Autism Asperger Advocacy Australia (A4) is a volunteer organisation. This means it relies completely on A4 members to conduct its activities.
Since members are not paid, and have limited time, members will typically be most involved in doing things related to their personal interests. The things A4 does are the things that its active members are most interested in.
A4 formed to represent the views of people with ASD, their families, carers and associates with particular focus on issues of federal government. A4 is a grassroot organisation that aims to involve members of the ASD community in its activities, organisation and operation. The Steering Committee developed a Vision and Mission that describe the primary purpose of the organisation. Hopefully, all A4's activities are fall within the bounds of A4's Vision and Mission.
A4's Vision and Mission are ambitious.We are not aware of any other organisation that aims to represent the diverse views found across the whole of the ASD community. To achieve this goal, A4 has at times to represent multiple views that may be conflicting or contradictory. This is challenging. So A4 needs its members, especially its active members, to appreciate and accept this difficulty ... and to respect the needs of the organisation to function despite the differences among its members.
A4 operates over the internet. This means anyone who has access to the internet (and most Australians can access the internet) can participate. While it may be easier for organisations where people can meet face-to-face to function, A4 wants to include members who want to be involved, no matter where they live. A4 tries to run effectively over the internet despite the communication difficulties this incurrs.
Basically, if A4 member(s) feels A4 should do something, the member(s) should expect to:
- write down how they think they can achieve a particular result
- share their thoughts about how they will do whatever it is with other A4 members, especially those who share their interest
- decide as a group the best way forward
- then implement their plan.
At this stage, A4 has minimal administration ...
- A4 has not endorsed a set of 'Rules' or a constitution (See org/rules).
- A4 has been run by voluntary committees and volunteers rather than an elected Executive and/or paid staff.
- A4 membership is free and unconditional.
- A4 members have not (yet) volunteered to develop/implement and operate executive and committee elections.
- A4 is not a charity (at least, not formally ... since we have not got the required formal structure)
The existing situation relates more to the interests and priorities of A4's members rather than a particular philosophy or approach.
A4 Convenor, 2009