Constitution of the South African Military Veterans Organisation of Australasia (SAMVOA)
Updated January 2017
SAMVOA’s dedication, motto and inspiration:
This Veteran Organisation dedicates itself, in grateful recognition and memory of our countrymen, the Immortal Dead of South Africa who, at the call of duty, made the supreme sacrifice on the battlefields of Africa, Europe and Asia, on land, at sea and in the air.
Their ideal is our legacy, their sacrifice our inspiration.
SAMVOA Aims and Objectives
- Lest We Forget:
SAMVOA Veterans will participate nationally in recognised Memorial Services and Ceremonies, notably:
- ANZAC Day Celebrations; and
- Armistice Day Celebrations.
- Promote the ultimate sacrifice paid by ordinary South Africans in the defence of their country;
- Promote the image of SAMVOA and the recognition of its Veterans;
- Promote the image of the SANDF and its predecessor, the SADF;
- Promote the image of the Corps, Regiments and Units within the SANDF and the former SADF;
- Promote the roll of the Reserve Forces in the defence of South Africa; and
- Promote the Community Upliftment Projects established by SAMVOA.
- Mutual Support and Brotherhood:
- Comradeship and good fellowship;
- Networking to better support each other;
- Care and support for aged, former South Africans living in Australia and New Zealand; and
- Facilitate and encourage the development of Branches of Regimental Associations.
- Special Projects:
- For the past 2 years, SAMVOA has focused on the “Just Love Remote Community Upliftment Program” (RCUP), which differentiates SAMVOINT (SAMVOA, SAMVOZA and SAMVOUSA) from other veteran organisations, in that this community development program is entirely dependent on applying the skills of our members to benefit our communities.
- Just Love is based on the application of an Antonov An-2 aircraft to support not-for-profit charity and community support initiatives such as the essential supply of fresh water to remote areas. SAMVOA is working on expanding this activity across all our zones and regions, from South Africa to Australia and further afield to New Zealand and the USA.
- In addition, Just Love also supports the special wishes of children and adults alike, who have never been up in an aircraft, or whose dream it is to be able to fly in an aircraft.
- As a Veteran Organisation, we have many pilots and aircraft-skilled crew members around the world who are part of this program. In addition, SAMVOA also has a large number tradesmen and skilled personnel within our membership.
- Other Projects:
- Recognition of Veterans’ military contributions by facilitating due process to ensure the just award of Decorations, Medals and Awards;
- The collection and display of suitable militaria as a record for future generations; and
- Other projects as they arise and are ratified by the National Executive.
- Affiliations and Associations:
- The Returned Services League of Australia;
- The Returned Services Association of New Zealand;
- The Council of Military Veterans Organisations of South Africa;
- The Reserve Forces Council of South Africa;
- The Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTH);
- The South African Legion;
- The Australian Reserve Forces Day Council; and
- Specific individuals in South Africa who have special skills and contacts to facilitate other SAMVOA needs.
SAMVOA is an ex-servicemen/women organisation comprised of Military Veterans who were conscripted or volunteered to serve their country, South Africa in the SADF or the SANDF, and who now reside in Australia, New Zealand, or countries peripheral to this region.
SAMVOA is a non-political, non-religious and non-sexist organisation and discussion or debate on these aspects is not supported or permitted.
SAMVOA is a single rank organisation with “Veteran” being the only title. The organisation’s strength will come from veteran membership and comradeship at Club level, and the organisation will take its lead and direction from this membership level. All Veterans will belong to a Club, irrespective of the office they hold, and any Veteran will be able to aspire to serve in any office of the organisation, based on his or her dedication and capability.
- SAMVOA Composition:
The broad structure of SAMVOA comprises Club Veterans, Club Executive, Regional Executive and National Executive.
Regional boundaries are as follows:
- New South Wales / ACT;
- Queensland / Northern Territory;
- South Australia;
- Victoria / Tasmania;
- Western Australia;
- New Zealand; and
- South East Asia.
- Organisational Structure (Modus Operandi):
The chart below depicts the global SAMVOINT Organisational Structure, incorporating the governance structures for each zone and respective region.
