The Australian Student Christian Movement (ASCM) dates back to a convention in Melbourne on June 6th 1896, at which representatives of Christian student groups throughout Australasia, recognising that they had a common purpose, adopted a Constitution and founded the Australian Student Christian Union. This new organisation subsequently applied for and was granted affiliation with the World Student Christian Federation, a then newly formed international body representing Christian student groups around the world.
At a business meeting in Rangiora, New Zealand, in December 1912, it was decided to change the name of the organisation from Union to Movement. In January 1921, by concurrent decisions of conventions in Australia and New Zealand, it was decided to have separate organisations in Australia and New Zealand, with the change being subsequently endorsed by the World Student Christian Federation.
For many years, the ASCM was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee. In 2003, however, for simplicity, the organisation decided to re-incorporate as an Incorporated Association, under Victorian legislation. The ASCM is thus a legal entity, governed by a Constitution, otherwise known as Association Rules. The ASCM is formally divided into regional State Councils, representing Australian states, and the administration generally falls to the National Coordinator.
The ASCM Association is affiliated with the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), the global federation of student Christian groups. The Federation has member groups around the world and is organised around the six regions of Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America. The ASCM Association is part of the Asia-Pacific region of the Federation. In addition, the ASCM Association has a history over many years of directly cooperating with student Christian groups and other like-minded groups within the Asia-Pacific Region.