ACWA Charter

The Australian Crime Writers’ Association (ACWA) is a designated and unincorporated non-profit association created under the laws of the State/Commonwealth of Victoria.

1) The ACWA is intended to be the premier organisation for crime, thriller and mystery writers, professionals and allied professionals in the crime writing field, aspiring crime writers and those who are devoted to the genre. The ACWA is dedicated to promoting greater recognition for crime, thriller and mystery writing in Australia and to protect the general professional interests of all creators of crime and mystery works.

2) The ACWA is to be subject to the general supervision and control of the ACWA Committee. The committee consists of six or more members joined by mutual consent for the common, non-profit purposes of promoting crime writing in Australia as well as overseeing the Ned Kelly Awards, Australia’s premier crime writing prizes. This includes the organisation of award submissions, judging panels, programming, submission guidelines, fees and publicity.

3) The ACWA Committee will assume responsibility for managing any funds received on behalf of the association and decide how best to use these funds to pursue its aims of fostering and promoting crime writing in Australia.

Office and Duration

1) The office of the ACWA shall be located at the address at which the Secretary-Treasurer (or alternate title) has official residence; or at such place as the ACWA committee may from time to time determine, or as the business of the ACWA may require.

2) The duration of the ACWA shall be perpetual.

3) The death, removal, or resignation of any member of the ACWA shall not result in the dissolution of the organisation.

Structure and Membership

  1. The membership of the ACWA shall consist of individuals dedicated to the promotion and advancement of crime writing in Australia. Categories of membership include Life Members, Members and Associate Members.

  1. The ACWA committee may admit as ‘members’ any person who at the time of his or her application has had a book published by an established publisher; or (b) shall have published at least one work of crime fiction or non-fiction including crime short stories, articles and poetry in a major magazine or major magazines, major newspaper or major newspapers or in literary journals.

  1. The ACWA committee may admit as ‘associate members’, any person who at the time of application is interested in crime writing or the craft of writing, as well as allied professionals in the crime writing field, such as publishers, editors, agents, critics, reviewers, librarians, booksellers and those connected with the production of members' work, whether in print, on stage, in film, radio or television.

  1. The ACWA committee can by resolution of a majority of three fifths of the committee recommend that a person be given ‘Life Membership’ of the ACWA, if said person is deemed to have rendered special service to the ACWA and/or crime writing in Australia. Every life member shall be entitled to all the benefits and privileges of membership but shall not be liable for any subscription or annual levy.

  1. Fees and rules of membership shall be decided by the ACWA Committee which shall publish a Mission Statement and maintain a website to update members on the association’s activities.

  1. The ACWA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religious affiliation, handicap, national origin, or other personal factor.

  1. The ACWA shall be non-party-political.

  1. The committee of the ACWA shall endeavour to hold meetings at least four times a year, including an annual general meeting (AGM) when the Treasurer shall table annual accounts and the senior office holders provide annual reports. These meetings can be conducted by telephone or Skype or by whatever means will allow the majority of committee members to be involved.

  1. The secretary of the ACWA shall contact committee members in advance of any meeting and prepare an agenda of items to be discussed. The agenda shall be sent to the committee prior to any meeting to allow comment and input from those committee members who cannot attend.

  1. Minutes will be kept of meetings and sent to committee members within a month of any committee meeting.

Association Leadership

1) The ACWA shall be governed by at least five (5) officers to be determined by the ACWA membership. The name and total number of officer positions shall be determined by the committee and be changeable as circumstances necessitate. One person will be designated as ‘The Chair’. Other positions will include ‘Treasurer’ and ‘Secretary’.

2) Officers on the ACWA committee shall be elected annually by a nomination and majority vote of members of the ACWA.

3) Any fully paid up member of the ACWA is eligible to nominate for a committee position prior to the annual elections. ‘Associate members’ may also stand for election if they are nominated and seconded by two existing ‘members’ of the ACWA.

Accounting and Records

The fiscal year of the ACWA shall be January 1 through December 31 of each year. All minute books, correspondence, and other records of the ACWA shall be preserved by the Officers. Records that have ceased to be of use for the conduct of the affairs of the ACWA may be turned over for preservation to a depository designated by it, or discarded.


In the event of the dissolution of the ACWA, its property, funds, and other assets shall be transferred to whatever organisation or organisations operated exclusively for charitable, educational, and/or scientific purposes as the ACWA may determine, provided such organisation or organisations qualify as tax-exempt under the Australian Tax Office rules.