Treatise on the Terra Australis Incorporated 1806
OOC: This is an IC document based upon Australian Invictus History it has been sanctioned by the GST
In order to understand the following work you must first acknowledge this is not a definitive document, nor a complete copy of a set of codified laws of the Invictus (Which may not exist anywhere). No rather this is the summary documentation of my discussions and research regarding the way we of the Invictus of Australia work complied together to help those new to the Covenant. I have included sections I have been able to recover and pieced together of the addended bylaws of the Terra Australis.
Throughout this document I have included my personal notes and interpretations italicised.
- Director Onryo
In order to understand Australia’s unique structure we must first look at how we conquered this land. Unlike the rush or the escaping populations of the other covenants, a joint venture and company was formed for the settlement by influential members of the covenant. Vassals, servants, ships, gold and favours where pooled by the founding members of the venture, to ensure royal edicts and land would be set out for our place. As was tradition at the time for such companies the true power lay in these founders who were the shareholders, the board merely voice pieces, so as the land was colonised the power structure of the Invictus laid with a council of shareholders. It is important to note that not all the Invictus who came to Australia were a part of the Company, just that the company had the most authority and influence upon the formation of the Invictus nation and its structure has become the national structure.
3 Key events and factors are the most likely factors that lead to the disappearance of the shareholders, a secretive group even at the start. The summoning of the Chairman for the Pact, torpor and finally the shift in mortal structures regarding their authority. A whole discussion could be made on the topic of the Pact, but a quick summary is there was a shadow war to take control of the federal government between different supernaturals, something summoned key leaders of the supernaturals and their sects including the Chairman, a pact was agreed to that none would seek control over the federal government and where it meets. The second is the age of the shareholders, from the rumours I have been able to put together they were ancient and influential before the settlement, a hundred years adds a long toll on any kindred mind, so they started passing responsibility on to their Board members. Finally was the change of mortal frameworks, with clear change in the way corporations where run, legally and influentially control was passed across to the board members, and such changes have normally been reflected in the Terra Australis.
Section 23: Board Policies (Updated 2th October 2017)
Section 23A: Board Purpose and Overview
- a) The purpose of the Board is to provide general direction and policy review for Terra Australis
- b) The executive who handle the general day to day national concerns are selected by the Board (see Section 27B)
Summary Notes: While originally the board of directors had been selected by the shareholders, in the current nights they normally reflect the most influential members of the Invictus in an area. The Board are not responsible for the day to day running of the Invictus (that lies with the executive and the divisions/departments), they are rather a group of peers who help shape the direction of the Invictus and to whom major decisions fall upon. It is also their duty to select the members of the executive.
Section 23B: Board Membership:
- a) Each Greater domain must select a represented to stand upon the board as a general board member. If a greater domain is unable to select a board member or has difficulty in doing so, the right of monomancy may be used to differentiate two challengers. If this option is selected but deemed to be inappropriate by the board that representative may be refused rights of membership of the board till an appropriate member can be selected.
Summary Notes: LJ has advised that in 1915 a disgruntled Knight claimed domain over Bendigo and declared himself Board member for Bendigo. The city at the time in decline, the board was inclined to decline his membership, as there was not defined definition of domain in the policy it fell to the right of Mononmancy to decide if it was legitimate. Said knight was destroyed in the duel and sub section (a) was updated and sub section (c) was added.
- b) The Chairman of the board is selected by the board, the chairman cannot be a general member of the board during the selection of chairman.
- c) The board retains the rights to designate and reassign greater domains, in order to create a new greater domain a major support (55%) of the board is required, to remove a greater domain a major major (80%) support is required.
- d) Board Membership other than the Chairman is unable to be changed during the month post the Annual Board Meeting announcement (see Section 23C (a) for details)
Summary Notes: part 23B(d) is partially due to an event referred to as the bloody selection where a now deceased member of the Invictus murdered his way through the contingent of Invictus who had travelled to a formal board meeting so he was the last possible representative.
- e) The Chairman may select a Secretary from the board members to assist in the administration of the board.
Section 23C: Board Meetings:
- a) Once every 12 months a board member will host the annual board meeting, the Chairman will select which board member will host the meeting at least 1 month before the meeting is held, said host will then send invitations to those whom will attend.
- i) Proposals and Agenda items must be submitted to the host 2 weeks before the annual board meeting for distribution.
