Pirate Congress 2019!

National Congress 2019

G’day Pirates,

We hereby invite you to the 2019 Pirate Party Annual National Congress!

The National Congress is an opportunity for members to propose and debate new policies and constitutional amendments, hear nominations for Party Officials, and meet Pirates from around Australia.

It is held annually and is the paramount decision making body of Pirate Party Australia.

The National Congress will be held in Adelaide this year.


Saturday 27th July and Sunday 28th July


Payneham Community Centre,
374 Payneham Road, Payneham, SA

Members who cannot make it in person will be able to attend and fully participate online.

All participants, online or in person, are requested to RSVP and, if possible, make a contribution.

Book tickets


Details of the National Congress, including the agenda, new policies, nominations, constitutional amendments and details on how to participate online will be available on the Wiki:


The National Congress is followed by a seven day voting period, which is open to all members. All members will be emailed ballot information at the opening of this voting period.

There are a number of dates and deadlines and procedures to follow if you wish to submit items to the National Congress or declare candidacy for positions.

Constitutional Amendments:

  • Deadline for amendment proposals is Saturday 29th June 2019 09:00 am (AEST)
  • Email your proposals to secretary@pirateparty.org.au

Policies and Policy Amendments:

  • It would be appreciated if policy proposals could be submitted at least 10 days before National Congress so that they can be allowed for in the agenda.
  • If you intend to propose a policy for adoption at National Congress it is recommended that you consult with the Policy Development Committee by emailing policydev@pirateparty.org.au
  • Submitting to the Policy Development Committee can help to refine your policy before it reaches the floor and thus is more likely to progress through to a full vote this year.
  • Well-written policies are more likely to succeed.
  • Email your proposals to secretary@pirateparty.org.au


  • Positions up for election are all nine Councillors, the Policy Development Officer, and one position on the Dispute Resolution Committee.
  • Nominations can be accepted up until the relevant agenda item at National Congress.
  • Nominations for electable positions can be made by following the instructions here: https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Pirate_Congress_2019/Nominations

We thank you for your continued support!


Yours sincerely,

Alex Jago
Pirate Party Australia

National Congress - Constitutional Amendment Proposals and other deadlines

Hi Pirates -

A quick reminder about the deadlines for proposals at National Congress.


Constitutional Amendment Proposals are due before 9:00 AM AEST on Saturday 29th June (tomorrow), in accordance with clause 9.1(2) of the Party Constitution.

Any Constitutional Amendment Proposals must be submitted to me via email: secretary@pirateparty.org.au

All such Proposals will be placed on the appropriate page of the Party Wiki by 11:59 PM on Saturday, fulfilling the notification requirements of clause 9.1(3) of the Party Constitution.

That page:



Formal Motions and Policy Motions must be submitted to me via email by Friday 19th of July. This will permit me to finalise the Agenda at least 7 days in advance (as required by the Constitution).

You’ll be able to find those motions on the Wiki too.At time of writing there aren’t any up yet, but I expect at least one.


Finally, don’t forget to nominate for National Council, Policy Officer, or Dispute Resolution Committee!

Kind Regards,
Alex Jago
Pirate Party Australia

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RSVP to the Facebook event here https://www.facebook.com/events/2318571878406990/

Good morning Pirates – welcome to Congress 2019!

This email is primarily for those tuning in by remote participation but should be a good primer for all members and supporters interested in Congress.

What Pirate Congress is: the two-day peak annual event for deciding the most important questions relevant to the party.

How to participate: Everyone is welcome to participate in person at the Payneham Community Centre, Adelaide, or by attending remotely through watching the livestream and joining the chat server (details below).

Agenda: https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Pirate_Congress_2019/Agenda

Main components:

  • Address from the outgoing National Council on the state of the party and its future.
  • Proposals to change the electoral policy platform
  • Proposals to change the party constitution, structure, name, etc
  • Elections for the National Council of the next year
  • Strategic discussions for the future of the party

Throughout the weekend there will be a number of votes on various issues (policy amendments, constitutional amendments, etc). Members attending in person will vote with either a green card (affirmative) or red card (negative). Members attending remotely will vote aye or nay in text chat. Typically, once a vote has passed at Congress it will go on to a full party referendum before being adopted by the party.

The event will be live streamed and there will be constant discussion through a number of channels including on the floor, remote text chat, remote voice chat, Twitter and Facebook. Members formally remote attending should join IRC and view the stream at a minimum in order to follow along and vote. Members wishing to address Congress (the right of all members) may have their comments read out via text chat, personally address Congress through Discord audio, or personally address Congress through Skype video.

If you are a remote attendee, please identify yourself to the Secretary Alex Jago after joining chat so you may be given voting privileges.

If you are a remote attendee and may wish to make a Discord audio or Skype video address, please PM your details to the Congress Remote Chair or email nationalcouncil@pirateparty.org.au then make yourself known in chat when you would like to speak.

Full congress information can be found at https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Pirate_Congress_2019

Secretary’s Report for 2018-19

It’s been an interesting year, and not just because we had an election!

Internal Organisation

First of all I want to thank everyone who’s helped out this year, including my fellow NC.

The Party’s primary challenge in previous years, this year and next year remains the same as far as I’m concerned: growing the membership base. I say this with my Registered Officer hat as much as my Secretary hat; passing the AEC membership audits are always a substantial hurdle.

Further, Pirate Party Australia is meant to be a member-driven organisation. Without higher rates of active participation it just can’t work that way.

With respect, our organisational approach at the moment is prioritising member privacy over basically everything else. The Secretariat is, by design, a communications bottleneck between coordinators and ordinary members.

This is a problem, because the party’s single best tool for communicating with members is the mass mailout. And people don’t seem to be particularly responsive to that.

President Miles Whiticker has talked about substantially empowering local coordinators earlier in the year by giving them more access to contact details. We have a bunch of work that needs doing on our membership management software to enable that, and I hope we can get it done in the coming year.

The participation problem has become particularly apparent in the past year where we finished National Congress with four of nine National Council positions unfilled. At time of writing this report, nobody has nominated for this year’s NC either (including me!) so the problem clearly isn’t resolved yet.

In conclusion, we need both more people and more participation. If you have experience with solving either of those problems, the Party absolutely needs your help. Just rocking up on the forums every day and making it be an active space is also helpful.

Election-specific notes

I want to begin by thanking our candidates.

We started off well by running preselection early, in spring last year. The goal is for preselection to be done a full year in advance, and that accurately reflects the timeframes of a good campaign. We got it done about 9 months out, which worked OK.

Contesting elections in Australia are a significant physical-logistical activity.

We leant heavily on our wonderful candidates for logistics this time around; much more than I would’ve preferred.

As a result our organisation in Melbourne in particular was almost definitely lacking. No current National Council members live there, and our Victorian candidates don’t either. Meanwhile in other states, similar problems likely occurred outside the capitals.

As Treasurer Mark Gibbons can tell you, we currently spend most of our election budgets paying AEC nomination deposits. This is almost a fixed cost - again, more members can only help.

Something that we spent a lot of time and energy on behind the scenes was dealing with what I’m going to call “policy/pledge” documents. What we need to spend some time thinking about is how strictly we want those responses to remain within the letter of endorsed policy, rather than logically extending it. I’m sure those of our candidates who are here can say more on that later.

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