|This article reads like a news release, or is otherwise written in an overly promotional tone. (September 2014)|
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (January 2007)|
The Association of Apex Clubs of Australia is the collective name given to the 330 individual Apex Clubs (service clubs) throughout Australia. An Apex club is a community service club, neither sectarian nor party political, that provides young civic minded people the opportunity to volunteer within the community as well as develop personally through club run schemes such as public speaking competitions. Club members are volunteers between the ages of 18 and 45.
Members of the association of Apex Clubs of Australia all share the same ideals:
- To make the ideal of service the basis of all enterprise
- To develop by example a more intelligent and aggressive citizenship
- To provide means of forming enduring friendships, and rendering altruistic service and building better communities
- To promote international understanding and friendship.
The first Apex Club started in Geelong in 1931 when three architects attempted to join the Rotary Club of Geelong. As Rotary has a rule restricting one profession to each club the three architects – Ewan Laird, Langham Proud and John Buchan went on to form the Apex Club of Geelong.
Up until the early 1990s Apex only allowed male members. From this point until the 2006 National Convention, each Club had the choice of whether their Club was gender specific or mixed. It was decided at the National Convention of 2006 to merge the gender specific clubs (and boards) into one and for all clubs to accept members of both genders to their clubs.
There are clubs in every state and territory of Australia and within each state there are several districts which clubs belong to. There are approximately 400 active clubs. Membership is open to all males and females between the ages of 18 and 45. Apex Youth Clubs are also being introduced that are school based which sees members between the ages of 14 to 18.
Apex undertakes a range of activities aimed at youth with its major programs including running a Public Speaking competition in all states and holding a national debating final which both happen at the annual National Convention in July. Apex also runs the Teenage Fashion Awards in each state with the top 3 in each section heading to the national final, that is held in October of each year. Other events include the “Toyota Muster” held outside Gympie each year, as well as ute musters, B&S balls, and pretty much anything a club decides to organise.
Apex over the years has raised large amounts of money to put into trust funds which then distribute grants each year, this is the responsibility of the Apex Foundation.