Red Earth City

Organisational Structure, Finances & Purposes

~ Red Earth City ~ 

an Australian Burning Man Organisation 
officially affiliated with the Burning Man Regional Network.

Formed from Red Earth City Pty Ltd ABN 72 141 969 226  
a registered private company which operates as a non-profit  
under the umbrella of Burning Man Australia 
covering the Australian footprint of the Burning Man Project
a catalyst for creative culture in the world.

The first Australian regional Burning Man event held in 2010 needed a legal entity to allow the conduct of a safe and compliant event, within Burning Man Australia, to interacted with the default world.

The private company "Red Earth City Pty Ltd" was formed and registered for the Burning Man Australia community by its founding directors: Robin Macpherson (A Human), Phil Smart (Sherpa) and Richard Martin (King Richard).

The "Red Earth City" organisation was formed out of the company in August 2010, with some updates in November 2010.

This allowed the management of the company's business and affairs to be delegated to a larger Town Council than just the founding directors.

It also allows the broader community to have a say in its function, permitting Town Council to develop the "Red Earth City" organisation and operations with the community's input.

This was achieved, in its first year, with the introduction of the company's 'Committee Guidelines'.

In June 2011, the following year, the company's constitution was changed at a special general meeting.

Constitution of REC Pty Ltd - PDF file (click to download)

This was done to introduce the purposes of the company and include non-profit & winding up provisions.

These early initiatives made the company and its organisation to be run in a non-profit way.

It also allowed them, with the community's input, to look at adapting over time with how they are structured and carry out their affairs.

It determined an ongoing commitment to transparency, consensus decision making and ensured the requirements for the conduct of safe gatherings, events and activities are met.

This formed part of an expression of the wider aspirations of Burning Man Australia & The Burning Man Project, as a way of life lived consistently with the Ten Principles.

These purposes were revised further in November 2015, which has allowed the original Red Earth City organisation Town Council to be disbanded and operate with 2 (two) independent standing committees of the Red Earth City Pty Ltd Board for the conduct of:

a) Burning Seed; and

b) Burning Man Australia;

which are formed to manage the business and affairs of the company in their respective areas of responsibility, with equal powers.

This has also allowed the new 'Committee Guidelines Version 2' to be introduced on the on the 17th Nov 2015.

Red Earth City - Burning Seed Town Council (7 members

Phil Smart - founding REC P/L Director & Burning Seed Town Councillor (Feb 2010 - present)

(NB vacant positions currently being filled and to be announced soon)

Red Earth City - Burning Man Australia Community Board (7 members

Robin Macpherson - founding REC P/L Director & BMA Community Board member (Feb 2010 - present)

(NB vacant positions currently being filled and announced soon)

Emeritus - Red Earth City - Town Council Members - of the original REC Town Council 

(NB this peak body of the Red Earth City organisation is now discontinued and has been replaced by 2 standing committee of the Red Earth City Pty Ltd Board, being the Burning Seed Town Council & the Burning Man Australia Community Board)

The people listed here, while not currently holding official roles on the organisation's originating and now discontinued REC Town Council, form an essential part of our culture.

Their contributions as Red Earth City Town Council members and organisational pioneers have been vital to our efforts.

Many are still active members of the community and possibly within the organisation, where their leadership is and will always be deeply appreciated.

Paul Jorgensen appointed REC Town Councilor (May 2011 - July 2012)

Jodi York - appointed REC Town Councilor (May 2014 - July 2015)

Robin Macpherson - founding REC P/L Director & REC Town Councillor (Feb 2010 - Nov 2015)

Phil Smart - founding REC P/L Director & REC Town Councillor (Feb 2010 - Nov 2015)

Richard Martin - founding REC P/L Director & REC Town Councillor (Feb 2010 - Nov 2015) 

Neil Power - appointed REC Town Councilor (June 2013 - Nov 2015) 

Justin Mcghee - appointed REC Town Councilor (June 2013 - Nov 2015)

Red Earth City - Committee Guidelines:

The early version has been superseded by 'Committee Guidelines - Version 2' on the 17th Nov 2015.

Click to Downoad: 'Committee Guidelines - Version 2'  (PDF file)

Red Earth City - Burning Seed Town Council Application Form 

Anyone is welcome to express interest to join the REC - Burning Seed Town Council.

From time to time positions become available and if the organisation knows you're interested, we can contact you to discuss interviews and possible appointment.

Applications are held in strictest confidentiality.

