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The SWOP Committee: Outline of roles


The SWOP Committee: Outline of roles

The SWOP Committee is responsible for determining the strategic direction of SWOP and for overseeing SWOP’s compliance with regulatory and contractual obligations. Members of the SWOP Committee must act in the best interests of the organisation at all times guided by SWOP’s mission statement, values and goals.

Being a member of the Committee is a great opportunity to be involved with SWOP and its work and to make a meaningful contribution to the wellbeing and health of your peers in NSW.  Participation in the Committee is voluntary and provides opportunities for the development of new skills, experience and knowledge.

SWOP provides a supportive and educational environment for Committee members, with experienced Committee Members, SWOP’s Chief Executive Officer and the Corporate Services Team Leader providing information, assistance and support if required. Formal training in governance, finance and how SWOP operates will also be available.

Membership of the SWOP Committee is a significant and serious commitment.  To ensure the Committee operates effectively, some continuity of Committee Members is necessary.  For this reason, nominees should be willing to participate in the Committee (subject to the support of SWOP members) for a minimum of two (2) years.

Committee Positions


The role of SWOP President requires a greater time commitment than any of the other Committee positions and a more constant commitment as the CEO may provide extra briefings or may require sign offs or other forms of support between weekly scheduled meetings.
The role of President provides many opportunities to learn and to increase your skills and knowledge, particularly in the areas of sex worker health, peer education and corporate governance.
(a)The President may represent the Committee and the organisation at some public events. This requires a level of ‘outness’ as SWOP is well known as a peer only organisation.  You can discuss any concerns you might have with the CEO or the incumbent President.
(b)The President provides the primary point of contact between the CEO and the Committee; meeting with the CEO once a week either by phone or in person, returning requests from the CEO within 24 hrs, leading the annual appraisals of the Committee and CEO and supporting the CEO where required
(c)  The President provides leadership and structure to encourage the effective operation of the Committee; usually chairs the meetings of the Committee and leads the annual appraisals of the work of the Committee and the work of the CEO.
(a) undertake the responsibilities of the President in the absence of the President; and
(b) support the President in the fulfilment of the President’s responsibilities
a) to ensure proper records are kept of Committee meetings and general meetings, including keeping minutes of all appointments of office-bearers and Committee Members, the names of Committee Members present at a Committee meeting or a general meeting and all proceedings at Committee meetings and general meetings; and
b) to ensure provision to NSW Fair Trading of SWOP’s Annual Returns & other information required by law;
a)   that payments authorised by the association are made; and
b)  that correct books and accounts are kept showing the financial affairs of the association, including full details of all receipts and expenditure connected with the activities of the association; and
c)   together with the President, to act as a key point of contact between the CEO and the Committee with one face-to-face meeting per month with the CEO to review the monthly finance reports (1 hour monthly with a slightly longer meeting every quarter to have sufficient familiarity with the monthly financial reports to be able to report them to the Committee and respond to questions from the Committee).

As well as performing the same duties as ordinary members

Time commitment: additional to normal Committee hours, approximately 12-14 hours per month, although this can increase depending on budget planning periods, events, emerging issues.

Vice President

As well as performing the same duties as ordinary members, it is also the duty of the vice president to:

The duties involved in this role vary according to the availability of the president, however they may involve all those outlined above, and the time commitment may vary from no extra time to an extra 12-14 hours per month.


This role is key in record keeping and communicating outcomes to Committee members, thus a high level of organisational skills and attention to detail is required. Meeting minutes are compiled by the secretary and sent to the Committee within a week of the Committee meeting.

As well as performing the same duties as ordinary members, it is also the duty of the secretary:

The actual performance of all the above duties except the taking of Committee meetings is done by SWOP Corporate Services with the Secretary ensuring all requirements are met in an accurate and timely manner.  Time commitment: additional to normal Committee hours, approximately 3 – 5 hours per month.


While it is a collective responsibility to ensure that SWOP has sound financial management, the treasurer is responsible for communicating financial information to the Committee. This role provides the opportunity to increase your knowledge of financial management. The treasurer must have a good head for numbers and detail, and should ideally have experience in reading budgets and understanding P&L statements. As well as performing the same duties as ordinary members, it is also the duty of the treasurer to ensure:

Time Commitment: additional to normal Committee hours, approximately 1-2 hours per month, although during mid year budget and end of year budget this will increase.

Ordinary Members

Ordinary members of the Committee are those that are not in a specific role (i.e. President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer). These positions require the least time commitment and prior experience, and may be suitable for people that are time-poor or interested in building their capacity before they take on a specific role.

Time Commitment: ordinary members should expect to contribute a minimum of 4-5 hours per month, although this will vary depending on how many extra duties they volunteer for.

Duties include:

a)      Attendance at the monthly meetings of the Committee. Committee meetings are generally 3 hours, and are held in the late afternoon on the 2nd Thursday of each month at SWOP’s headquarters in Surry Hills

b)      Preparation for the meeting by reading committee papers (1-2 hours). Board papers are sent out at different times throughout the month prior to the committee meeting

c)       Reviewing and approving documents and materials as required

d)      Attendance at SWOP events as a representative of the Committee (on a voluntary basis)

e)      Joining sub-committees to work on specific projects (on a voluntary basis)

f)       Working independently or with other Committee members on specific projects (on a voluntary basis)

g)      Providing support to other Committee members as requested or as desired