The Commonwealth of Australia – the official title of the Australian nation, established when the 6 states representing the 6 British colonies joined together at federation in 1901. In terms of the Fair Work Act and the WHS Act, the Commonwealth is represented by the various Government Departments and other Commonwealth entities, including a Commonwealth Authority or a body corporate incorporated in a Territory.
A Commonwealth employee is a person who holds an office or appointment in the Australian Public Service, or holds an administrative office, or is employed by a public authority of the Commonwealth.
There are approximately 150 Commonwealth authorities. Examples of Commonwealth authorities include:
A Flipchart listing Commonwealth statutory authorities is available on the Department of Finance and Deregulation's website.
The term body corporate refers to any artificial legal entity having a separate legal personality.
These entities have perpetual succession; they also have the power to act, hold property, enter into legal contracts and sue and be sued in their own name, just as a natural person can.
The types of entities falling into these categories are broad, and include:
Included in the definition of body corporate are entities created by:
If an entity is not established under an Act of Parliament, or under a statutory procedure of registration, such as the Corporations Law or an Incorporation Act, it is generally not a body corporate.
Each state and territory has legislation that allows various kinds of non-profit bodies to become bodies corporate. Bodies incorporated under these Acts are normally community, cultural, educational or charitable type organisations.
Perpetual succession is the feature of a company which means that it continues to have its own legal identity, regardless of changes in its membership.