Overview: Purpose of policy and procedure:

The LALC has developed this policy and procedure for how that LALC will deal with membership applications as per Section 54 of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (ALRA).

This policy assists the LALC Members to:

  1. Make fully informed decisions regarding membership;
  2. Have a consistent and fair approach when considering applications, and
  3. be confident in the decision they make in compliance with the ALRA 1983.



Eligibility to make an application for membership
(Section 54(2A) of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983)

A person is qualified for membership if:

  1. the person is an Aboriginal person who resides within the area of the LALC, or
  2. the person is an Aboriginal person who has sufficient association* with the area of the LALC, or
  3. the person is an Aboriginal owner in relation to land within the area of the LALC.

*as determined by the voting members of the Council at a meeting of the Council.

A person who is eligible needs to apply AND needs to be accepted by the members at a meeting of the Council.

Definition of an Aboriginal person (refer to eligibility clauses)

As defined in the ALRA an Aboriginal person means a person who:

(a) is a member of the Aboriginal race of Australia, and

(b) identifies as an Aboriginal person, and

(c) is accepted by the Aboriginal community as an Aboriginal person.

(Section 4 of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983)


Membership approval process

Before the Members meeting

Step 1:

LALC CEO/Staff provides this policy including Membership application and info sheet to applicant.

Applications available: (Click below)


Step 2:

Applicant completes membership application form which will need to be supported by the documents listed below as evidence based on the above eligibility for membership.

Compulsory Documents to prove your identity (to be submitted to the committee)

  • Birth Certificate or Photo Identification e.g. Passport, Photo Card, Drivers Licence
  • Proof of residential address
  • Membership applicant questions form

Additional documents should include (where possible):

  • Proof of Aboriginality from other organisations,
  • Family Tree
  • Family Pictures
  • Letters of support from an Elder, Community Person or Member of the Coffs Harbour LALC
  • Other (Any relevant information that asserts the applicants claim for membership)

NOTE: It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide adequate evidence to support their application for membership.

Step 3:

Application is received by the Subcommittee for review, the Subcommittee will establish if sufficient evidence is provided and will get the LALC CEO/Staff to liaise directly with the applicant before proceeding to step 4.

Step 4:

LALC CEO advises the applicant by written correspondence (email or letter) of the next upcoming members meeting and requests a RSVP for attendance in person, if no response is forthcoming the LALC CEO will defer the application to a further date at which the applicant will be advised. If non-attendance for two consecutive members meetings at which an applicant has been invited, the CEO will discontinue the process until contact is made with the CEO.

****Please note if an applicant cannot attend the members meeting in person or other method provided, an apology must be forthcoming and the Members will determine if apology suffices to consider the application without their attendance. ****


  • During Members meeting

Step 1:

Applicants will be invited by the Chairperson to provide a statement to the Members of the LALC regarding their entitlement for membership. This statement must include reference to the eligibility requirements in clause 2 of this policy.

Step 2:

The Chairperson will allow Members five (5) minutes of question time per applicant.

Step 3:

Applicant will be asked by the Chairperson to depart the meeting and Members will discuss their application and applicant’s statement for membership.

Step 4:

The Chairperson will call for a motion and if it is moved and seconded a vote is conducted and must be recorded in the minutes. (Only voting members can participate)


  • After the Members meeting

Step 1:

The LALC CEO/Staff writes to the applicant advising the outcome of their application within 14 days of the members meeting.

Step 2: (If approved by members)

The LALC CEO enters new Member on the membership roll as non-voting. For new voting memberships the CEO will list them as non-voting on the roll up until a s. 54 (3)( c ) notice in step 3 is received by the CEO.

Step 3:

CEO sends approved application to the Registrar and if applicable requests a s. 54 (3)( c ) notice (for voting members only)

Step 4:

CEO maintains a copy of the application on file.

Step 5:

If the applicant has been approved by members, the CEO can now provide a proof of Aboriginality to the new member.

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