History of Intergroups in Australia

Sydney Intergroup

Sydney Intergroup was the first intergroup in Australia, commencing around 1996. Since then there was a patchy history of intergroups in other areas:

  • Victorian Intergroup opened, then closed, then reopened again
  • Perth and Gold Coast intergroups opened, then closed
  • Adelaide Intergroup opened

By 2021 Sydney, Victorian and Adelaide intergroups were all having difficulty filling service positions, whilst at some level duplicating functions and services.

Sydney Intergroup made decisions for the national fellowship regarding the website, public liability insurance and literature. Donations to Sydney Intergroup were received from Victorian and Adelaide Intergroups and groups across the country. 

Sydney Intergroup had operated as a de facto national Intergroup, while not having representatives from the vast majority of the groups in Australia. 

Sydney Intergroup Constitution only allowed for in-person meetings, in the greater Sydney area, to be represented. As at August 2022 that was 9 in-person meetings. There were 67 in-person and virtual meetings, listed on the Australian website.

Australian Intergroup Planning

This Discussion Paper from 2020, put together by some SLAA members, presented some ideas about the how and why of a national intergroup.

In 2021 Victorian Intergroup proposed a national intergroup and the Sydney Intergroup agreed, in principle. Some years prior to this Sydney Intergroup had proposed a national intergroup to the Melbourne fellowship. With no functioning intergroup at the time, and no response received by Sydney Intergroup, the issue died. 

Contacts from the meeting database were used to communicate with the national fellowship via broadcast emails. Members nationwide were invited to planning meetings, held between July 2021 and February 2022. As Sydney Intergroup was performing national functions and was the only Intergroup with a constitution, the best means of achieving a national intergroup was seen to be to amend the Sydney Intergroup Constitution. The planning meetings developed draft constitutional amendments and other ideas for the future Australian Intergroup. 

The Draft Constitutional amendments were submitted, by Sydney Intergroup, to the national fellowship on March 20, 2022, for feedback by April 30, 2022. In response to feedback, Sydney Intergroup further refined the amendments, which were submitted to Sydney groups in June 2022, advising of the Intergroup vote on August 13, 2022. 

At the Sydney Intergroup Meeting, of Saturday August 13, 2022, the Sydney Intergroup Constitution was amended to create the Australian Intergroup.

The Traditions

The constitutional amendments transitioned Sydney Intergroup into the Australian Intergroup, giving representation to all Australian in-person and virtual groups, consistent with Tradition 9.

SLAA as such ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.The Twelve Traditions

Thank you to the Sydney Fellowship

At the first meeting of the Australian Intergroup on September 10, 2022 the following motion was passed unanimously.

The Australian Intergroup expresses its gratitude to the Sydney fellowship for providing national services to the Australian SLAA fellowship, through the Sydney Intergroup, for over 25 years.