy.
The reality of how the current GANZ Council functions is quite different. We operate a very flat and collaborative power structure. A collaborative leadership model also sits better with Gestalt relational values. This is not to say that power differentials do not exist with a structure like the GANZ Council. From time to time people do hold differing degrees of relative power due to seniority, privilege, experience, expertise, personality or emotional investment. Instead of pretending that these power dynamics do not exist, the GANZ Council’s intention in aiming for a collaborative and equitable power structure is that there is transparency and dialogue about power. Holding awareness of this rests with all Council members, but perhaps more so with the people in the roles of President and Vice-President.
There are some basic responsibilities that this role is currently required to perform, which are outlined below, but beyond these set of responsibilities there is scope for changing how the Vice-President’s role is undertaken in practice.
- To share responsibility with the President, Treasurer, and Secretary for a small number of compliance activities. Specifically, annual returns need to be lodged with Access Canberra, as do any changes to the Council members, public officer, registered office, and constitution. None of these tasks are particularly time consuming for the Vice President (although the annual return does involve some work for the Treasurer and auditor), but do need to be kept an eye on.
- To have an equal vote on the Council and the opportunity to contribute to all GANZ tasks.
- Up until now, GANZ policy has been that the Vice-President “should have a high level of training in Gestalt Therapy and substantial experience as a Gestalt Therapist and be eligible to be listed on the publicly searchable practitioner register”. This policy was voted on and approved by members at the 2017 AGM. Since then, it has become apparent that wording of this policy may be too restrictive and inadvertently deterred people from stepping into the Vice President and President roles. A proposal to broaden the eligibility criteria for this role will be put to members at this year AGM and will be distributed to members over the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you are considering nominating for the Vice President and President roles and are unsure whether you meet this criteria, please contact Anthony on the email below.
- The bank also requires the Vice-President to be a signatory to the account.
- To be involved in complaints processes, should they occur. GANZ is not a regulatory body, so any complaints about ethical behaviour are directed to the appropriate organisation such as PACFA or AHPRA. However, GANZ needs to be open to other complaints, whether they be about the organisation itself or relating to the GANZ code of conduct. The Vice-President doesn’t take on complaints processes by themselves. The current practice is that a Complaints Officer holds responsibility for contact with a complainant and for holding confidentiality in these processes, with the whole Council responsible for guidance and decision making. External consultants are also available if the need arise.
Currently the role currently has a focus on operations and systems, including:
- Keeping an eye on organisational tasks that need to be done, e.g. for projects, legal requirements, or to supporting the smooth functioning of Council meetings.
- Keeping an eye on the organisation’s viability.
- Writing down the policies and procedures that support the organisation’s functioning.
- Supporting a shared leadership model on Council.
- Supporting newly joined members of Council.
- Taking on projects of interest.
- Currently, the Vice-President also looks after the GANZ IT systems, but these IT tasks could conceivably be separated from the tasks listed above and held by a different person.
As with the President’s role, while there are some defined parts of this role, there is plenty of space for someone to come in creatively and be supported.
The executive role of secretary is open at this year’s GANZ council election, as Julia Werner is standing down from it. The key tasks of this role are to:
- Meeting set up.
- Communications with Access Canberra filling and lodging documents.
- Prepare zoom links for monthly council meetings; attend monthly meetings, minute keeping.
- Preparation of yearly AGM & SGM
- Coordinating communications for the council members.
- Preparation of documents. Storage of documents
The role of secretary is a very defined role, which is part of the GANZ Council executive (with president, vice president and treasurer). There are no particular prerequisites; just basic capabilities such as communication skills, average IT and organisational skills or time management capacity.
It is a good role for someone interested in becoming a member of the GANZ council, but questioning whether they are experienced enough in our profession.
Besides the preparation of the AGM, which takes up a bit of time, the role is not too time consuming – in average 4 hrs per months.
Community and Membership
The Community and Membership is the first port of call for any contact with GANZ. They respond to emails, website queries, forwarding on any queries to relevant Council members.
This part takes a very small commitment.
The main part of this role is to process the membership applications coming in. This is for the most part a straightforward role that involves logging into the website and approving membership and attending to anything missing or required.
In this role, I have had the privilege of being a contact for GANZ – speaking and emailing with members/Institute that I would not otherwise have come into contact with. It is a role that can be as simple as one might like it to be, and which supports the liasing between members and Council.
GANZ Community and Membership Chair
International Relations Chair
The original concept of a position for international relations on council was to have a New Zealand voice as part of the promotion and stewardship of Gestalt in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand. This later expanded to being an international relations position with wider responsibilities for connecting with wider Gestalt world. For a time the role was job-shared between two people, one was the international rep while the other was responsible for Aotearoa/New Zealand. This can be done again, though is not required.
The role only requires a modest time commitment, and does not need any particular practical experience. A good grounding in Gestalt is important. It would ideally suit someone who has connections with Gestaltists in other world regions, or has a desire to make these connections. Important for GANZ is establishing/maintaining links with organisations such as, but not limited to, IAAGT and EAGT. As a collegial organisation, GANZ needs to relate to the wider Gestalt field and grow relationships with our peers. Many positive work connections and long term friendships grow from this. The International Chair would also be the council person that would handle correspondence from those outside of our region.
As a non-executive role on council, there are no statutory or legal requirements for this position. Like other council positions, the International Chair is an important part of GANZ and the promotion, sustainability and growth of Gestalt in Australasia. The council relies on voices from the community and this is an opportunity to add your perspective and ideas. The GANZ organisation aims for an accessible and flat hierarchy, all voices are equal on council. This position is very malleable for the next chair to shape and make their own.
GANZ International Relations Chair