- The Club Executive:
- The Club Chairman is responsible to the Regional Chairman for the good standing of his/her Club and its members and for its smooth running and effectiveness. He/she will be the official SAMVOA representative at functions within the Club district.
- The Club Master-at-Arms will act as second in command (2IC) and is responsible for membership growth and for the drill, dress and discipline of the Club’s Veterans.
- The Club Public Relations and Liaison Officer is the marketing officer of the Club and is responsible for promoting the Club and raising the profile of SAMVOA. He/she will also be the historian of the Club and ensure correct record keeping of the Club’s functions and activities.
- The Club Treasurer will be the Club Fund-raiser and will account for the good financial standing of the Club and its members. The Club Treasurer will also act as the “SAMVOA Store” logistic manager and will coordinate inventory requisitioning from the Regional Quartermaster.
- The Club Special Projects Officer will run specific projects in line with SAMVOA policy and guidelines. He/she will be accountable to the Club Chairman for their success and he/she will liaise with the Regional Special Projects Officer on Regional projects.
- The Regional Executive:
- The Regional Chairman is responsible to the National Chairman for the good standing of the Clubs and members within the Region, and for its smooth running and effectiveness. He/she will be the official SAMVOA representative at functions within the region and forms part of the National Executive.
- The Regional Vice Chairman will act as a sounding board for the Regional Chairman and be delegated full responsibility in the Chairman’s absence. Regions who believe that the Master-at-Arms is adequate for the position, need not necessarily appoint a Vice Chairman.
- The Regional Master-at-Arms will act as second in command (2IC), and be responsible for membership growth and for the drill, dress and discipline of the Region’s Veterans.
- The Regional Public Relations and Liaison Officer will act as the marketing officer for the region, and will be responsible for promoting the Region’s activities and raising the profile of SAMVOA. He/she will be the historian of the Region and ensure correct records of functions and activities at regional level are held.
- The Regional Welfare Officer is a specialist officer responsible for researching the need for religious and/or psychological support to its members and for assessing SAMVOA’s capability to meet this need. As a professional, he/she will liaise with organisations capable of delivering such support. In so doing, he/she will be responsible for developing SAMVOA’s policy and capability to provide this level of support to its members.
- The Regional Treasurer will account for the good financial standing of the State and its members. He/she will be responsible for conducting fund-raising campaigns within the state to meet the cost of approved projects.
- The Regional Quartermaster controls a local stock holding by requisitioning bulk stock from the National Stores and issuing to members of the Region as required. He/she will see to payments to the National Executive and will ensure payments are received from members and deposited into the Region’s bank account.
- The Regional Special Projects Officer will run specific projects in line with SAMVOA policy and guidelines. He/she will be accountable to the Regional Chairman for their success and he/she will liaise with the National Special Projects Officer on National projects.
- The National Executive:
- The National Chairman is responsible to all SAMVOA Veterans for the success of the organisation. He/she is accountable to the SAMVOINT Chairman (ascending) and to the Regional Chairmen within his/her zone (descending). This includes raising SAMVOA’s national profile and for the good standing, smooth running and effectiveness of the organisation. He/she will be the official SAMVOA representative at functions on the highest level.
- The National Vice-Chairman may be any member of the Executive and the National Chairman may choose the Vice Chairman based on who they deem as being the best person to support the chairmanship. The National Vice Chairman will be prepared to step in at any time to ensure the ongoing and smooth running of SAMVOA, should the situation arise. The primary focus will be on retaining and increasing membership.
- All Regional Chairmen form part of the National Executive and will be entitled to attend and raise issues at any National Executive meeting they attend.
- The National Master-at-Arms is responsible for membership policy in terms of drill, dress and discipline, including its implementation. Should the need arise, he/she will research, formulate and propose new or amended policy for consideration by the National Executive. He/she will have a staff function to the Regional and Club Masters-at-Arms.
- The National Ambassador-at-Large is an officer who is well connected within the Asia Pacific veteran community and who has strong personal contacts with the RSL and RSA structures. He/she will focus on raising awareness of SAMVOA through the establishment and retention of community and individual associations and relationships. In the absence of SAMVOA Executive representation, the Ambassador-at-Large can be called upon to represent the organisation as and when the occasion demands.
