Formation of the Office

The Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step Office in Prahran opened in November 2010.

who set up AA 12 Step Office Incorporated?
The office was formed by several groups which together were concerned that AA needed a new central service office for the metropolitan area of Melbourne.

A meeting was held on 14th August 2010 to discuss the establishment of a Central Service Office. Fifteen groups were interested and nominations to form a sub-committee were sought. Eleven members nominated and on September 8th, 2010 the first meeting was held. Three members of the committee were authorised to carry out the legal business for establishing an office.

The 12 Step Office was established and is operated through an incorporated association, AA 12 Step Office Inc., at premises at 46 Porter Street Prahran. The affairs of the 12 Step Office are conducted in accordance with AA principles, guidelines (GL=12) and Traditions, through an inclusive and informed Group Conscience.

On the advice of the General Service Office of Australia these founding groups adapted the Constitution of the Brisbane Central Service Office (an Incorporated Association), with only a few changes to suit local circumstances.

Application for the legal right to use the words Alcoholics Anonymous* and A.A. logos* as well as to sell AA Conference approved literature to the groups was sought and granted by the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Australia.

what is a Central Service Office or an Intergroup?
Central Service Offices or Intergroups are service offices and/or telephone answering services established under Tradition 9 to assist the groups in the common primary purpose of carrying the message. They are not part of the General Service Structure but it is important that they can work with their local districts and areas.

They are established by partnerships among groups in a local community or metropolitan area. The CSOs or intergroups have no authority on their own account and are responsible to the participating groups. Volunteer members of the Steering Committee are elected by representatives of the groups supporting the office and are responsible for the financial and legal integrity of the 12 Step Office and the day to day management of its affairs

Can we have more than one intergroup or central service office?
It is open to groups in a geographical area to start an intergroup or CSO (or answering service) that serves their area. In large metropolitan areas, it is not uncommon to see several CSOs that serve groups in their local area. For example, there are 5 offices serving greater Sydney, 5 others in NSW and 7 in Queensland.

The AA 12 Step Office exists to support AA groups in Melbourne to carry AA’s message of recovery to the still suffering alcoholic – our Primary Purpose. Its primary functions include: providing a 12th Step telephone service (including referring 12th Step calls to members or groups for follow up), providing meetings lists, selling AA Conference Approved literature, AA Grapevine and AA service items.

Elected representatives of The Participating Groups (Central Service Representatives) and the Steering Committee are the members of the Incorporated Association. The Steering Committee is responsible for the financial and legal integrity of the 12th Step Office and the day to day management of its affairs. Members of the Steering Committee are elected by representatives of the Groups supporting the office.

relation to AA
The AA 12th Step office serves, and is accountable to the groups which support it (participating groups). It must cooperate with all AA entities from individuals, to groups to then to Districts and Areas and any parts of the AA Conference Structure involved in carrying AA’s message.

group representative meetings
General Meetings are composed of nominated Group Representatives -known in AA as Central Service Representatives (CSR’s) and the Steering Committee (the Committee) Members.

In keeping with the principle of each group having only one voice, observers may not participate in discussions or votes. However, in some circumstances, the Chairperson may exercise their discretion to invite a non-CSR to speak when that person has special knowledge and/or information on a subject, the sharing of which will help produce a more informed outcome. Elected Alternate Representatives will have participation and voting rights only when attending in place of the CSR.

central service representatives (CSRs)
The CSRs are elected by the participating AA Groups, i.e. those groups which support the activities of, and are members of, 12 Step Office Inc. It is suggested that CSRs have a minimum of 2 years sobriety.

Ideally each group will also elect an Alternate Representative who will assist throughout his/her two-year term and stand in for the CSR when he/she is unavailable.

The AA 12 Step Office Steering Committee scrupulously follows the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous always. The purpose of the office is act as a coordinating body that supports 12th Step work of AA groups in the greater Melbourne area, to be an information hub to groups, and to sell literature to the groups. The office is responsible and accountable to the groups who support it.

In keeping with AA’s Seventh Tradition of self-support, we only accept contributions from AA members and AA groups. These contributions pay for the phone service, the rent and overheads.

In Love and Service,
Your 12 Step Office Steering Committee

* The words “Alcoholics Anonymous” are the registered Trade Marks of the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Australia