In the Anglican Church, a diocese is governed by a synod (pr. [sin-uhd]), that is, a bishop acting with the advice and consent of representatives of the clergy and laity of the diocese.*
The presiding bishop (in the case of the Diocese of Melbourne, the Archbishop) calls the synod to meet, usually annually, to discuss, debate and decide on various matters of business such as the Diocesan budget, legislation for consideration by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia, and other issues that concern the church.
The synod also elects people to various committees and boards in the Diocese, as well as choosing General Synod representatives.
The synod is divided into the House of Clergy, and the House of Laity. All clergy licensed to the Diocese of Melbourne are automatically members of the synod. Parishes elect lay synod representatives from their congregation. The number of representatives from each parish depends on the structure and size of the parish.
In the Diocese of Melbourne, a special election synod is also called when necessary to elect an Archbishop.