- ii) A board member may select a representative to attend the meeting on their behalf but this representative must be advised of 2 weeks before the meeting is held to the host.
- iii) Other business may be considered on upon agreement of the board.
- iv) Only an Annual Board meeting can change the by-laws, with a majority majority required, and this may be vetoed by the chair. The only exception to this is the selection of Executive and their Authority undersection 27C.
Summary Notes: This formal meeting was originally the shareholder meeting Section 22C (I have unfortunately never uncovered an actual copy of this section), but with the shift from power from the shareholders to the board it was moved to the board section. This meeting is traditionally normally held a few days before the key national kindred event and sets the key goals and policies for the next 12 months. Other business is generally poorly upon as it means the kindred who brought it up was not organised enough. I have included a sample agenda for the board from 2017 meeting for your review encase you need to create one yourself.
- b) Other Board Meetings
- i) General Session Meetings, are held via electronic mail and require a 75% vote to reach majority of board members, weather all have responded or not. Other Board Meeting items must be ratified at an Annual Board meeting to continue past 12 months.
- ii) Emergency Board Meetings may be called but require quorum of 65%, and may be conducted over electronic means. Matters voted on must be sanctioned within 21 days by a General Session Meeting or Annual Board Meeting, they are unable to change the Terra Australis General Policy.
Summary Notes: From my study of the covering material subsection b (i) is set out in this method due to the historical delay in messages being passed between board members, this allowed votes to be passed while not getting an actual quorum to make a decision. This method is still useful today as often members of the board a distracted for weeks at time and allows votes to be passed via the electronic forums. Emergency meetings have actually reduced since more modern communications have allowed general session meetings to be run in near real time. They still occasionally held when several board members are gathered to handle a concerning issue.
- c) Chairman, is an advisory role, their vote is only considered when there is a tie, or to veto a change to the bylaws.
Summary Notes: Subsection (c ) was added to reflect the changing kindred environment of Australia with the elders withdrawing from positions of authority and more general advisory roles.
Section 27: The Executive (Updated 2th October 2017)
Section 27A: Executive Purpose and Overview
- a) The purpose of the Executive is to provide day to day direction in regards to national priorities and issues as confirmed by the board.
- b) The executive leave the general management of Greater Domains to the Departments/Division who reside there.
Summary Notes: The Executive run the day to day management of the Invictus, each is a leader of a specific function or role, it is their job to coordinate and manage that area within the covenant nationally. Historically there has been several clashes between greater domains and the national
Section 27B: Executive Appointments
- a) Executive appointments are a two phase process
- i) The board votes on the portfolio of authority and length of period of the Executive, this requires a simple majority
- ii) The board then considers and votes on whom they will appoint an Executive on a majority vote (e.g. 51% must support a single candidate)
- iii) Only a unanimous vote can select a director to an executive position
- b) The executive term is 12 months or a shorter period as advised by the board, never longer than 12 months.
- c) A newer board appointment may adjust the authority of a previous selection.
Summary Notes: Generally Executive appointments are made at the annual board meeting, but there are many precedents of them happening in general session meetings with their period ending at the next annual board meeting. Of the three appoints in emergency meetings none have ever been extended past the 21 days and have led to Board member being removed. Subsection (c ) was introduced after there was essentially a special project executive (Inquistor) selected to deal with a growing trend of oath breakers in the covenant. At the time the Knight Commander (Now referred to as Chief Security Officer) had the sole authority to detain, but the Inquisitor was given this authority in regards to his project. This unfortunately lead to a minor conflict which ended with the Knight Commander in torpor from a duel with the Inquisitor.
Section 27C: Executive Authority
Summary Notes: There are two trains of thought while the titles of the executive have been changed over time and reflective of modern company’s structures, the first is that they aren’t likely to cause any issues if overheard by mortals and secondly as it allows younger kindred to more easily understand the role of these executive area.
Like their names their responsibilities are often fluid depending on the path that the board of directors has selected at a time. Please find below a list of the current executive roles, noting that the board has a history of creating position to deal with specific projects or issues that come up.
- a) Chief Communications Officer (CCO)/ Public Relations Officer (PRO):
- i) Is essentially the external Voice or Speaker of the Invictus. It is there role to manage and review the relations with the other Covenants and otherwise make public announcements on behalf of the Invictus covenant.