Click to Download: Burning Seed Town Council - Application Form PDF file

Email applications to: rectowncouncil (@) burningmanaustralia (.) com

Red Earth City - Burning Man Australia Community Board Application Form 

Anyone is welcome to express interest to join the REC - Burning Man Australia Community Board.

From time to time positions become available and if the organisation knows you're interested, we can contact you to discuss interviews and possible appointment.

Applications are held in strictest confidentiality.

Click to Download:  Burning Man Australia Community Board - Application Form PDF file

(NB New Form coming soon)

Email applications to: rectowncouncil (@) burningmanaustralia (.) com

Financials

For the latest Financial Reports for Burning Seed, Regions & Red Earth City Pty Ltd go to the financials page:

Click hear

HOW IT ALL STARTED

On the June long weekend in 2009 a small group of 30 people met at Bellingen NSW to plant the seed for a future Australian regional Burning Man event. Out of discussion it was decided that the best way to move forward would be to create a company that is bound by the obligation to provide an event for the Australian community within the principles of inclusiveness and transparency and functioning in a not-for-profit manner.

While there were initial considerations to create some form of membership based non-profit organisation for conducting the event, the requirements for setting up such a body appeared counter to addressing the needs of this proposed National based activity, that crossed borders without emanating out of one particular City or State, which allowed for the widest means for input via technology, without being constrained by many of the requirements & issues that membership based non-profit organisations may encounter over time. 

Having a limited time frame and resources on the ground, it was necessary to innovate by looking at different approaches to organise the activity to achieve its aim.  This saw the establishment of a Trust Agreement by the Vision Group which had formed out of the initial Bellingen gathering, which was given the task by the wider group to tackle these issues and move forward with getting the first event going.

Trust Agreement:

2010 02 09 vision group trust agreement

In early February 2010, Robin Macpherson (A Human), Phil Smart (Sherpa), and Richard Martin (King Richard) established Red Earth City Pty Ltd as the legal entity responsible for operating Burning Seed, Australia's regional Burning Man event. Before registering the company an agreement between the three founding members of the company was entered into, which required decisions to made by consensus and for the organisation to be run in a non-profit manner, where profits are not distributed to the Directors, Shareholders or Stakeholders and that there be financial transparency of finances to the wider Burning Man community.

TO THE CURRENT DAY

The company has been run in this manner as described and in June 2011 changed its constitution to reflect this operating environment as a non-profit company. The change realised the company's standing as a non-profit entity, through the inclusion of clear purposes and non-profit provisions, for both its operation and upon winding up.

However, before introducing the non-profit provisions into the constitution, the directors brought in a set of 'Committee Guidelines' for the company in August 2010, which were revised further in November 2010. This was done in accordance to the initial agreement which was entered into by the founding members before the company was formed.

These guidelines created the non-profit organisation Red Earth City and the organisation's Town Council body which has been given the responsibility of managing the business and affairs of the company, as well as initially being the main planning body for Australia's regional Burning Man event. The Town Council may consist of between 3 and 6 people including the Directors.

The Team Leaders who are responsible for co-ordinating and enabling the various areas (departments) for the conduct of the Event are appointed by the Town Council.

In recent times, as the event and organisation has grown, the Town Council has given more responsibility to the Team Leaders group for the conduct of the event, enabling as much participation within the department areas, encouraging their development and autonomy.  

The Town Council also acknowledges the value of wider decision making in the organisation, particularly on important decisions which affect many people. As an example of this was in May 2011 when a decision was made to change the dates of the event to November, for that particular year, it was the Council of Team Leads, which was a combined meeting of the Town Council and the Team Leaders, who decided consensually about the decision of the date for the event.

With this stage of the company's transition completed, the next step could see the conduct of internal reviews for updating 'Committee Guidelines' to reflect the evolving organisation and/or considering whether its worth transitioning into a another type of non-profit entity.

The company purposes were revised further in November 2015, which has allowed the original Red Earth City organisation Town Council to be disbanded and operate with 2 (two) independent standing committees of the Red Earth City Pty Ltd Board for the conduct of:

a) Burning Seed; and

b) Burning Man Australia;

which are formed to manage the business and affairs of the company in their respective areas of responsibility, with equal powers.

This has also allowed the new 'Committee Guidelines Version 2' to be introduced on the on the 17th Nov 2015.

Any broader changes to another type entity will require the wider community's input, which will need to be done in an open, considered and consultative way.