- The National Public Relations & Liaison Officer will manage all matters pertaining to membership satisfaction, public image and liaison with similar organisations, including commensurate South African support organisations within Australia and New Zealand. He/she will formulate and propose policy for consideration by the National Executive. He/she will have a staff function to the Regional and Club Public Relations and Liaison Officers. This appointment will comprise specialist staff in line with the National requirements.
- The National Treasurer is responsible for the fiscal policy of SAMVOA and for its implementation. This includes ensuring that Clubs function within the law of the land and that absolute accountability and due diligence is exercised at all times. He/she will have a staff function to the Regional and Club Treasurers.
- The National Legal Officer will be responsible for the legal standing of SAMVOA and its Regional and Club offices. He/she will also research, formulate and propose new or amended policy for consideration by the National Executive. He/she will have a staff function to the Regional and Club legal officers.
- The National Welfare Officer is a specialist officer responsible specialist officer responsible for researching the need for religious and/or psychological support to its members and for assessing SAMVOA’s capability to meet this need. As a professional, he/she will liaise with organisations capable of delivering such support. In so doing, he/she will be responsible for developing SAMVOA’s policy and capability to provide this level of support to its members.
- The National Digital Strategist will be an experienced specialist in all aspects of digital strategy, responsible for researching global online best practise and implementing this to SAMVOA’s “Always in Business” approach. His/her aim will be to eliminate identified single points of failure within our digital/online systems and in any area of business within SAMVOA. He/she will propose and implement the digital strategy and policy to mitigate risk and ensure best practice is adopted.
- The National Quartermaster is a specialist officer responsible for identifying approved suppliers of SAMVOA kit and negotiating specifications and cost from these suppliers. He/she will be responsible for quality control and there will be no compromise in this regard. In addition, he/she will liaise on bulk order opportunities with both the SAMVOZA and SAMVOUSA National Quartermasters.
- The National Special Projects Officer will run specific projects in line with SAMVOA policy and guidelines. He/she will determine these guidelines and be accountable to the National Chairman for the success of all SAMVOA projects.
- The National Museum Curator will act as the SAMVOA Historian and will, in conjunction with the International Museum Director, determine policy and procedures relating to maintaining effective and interesting militaria collections.
- Board of Directors – SAMVOA Limited:
- Directors of SAMVOA Ltd. will be approached on their standing within SAMVOA, including their legal standing in terms of the Australian Company Directors Act.
- Each Director will be required to provide an interest free loan for the duration of their directorship on the Board.
- In the event of a Director resigning from SAMVOA Ltd. He/she will need to do so in writing. The vacancy on the Board will, in the first instance, be offered to other members of the National Executive, failing which, the Board may direct that a non-executive member be appointed, or that the position remains vacant.
- The Club Executive:
- Membership Categories:
- Ordinary Membership:
- To qualify for Ordinary Membership, prospective members need to produce their Force Number as issued by the SADF/SANDF/RDF and provide evidence that they completed at least the Basic Training element of their National Service. These Veterans will be entitled to vote and to hold office, and their continued membership will be assured by their dedication to the ideals of SAMVOA and their good standing as a member of their Club.
- Applicants with known extremist activity background prior to or post 1994, will not be considered for membership.
- The National Executive retains the right to refuse membership and no correspondence will be entered into.
- Heritage Membership:
- In order to qualify for Heritage Membership, prospective members need to have had a parent or grandparent who served South Africa in a military capacity, but who has since passed on.
- They will be required to prove this relationship, be 16 years or older and their application will be considered on the basis that they will be the sole family representative of that person within SAMVOA.
- Heritage Membership applications will be ratified by the Regional Executive. On acceptance, these Veterans will enjoy normal membership and will be entitled to vote and hold office. Their continued membership will be assured by their dedication to the ideals of SAMVOA and their good standing as a member of their Club.
- Selective Skills Membership:
- Selective Skills Membership may be conferred on individuals who do not qualify for Ordinary or Heritage membership, but who have special skills deemed to be important enough for SAMVOA to acquire in order to improve the image and performance of the Organisation.
- In this instance, membership will be promoted at Regional Executive level and ratified at National Executive level. On acceptance, these Veterans will enjoy normal membership and be entitled to vote and hold office. Their continued membership will be assured by their dedication to the ideals of SAMVOA and their good standing as a member of their Club.
