Operationally Recreational Aviation Australia Incorporated is an aviation administration organisation. Legally it is a not-for-profit, member-based association incorporated under the Australian Capital Territory Associations Incorporation Act 1991 and consisting of individual members with voting rights and affiliated clubs.
Incorporation is the creation of a legal entity which has rights and liabilities (e.g. to enter into employment agreements and legal agreements, own assets or borrow money) that are separated from its members. This means that any financial claim against the Association could only be pursued up to the extent of the Association's assets rather than (if RA-Aus was not incorporated) all of the members being liable for any claims against RA-Aus. There are no shareholders, no one 'owns' RA-Aus or any part of it. Surplus income is used to further the objectives of the association, not to provide personal gain for members. If the association should be wound up the surplus property will be distributed in accordance with item 38 of the constitution.
An incorporated association must have a committee responsible for managing the association and for appointing a public officer responsible for lodging documents. In RA-Aus the elected state member representatives form a committee described as the 'Board'.
Because our operations are not confined to the Australian Capital Territory, RA-Aus comes under the jurisdiction of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, who regard it as a 'registrable Australian body' whose internal governance operates under its own constitution. 'Registrable Australian bodies' include bodies corporate that are not companies, recognised companies, exempt public authorities, foreign companies or financial institutions. ASIC has assigned RA-Aus an Australian Registered Body Number' [ARBN 070 931 645]. It is not a 'business' number. ASIC's only interest in RA-Aus is to ensure proper governance.
RA-Aus is not required to provide financial statements to ASIC, only the personal details of current directors (i.e. 'board members' according to the constitution) as changes occur; plus updated, certified copies of the constitution, so that if complaints are received it can start calling on the directors.