- ii) Position is held by: Valerie Fitzchambers
- b) Chief Financial Officer (CFO):
- i) Unlike its mortal equivalent this executive is more like an investment banker or a treasurer, as it is their job to coordinate the resources of the Invictus and ensure they haven’t been squandered. They have the ability to provide access to the vast reserves of the Terra Australis.
- ii) Position is held by:
Summary Notes: If you need seed money, go to the CFO, but be prepared to put forward a business case. Rarely will you get approval for a one off action, rather they will assist you to move into an industry.
- c) Chief Security Officer (CSO):
- i) Often referred to as Knight Commander is other places this position is considered the leader of the Knights of the Invictus. They have the authority to draft members of the Invictus to assist in the defence of the covenant as a whole.
- ii) Position is held by: Margarete Wulfhild
- d) General Council (GC):
- i) The GC role is to watch over and manage the notaries of Australia and the upkeep of the Contract Register (Library of Oaths and other documents that have been handled by the notaries). The GC can approve someone to be considered finished in their apprenticeship to be a Notary.
- ii) Position is held by:
Summary Notes: There are 3 cases where the GC (or First Notary) has been removed due to their poorly run apprenticeship programs and promoting apprentices whom failed to perform their position as expected.
Section 36: The Divisions/Departments:
Summary Notes: This final layer refers to the cities and wider area’s run by the Invictus across Australia, due to the varying nature of cities how each place handles and organises themselves is generally left alone as long as they are responsive to the Executive.
- a) The running of domains and greater domains hereby referred to as Divisions/Departments is left up to the Invictus of said domain unless it contravenes in the national direction or method.
- b) Divisions/Departments are required to submit a structure to the board for approval and keep said documents up to date.
Summary Notes: Historically the board has approved all division/department structures, occasionally with very loud debate, but this independence has been supported even when considered pure stupidity. I can only find one example of this not happening as the structure sought to abolish xxxx, a special executive of education was selected and sent to discuss with the domain their decisions.
This is not to say Australia has cast aside vassalage and houses, rather these are things that exist concurrently with the national structure, and while they have been known to cause the occasional conflict such matters are always dealt with quickly and publicly.
Titles and their Value:
It has been difficult to pin down when Australia shifted to a greater focus on recent or current achievements (merit) over more historical actions. I believe this is clear evidence that it can be traced back to those who came across to the nation, where often those seeking to prove themselves or seek a newer start.
So this has created a tradition of viewing someone worth there last position or title within the structure, their name, then any house or knighthood affiliation. If they had been previously CSO (for at least 12 months), but held no current position their title would be Ex CSO, example of this is Alder Ex Chairman Ljónynja Øringr, Matrica of the Casa di Temperance. Now were as myself I am Director Onryo, Taliallu of Casa di Temperance. Summary Notes: I have found a single case (and I believe there are most likely more) where a kindred was removed from the executive had the records of their being that position removed as well by the board and they were never considered Ex Executive, this precedent would likely be considered with other positions.
Structure of a title is as follows <Alder> <Position within Terra Australis> <Name> <House Title> <Knighthood Title>
Now in normal conversation unless given leave it is only expected to use their current or previous position, e.g. Director Onryo or Ex Chairman Ljónynja Øringr. During the conversation it is appropriate to drop that to merely the title or similar honorific e.g. Alder, Knight or Taliallu (In my own case). I would warn you it is always best to use their highest honorific rather than lowest otherwise you may cause insult e.g. Chief Security Officer Margarete is also a member of a Knighthood, it would be insulting to refer to her as a mere Knight, when you could use her Title CSO.
The correct title for those new to the organisation is Associate (OOC: Status 1) and those whom have proven their commitment but don’t have a national position is Partner (OOC: Status 2). That has not stopped the use of more European titles, rather they are not valued or grant authority in the eyes of the Invictus of Terra Australis, and it rarely considered rude or an insult to leave them off when addressing someone unless they are a visitor from overseas.
OOC: Position to Status Dots
Chairman: Status 5 Chairman’s Secretary: Status 5 Director: Status 4 Executive: Status 3 Notary: Status 3 (Or someone who has been approved to be a Notary by the GC) Sworn Knight or Member of a House: Status 2 Councillor (Or Similar in local division’s structure): Status 2
If you are Ex position (Held at least 12 months) you drop to one less than your previous status of the position till you get your next position. E.g. LJ would be Ex Chairman as she held the position for a while and have 4 status.