- Associate Membership:
- In order to qualify for Associate Membership, prospective members need to have belonged to an allied force or regiment which served alongside South African Forces as noted in South African military history.
- They will need to prove this association and to produce their Force Number, as issued by their respective Defence Force and provide evidence that they completed at least the Basic Training element of their country’s military service.
- Associate Membership applications will be ratified by the Regional Executive and, on acceptance, these Veterans will enjoy normal membership, but they will not be entitled to vote or hold office. Their continued membership will be assured by their dedication to the ideals of SAMVOA and their good standing as a member of their Club.
- Junior Family Membership:
- In order to qualify as a Junior Family Member, prospective members need to have or have had a parent or grandparent who served South Africa in a military capacity. They must be between the ages of 8 – 16 and may be required to prove this relationship and/or connection.
- Junior Family members are required to have a parent who will be solely responsible for them and accompany them to all events and functions.
- Junior Family Members will not participate in marches on ANZAC day and commemorative parades, but they may attend the event in their capacity as a member. However, they may not attend events which, due to legal requirements, do not permit attendance.
- When attending events, the member will hold the necessary permissions and clearances for attendance, and at other times as determined by the National Executive or under SAMVOA policy.
- Their continued membership will be assured by their dedication to the ideals of SAMVOA and their good standing as a member of their club.
Veterans who hold higher office will, in the execution of their duties, receive the full and undivided support of all other Veterans.
All veterans will strive to increase membership and to further the aims of SAMVOA. They will honour the SAMVOA spirit and remain obedient to the law of the land.
- Ordinary Membership:
- Drill, Dress and Discipline:
A SAMVOA Veteran will be recognised as a veteran when he/she wears the SAMVOA beret and badge. This is the sole identification element and will be worn with pride along with a suit and tie, jacket and tie, or blazer and tie, as determined by the dress code at the time. Veterans may wear their own headdress on parade. However, if directly representing SAMVOA in an official capacity, the SAMVOA headdress should be worn.
Should a Veteran have received recognition in the form of a medal or medals, these will be worn on the left chest/breast. Ordinary, Heritage and Associate Veterans, whose deceased family members have earned a medal or medals, may wear these on the right chest/breast.
Veterans will, at all times display good drill, dress and discipline. The dress code of SAMVOA will be a developing one as proposed by the National Master-at-Arms and ratified by the National Executive. This code must be clearly communicated to all members who will be required to conform.
SAMVOA encourages the development and growth of individual Corps or Regimental pride and Corps or Regiments may be recognised by wearing the appropriate “baltjie” or emblem below the SAMVOA badge. Master-at-Arms at both Club and Regional levels will be responsible for ensuring compliance and they may, at their sole discretion, permit or deny an offending Veteran to continue the parade.
A post-parade review will be held at Regional Executive level, which will acknowledge and address the views of the offender, and a binding decision made thereafter.
- Controlled Items:
The purchase of the SAMVOA beret and beret badge, SAMVOA tie, SAMVOA lapel badge and SAMVOA blazer pocket badge will be controlled and issued to Veterans against payment when joining SAMVOA, or as supplies become available. Any subsequent issue of these items will require the appropriate claim form to be submitted and approved at Club level. These items will not be available for public resale at any store.
- Uncontrolled Items:
Uncontrolled items will include the SAMVOA plaque and other official SAMVOA promotional items as released by the office of the National Public Relations and Liaison Executive.
- Controlled Items:
- Guidelines and Requirements for the Appointment of Members to Office
The complete guidelines are found within the procedure covering resignations, nominations, voting and final appointments and are contained within this document.
- In summary:
It is the absolute responsibility of every SAMVOA leader, down to Club level, to identify possible successors/leaders as part of their succession planning and subsequently ensure that those potential leaders are trained accordingly and provided every opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills. Participation in this process is open to Ordinary, Special Skills and Heritage Members within the Region or Club that they belong to.
- Summary at Club level:
Every Club Chairman is accountable to the Regional Chairman. The Club Executive should serve for a minimum period of three years after which they may offer themselves up for re-election.
- The incumbent must be a member of good standing within the Club
- He/she should have been an effective member of SAMVOA for a reasonable period of time, preferably 2 years.
