The General Service Office of AA Australia
How is the General Service Office funded?
- Contributions from AA groups (At present only 36% of groups in Australia contribute in any year, with less than 10% contributing on a regular monthly basis).
- Literature sales
- Personal donations from members
- Donations from members via the Action Club and Birthday Club
What does the General Service Office do?
- The General Service Conference
- The General Service Board
- Public information Co-operation with the professional community
- Publishing and distribution of literature
- Information service for groups
- Maintaining records of registered groups
- Supporting new groups
- Public liability insurance policy
- Liaison with other countries
- AA Around Australia
- Miscellaneous tasks
The general service conference
Staff members co-ordinate and participate in the annual General Service Conference (the group conscience of AA as a whole), which is held each November.
Before Conference, a great deal of work takes place:
- topics submitted by groups/Areas are processed;
- a draft Conference agenda is prepared;
- new delegates are given information and support,
- staff organise and attend the Conference Agenda Committee meeting in June, at which all accepted topics are allocated to relevant Conference committees;
- Staff organise and participate in the Conference Agenda committee teleconference in August to finalise the Conference topics;
- Travel arrangements are made for Conference members;
- the venue is organised,
- audio recording of Conference is organised,
- Conference folders are prepared and despatched to all Conference members.
During Conference, staff attend Conference committee meetings, take minutes and produce committee reports/recommendations for review by the entire Conference prior to voting.
After Conference, the staff, in conjunction with the General Service Board assist in implementing Conference Advisory Actions.
The final Conference Report is produced at the General Service Office.
The general service board
Staff attend the three annual Board meetings, held in February, July and November. Again, a great deal of preparation work is required for these meetings and staff are kept very busy.
All staff members are co-ordinators of Trustees' Committees and are responsible for carrying out instructions from each Board meeting.
Staff respond to numerous enquiries from the general public. 12th Step calls are referred to the nearest Central Service Office.
We also receive many requests for assistance from TV, radio and newspapers, when a story relating to alcoholism is about to be broadcast or published.
Employers request information when they have an employee with a drinking problem, or they wish to institute an alcohol abuse awareness program in their company.
Co-operation with the professional community
Many enquiries are received from members of the professional community - the medical profession, the legal profession, the armed forces, the clergy, schools, universities, and many others.
Publish and distribute literature
Much of the AA literature is printed in Australia. Some low demand items are purchased from AA World Services Inc. in New York.
Literature is distributed to local Central Service Offices and District Offices who act as resellers. In some cases literature is sold directly to groups and members.
Information service for groups
Various enquiries are received by telephone, mail, fax and email. Where possible, staff attempt to respond to these enquiries within one day.
Maintain records of registered groups
A database of registered groups is maintained. We are dependent on groups to ensure that this information is accurate.
Support new groups
A complimentary package of literature is sent to all newly registered groups.
Public liability insurance policy
A public liability insurance policy is taken out by the General Service Board, to protect organisers of AA meetings in the event of a claim against them. Most groups would be unable to obtain premises to hold their meetings without evidence of this insurance policy.
Liaison with other countries
The office fosters close and cordial relationships with other AA offices around the world.
AA Around Australia
The information newsletter AA Around Australia is published quarterly - in March, June, September and December. It is sent out free of charge to registered groups. It gives groups details of Board and Conference activities, suggestions on public information activities and other help in carrying the message to the suffering alcoholic.
- Responding to enquiries from all over Australia and overseas.
- Processing and despatching literature orders.
- Banking and Accounting
- Administration of National website content and meetings list