There are also other groups meeting regularly in the regions around the Country, which you can find out about in the newsletters or on the Burning Man Australia forums. Every effort is made to reach out to and involve the broader Australian burner community. We are a new community and are still learning the most effective ways to do this.

Operations Structure:

Download *.PDF here

2015 11 17 rec operations structure 01

2015 11 17 rec operations structure 02

The Purposes of Red Earth City Pty Ltd (updated 17th Nov 2015) are:

To instigate, enable and incubate the production of Burning Man activities throughout Australia which will bring experiences to people in grand, awe-inspiring and joyful ways that lift the human spirit, address social problems and inspire a sense of culture, community and cultural engagement, where the organisation has a number of purposes, which values:

Interactivity - We value art that prompts the viewer to act. We like art that can be experienced in more ways than visually. We are fans of art that is meant to be touched, heard or experienced, as well as viewed; art that requires human interaction to complete the piece, that prompts people to interact with one another, that responds to participants and to its environment.

Community – We value art that builds community through education, collaboration and activism. We see that when an art project arises from the need of a community, it belongs to the public and exists for the benefit of all. When a work is freely accessible to the public, civic in scope and inclusive by nature, it challenges the traditional perspectives on art. When an interactive artwork becomes part of a community, it demands the stewardship of its citizens, engendering ownership, responsibility and pride.

Education – We value art that goes beyond artistic expression; we value art that educates. We support projects that prioritise collaboration with local youth and educators. We know that, with guidance and support, the creation of art is a most powerful tool to educate youth about the pressing concerns of their times, including issues around the environment, renewable energy, and climate change.

Activism – We value art that causes people to reflect on the larger community.  We see art as a way to connect individuals, and call them to action. We commend art that challenges individuals to re-examine their everyday lives and their role in their immediate and larger community. We support art that educates about the alternatives to consumerism and the reduction of environmental impact. Through art, we seek to promote the use of renewable resources, environmental justice and social responsibility.

    1. To create a national organisation called Red Earth City.
    2. To create and operate the Red Earth City organisation with 2 (two) independent standing committees for the conduct of:

      a) Burning Seed; and

      b) Burning Man Australia;

      which are formed to manage the business and affairs of the company in their respective areas of responsibility, with equal powers.

    3. To recognise Burning Seed as an Australian regional Burning Man event.
    4. To recognise Burning Man Australia as a space to facilitate the discussion, expression and manifestation of the Burning Man philosophies and principles.
    5. To form a Burning Seed Town Council and Burning Man Australia Community Board to engage certain roles by way of contract or employment which fulfill certain essential ongoing requirements that go beyond the scope of volunteers to maintain the viable, ongoing and safe operation of activities.
    6. To form a Burning Seed Team Leads Committee to organise the day to day operations of conducting a safe Burning Seed event, that can make further recommendations to the Burning Seed Town Council, to whom it is responsible to, particularly for all financial, budget, insurance and legal matters.
    7. To reimburse peoples out of pocket expenses that may be incurred on behalf of the organisation, this also includes members of the Burning Man Australia Community Board, the Burning Seed Town Council and the Burning Seed Team Leads Committee.
    8. To ensure there be transparency of the finances of the company and the organisation formed here by the company to the wider Burning Man Community.
    9. To keep the language as clear and simple as possible within the company and the organisation to the wider community.
    10. To operate the company and its organisation in a non-profit manner, where:

      a) the income is solely applied to promoting its purposes;

      b) profit is not distributed to any director, officer, committee member, advisory or sub committee member, council member, board member, employee, contractor, or other persons connected with this organisation, or any private individual;

      c) upon winding up, voluntary or involuntary, all its assets must be distributed to a similar non-profit organisation.

    11. To facilitate over the next 3 years or earlier, the formation of an open and inclusive restructuring committee group, with representation from the company's directors and any members of its two 2 peak standing committees, to undertake a process of broad community engagement and rigorous internal examination, to make recommendation to the directors of the Red Earth City Pty Ltd, for the transition of the company and its national organisation, to a nationally registered charitable not for profit entity or group of entities, or subsidiary of an entity of this nature, where provision is made in each and any of the new entities for a public fund allowing registration with the Register of Cultural Organisations (ROCO), allowing then for the application for Deductible Gift Recipient status using one or a combination of the following commonly used incorporated legal structures;

      a) companies limited by guarantee;  

      b) incorporated associations; or

      c) non-trading co-operatives;

      that is best suited for the community and the current national organisation, to achieve the ongoing pursuit of the purposes of the company, Burning Seed and Burning Man Australia.

 2010 burning seed community 2