- He/she should be qualified in the respective discipline – eg: an accountant or bookkeeper or similar for the position of Club Treasurer.
- He/she should be fully conversant with the SAMVOA Constitution, SOPs and Guidelines.
- For the Club Chairman position, he/she should understand and accept their line function and responsibility requirements to the Regional Chairman.
- Summary at Regional level:
Every Regional Chairman is accountable to the National Chairman. The Regional Executive should serve for a minimum period of five years after which they may offer themselves up for re-election.
The incumbent must:
- Be a member of good standing within his/her Club and within the Region.
- Should have been an effective member of SAMVOA for a reasonable period of time, preferably 3 years.
- Be qualified in the respective discipline – eg: an accountant or bookkeeper or similar for the position of Club Treasurer.
- Be fully conversant with the SAMVOA Constitution, SOPs and Guidelines.
- For the Regional Chairman position, he/she should understand and accept their responsibility requirements to the National Chairman.
- Summary at National level:
- The National Chairman will be responsible to all SAMVOA Veterans for the success of SAMVOA. He will have an ascending line function to the SAMVOINT Chairman and a descending line function to the Regional Chairmen within his Zone.
- The National Executive comprises specialist discipline leaders and all the Regional Chairmen.
- The National Executive is primarily staffed by members who are specialists within their respective disciplines, who can only be replaced by a member trained/qualified in that same discipline. Other than the National Chairman and the National Vice-Chairman, all executive members will have staff functions to the Regions within their respective disciplines and will not be subject to election.
- In the event of a vacancy, a nominee must be a member of good standing within his/her Club and within SAMVOA.
- The nominee should have been an effective member and proven leader within SAMVOA for at least 5-years.
- The nominee must be fully conversant with the SAMVOA Constitution, SOPs and Guidelines.
- The nominee must understand and accept his/her responsibilities and accountabilities to the International Chairman.
- In summary:
- Resignation / Termination of Membership:
All SAMVOA members, no matter their position within SAMVOA, belong to a Club.
When a member comes into “disrepute”, or becomes “not of good standing” within their Club, it is important that this is managed efficiently, fairly and in the correct manner.
Members who may come into “disrepute” or be “not of good standing” would likely fall into the following categories:
- Disregard for SAMVOA Drill, Dress and Discipline requirements;
- Misconduct or display of a belligerent attitude or actions;
Misrepresenting their service by wearing incorrect medals, providing incorrect information or exaggeration of their own self-importance;
- Contravention of SAMVOA code of conduct; and
- Other actions which detract from their service tenure, or which are unsubstantiated.
- These situations would most likely arise at Club level, and as such, the following process will apply:
- The Club Chairman or Club Master-at-Arms will, in the first instance, discuss the issue with the member, either face-to-face or by phone, and inform that member that there is a perceived behavioural issue and that he/she is being considered as being “not of good standing”.
- They should inform the member with as much information as they have, explaining why they are being placed under review.
- The member should be given the opportunity to make an acceptable rebuttal, or to accept the validity of the complaint and to commit to rectifying the situation.
- In some cases only an apology may be required, after which there would be no further action taken and the event will remain confidential.
- Should the member be unwilling to change or show remorse for his/her actions, the Club Chairman or the Regional Chairman will advise him/her that they are suspended with immediate effect, pending further investigation.
A conscientious effort will always be made to ensure that the SAMVOA Club or Region gains factual evidence to adequately support the complaint against the member in question. The matter should be referred to the National Master-at-Arms.
An intense investigation will be carried out that could include other veteran organisations, or higher formations, depending on the nature of the issue. Any external investigation must be handled by the National-Master-at-Arms or the National Chairman.
Should the evidence prove that the member is out of order, and the member still refuses to rectify the situation, his/her membership will be revoked as the last resort.
The final decision will rest with the next senior executive to the leader who dealt with the issue.
- Military Impersonators:
In the event of a member conduct complaint being in the category of “Military Impersonator”, the National Chairman or National Master-at-Arms will communicate this information to the CMVO, for release of the offending member’s details to all other veteran and/or police organisations, including permanent listing on the “Wall of Shame”. Once a name is on the list, it can and will never be removed.