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What is the membership fee and what does it cover?
The membership fee is $20 per year. This covers everything (see Member Benefits) except for the face-to-face workshops, the annual conference and merchandise. These three things obviously have additional costs involved due to venue hire and product.
Why is the membership fee so little?
Birth work is a passion-driven vocation. We recognise that many doulas are working part-time or casually. Some may only be attending a few births a year and some may be struggling to find clients at all! This is why we have priced the membership fee as low as possible to cater to everyone. Charging more could exclude some doulas (and probably the doulas who really need the support!) and we really wanted membership to be accessible to ALL doulas. By keeping the fee low, we enable every doula in Australia to participate no matter what their situation.
What is the membership fee for?
Do Committee members or Local Group Coordinators get paid?
Committee members and Local Group Coordinators generously help on a volunteer basis. An enormous amount 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. Members must be up-to-date with their membership fee in order to vote on such issues. The financial records are open to any member to inspect. There is also a safeguard, in that, any withdrawal of money from the bank account requires the authorization of two "public officers" (usually the treasurer and another appointed committee member).
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 like a "club" or "union". Members are shareholders in the Association.
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 on the Links page. If you see an option missing please let us know so we can update the page!
Any "training" that the Association provides, 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 don't feel it is necessary to have a specific Code of Conduct. We are especially mindful that the purpose of a Code of Conduct is usually to stipulate how a doula should practice. We specifically do not wish to tell doulas how to practice. There is nothing inherently wrong with having a Code of Conduct. We just don't feel that the Association should get involved in 'policing' doulas and how they practice. There are many different perspectives on how to do this. We are inclusive of all doulas and practicing philosophies.
Is the Association a regulating body?
Do I have to have attended training to become a member?
I am already a member of another group of doulas. Does that mean I cannot be involved in Doula Network Australia?
What is the role of the Committee?
Do I have a say in how the Association is run?
- how it is run
- financial decisions
- ideas for improvement
- who is on the Committee