Starting a new club 

The Department has developed a series of well-researched, yet simple-to-follow resource booklets.

These include advice, how-tos, checklists and templates to give you guidance and help on everything, including:

  • Setting up a committee and running meetings.
  • Sponsorship, fundraising and marketing.
  • Health, safety and people management.

We’re working to help clubs become better managers, most sustainable and provide quality services to members and participants.

Frequently asked questions

Do we have to have a written constitution?

No. But it is more businesslike and it does ensure that you define your objectives and you can become incorporated.

How do we write a constitution?

The Department's constitution 'how-to' page gives a step-by-step guide to establishing your constitution.

Further information can be found at or by contacting the Department of Commerce on 1300 30 40 74.

In any case, bear these points in mind:

  • Keep it simple and short.
  • Make it flexible (by allowing for by-laws).
  • State your objectives clearly.
  • Have a wind-up clause (be definite about the distribution of assets should your organisation cease).

Do we have to incorporate?

No. But it can protect individual members in certain situations and give your organisation the right to sign contracts, lease premises, operate bank accounts and so on.

Booklet 12 of this series, ‘Establishing your club constitution and becoming incorporated’, provides you with a step-by-step guide to establishing your constitution. Further information and application forms can be found at or by contacting the Department of Commerce on 1300 30 40 74.

What about office bearers?

  • You should have a president, chairperson or someone in charge.
  • Your organisation should have a secretary to deal with administration.
  • If you handle money, you must have a treasurer. Small clubs or groups often combine the duties of the secretary and treasurer.
  • It is useful to have a deputy to chair meetings when the president is absent.

How big a committee is required for the proper working of the organisation?

Keep it as small as possible! Work out the main areas of responsibility, e.g. fundraising, social – then determine the size of the committee. Recruit a qualified member for special projects. Don’t have people on a committee just to make up numbers.

Do we need an accountant for treasurer?

No. Small organisation accounts are not complicated, but an effective system right at the start is important.

Ask someone who knows how to set up a simple system to write down the steps for reference.

How do we register our members?

Many organisations use a spreadsheet or database stored on a computer to maintain and update membership details. If you use this system, don’t forget to back up regularly.

Whatever registration system you use, make sure it is a simple and effective one.

How do we get sponsors?

Do you need them? If you accept a sponsor’s funds or goods, it is going to cost you time and effort to make their support worthwhile. It is better to get your organisation running efficiently and find sponsors only for specific projects.

Can we get financial assistance to set up the club or group?

There are a variety of grants available to community sport and recreation clubs.

Do we have to have a post office box for mail?

No, but it is most useful and worth the money. Office bearers tend to change quickly in clubs or groups.

Do we need contact with our local government council?

Yes. Establish a communication link. Many local authorities may be able to help you with information and resources.

Is personal advice available?

DSR has regional officers with expertise in the delivery of sport and recreation including various aspects of running clubs/groups, junior sport, seniors, Aboriginal sport, coaching, officiating and volunteers.

Do we tell our state association of our activities?

In some cases, it is obligatory. In any case, it is always desirable.

Step-by-step to starting your club

Make sure there is going to be an ongoing need for the club or group (i.e. what are the aims of the organisation?). Make sure you have a base for your activities:

  • Draft a constitution.
  • Decide whether to become incorporated.
  • Design an effective registration system.
  • Draw up a budget.
  • Make copies of your constitution and budget.
  • Call your prospective members together to:
    • examine the constitution and budget
    • get agreement on your objectives.
  • Ask members to consider standing for office.
  • You may have to have a second get-together to:
    • agree on the constitution and costs
    • enroll members (after payment of a nominal fee)
    • elect office bearers.