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What is the membership fee and what does it cover?
The membership fee is $35 per year. This covers everything except for Conferences, face-to-face workshops, and merchandise. These have additional costs involved.
Why is the membership fee so little?
Birth work is a passion-driven vocation. We recognise that many doulas may be working part-time or casually. Some are beginning their doula journey, and only attending a few births a year, and some may be continuing to build their client base to a more economical level. By keeping the fee low, we trust it enables every doula in Australia to participate.
What is the membership fee for?
There are several costs involved in running a national Association. This includes things such as our websites, bank account, and compliance with ASIC requirements. As we grow, costs may include accountant fees, website development, occasional venue hire, and additional member benefits (eg: securing a group discount or products for members).
All monies received by the Association can only be used for the Association. In other words, the fees cannot be used to profit any individual member. This is not a business venture by any means at all. Funds collected, that are in excess to our current administration needs, are kept in our bank account and the members decide how to allocate it. For example, we may be able to secure additional benefits for members or fund a national media campaign. We also have merchandise in our shop, including promotional brochures, a name badge, and T-shirts that you can use in your own business. We have priced these to cover cost to keep them affordable to our members.
How is the Association different from training organisations?
The Association is not a training organisation. It does not compete with or replace training organisations. The Association is not affiliated with any specific training organisation - it is impartial.
The Association promotes the value of receiving training to become a doula and lists all known training options HERE. Any training that the Association provide is in a professional development and/or peer support context. The Association does not provide certifying courses and does not certify doulas.
Does the Association have a Code of Conduct?
We expect members to treat each other with respect but beyond this, we do not feel it is necessary to have a specific Code of Conduct at this time. We are especially mindful that the purpose of a Code of Conduct is usually to stipulate how a doula should practice. There are many different perspectives on how to do this. We are inclusive of all doulas and practicing philosophies. We have, however, included a statement describing the ‘Role of a Doula’.
Is the Association a regulating body?
Our goal is to unify and support doulas, not control them. Doulas are free to practice according to their conscience. For doulas who wish to abide by a ‘Code of Conduct’, there are some training organisations who provide this. You may be a member of a training organisation and a member of our Association. All are welcome!
Is it necessary to have attended training to become a member?
We encourage attending a training course to become a doula, although it is not compulsory. If you identify as a 'doula' (as opposed to identifying as an occasional ‘support person’ for friends or family) and you have not attended a training course, then you must be actively attending births as a doula. If you have not started ‘doula-ing’ yet, then you need to be enrolled in a course to become a member. You do not need to have completed the course, just enrolled.
If I join, does that mean I am working for the Association?
No. The Association is not a doula agency or business of any kind. It is more a collaboration of doulas. Members are shareholders in the Association.
Committee members and State Representatives generously volunteer their time to the Association. An enormous number of hours goes into the running of the Association. We have no paid employees.
How do I know that the funds are being used properly?
All money received by the Association BELONGS to the members collectively. Decisions about how to use our funds must be made democratically within the Association. To vote on such issues, membership must be current. The financial records are open for inspection to any member. There is also a safeguard, in that, any withdrawal of money from the bank account requires the authorisation of two public officers (usually the treasurer and another appointed committee member).
Do I have a say in how the Association is run?
Yes! The Association is actually owned by the members collectively. Therefore, the Association must be run in a democratic way, ensuring all members have a say in:
how it is run
ideas for improvement
who is on the Committee
Members can only vote on issues if they are up to date with their annual membership fee.
Is there a hierarchy in the Association?
No! There is no hierarchy, seniority, or ladder to climb. All members are respected as equals in the Association regardless of their position or how long they have been a doula. The Association must be run democratically and therefore all members have an equal opportunity to share their ideas and vote on issues. State Representatives and members of the Committee are not above non-position holding members. They are ordinary members who simply help with the administrative tasks of the Association. Any member may put themselves forward to serve on the Committee, or to be a State Representative. Any member is welcome to become involved in organising local meet ups or other initiatives.