About Our Structure
Our national body is The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia Inc. and is incorporated in the ACT. It consists of a number of regional groups called Regional Meetings and Local Meetings or Worshipping Groups.
We also use two other names: Quakers Australia colloquially, and Australia Yearly Meeting (or AYM). The term Yearly Meeting is used by Quakers around the world to refer to a group of Quaker Meetings which come together on an annual basis for business and spiritual purposes (e.g Britain Yearly Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting, etc.).
We also tend to refer individual people interchangeably as 'Quakers' or 'Friends'. We have mainly used Quakers in this website, but you will often hear us refer to Friends.
Each of our Regional Meetings is also incorporated under their local legislation, as are a couple of the Local Meetings. Regional Meetings are autonomous with a (usually brief) set of Rules. More importantly, they are guided by our Handbook of Practice and Procedure which is a national publication produced by the Yearly Meeting. This explains the details of our administration arrangements.
All meetings in Australia are also governed by our national policies, which cover Child Protection, ensuring a Safe Quaker Community, and Privacy.
Membership is determined by each Regional Meeting and all such members are automatically Members of Quakers Australia.
Each of the Regional Meetings owns one or more Meeting Houses, as do two of our Local Meetings. The only property owned by Quakers Australia is the Sanctuary, which is a domestic rental property in Sydney.
The Worshipping Groups and most Local Meetings are informal gatherings for worship together who largely look after their own arrangements, under the care of their Regional Meeting.
To read the Rules of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia, and gain a deeper sense of our Administrative Structure, visit our Administration Resources page.
Jacqueline Schultze, AYM Secretary
Wilma Davidson, Children & Junior Young Friend Coordinator