Co-operatives in Australia: A Manual

Co-ops NSW is the peak body for co-operatives in NSW, supporting, representing and promoting co-operatives and co-operative enterprise. It is a co-operative itself, being made up of member co-operatives, large and small, from all co-operative business and community sectors.

The first edition of this manual was prepared by Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast with the support of Co-ops NSW following the United Nations International Year for Co-operatives in 2012.

This second updated edition has been prepared by Co-ops NSW with the support of the Federal Government’s Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program.

Uniform law for co-operatives across Australia is now almost a reality with the Co-operatives National Law and Regulations adopted in all but one jurisdiction (Queensland) at this time.

This manual explains what co-operatives are and provides help for starting, running and closing co-operatives.

We hope that the information will assist everyone active in co-operatives in Australia, promote the value of co-operatives, and enhance the unique benefits that only co-operatives, member-owned and democratically controlled, deliver to their communities.

Richard O’Leary
Chair, Co-ops NSW

The co-operative model is a powerful workhorse for social good, with a long history of success in Australia. This manual provides valuable background reading for anyone interested in joining or starting a co-op, or for existing co-op managers. Farming Together is proud to have enabled this resource to be available online.

Lorraine Gordon
Director, Farming Together

Browse the Manual online