A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.

 Reprinted from (12 Steps and 12 Traditions Pg 15) with permission of AA World Services Inc.


1.     We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2.     Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3.     Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM.

4.     Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5.     Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6.     Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7.     Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8.     Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9.     Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10.  Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11.  Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12.  Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Reprinted from (Alcoholics Anonymous Pg 59-60) with permission of AA World Services Inc.

Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider another's conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men.

Reprinted from (Alcoholics Anonymous Pg 46) with permission of AA World Services Inc.

Some of the ways the Elders of the Fellowship
(The First 100 who recovered from alcoholism)
Referred to their conceptions of God.

GOD as we understood him

•      Creator

•      Czar of the Heavens

•      Spirit of the Universe

•      God of Reason

•      Power greater than Ourselves

•      Great Reality

•      Universal Mind

•      Presence of infinite Power and Love

•      New found Friend

•      Employer

•      GOD

•      All Powerful Creator

•      Father of Light

•      Spirit of Nature

•      Infinite Power

•      Higher Power

•      Supreme Being

•      Realm of the Spirit

•      Director

•      Maker

•      Creative Intelligence

Reprinted from (Alcoholics Anonymous) with permission of AA World Services Inc.


A.A.’s Twelve Traditions apply to the life of the Fellowship itself. They outline the means by which A.A. maintains its unity and relates itself to the world about it, the way it lives and grows.

Reprinted from (12 Steps and 12 Traditions Pg 15) with permission of AA World Services Inc.

[Short Form]

One--Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.

Two--For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority--a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

Three--The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Four--Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups, or A.A. as a whole.

Five--Each group has but one primary purpose--to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Six--An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise; lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

Seven--Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

Eight--Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

Nine--A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

Ten--Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

Eleven--Our public relations policy is based upon attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.

Twelve--Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Reprinted from (Alcoholics Anonymous Pg 562) with permission of AA World Services Inc.


“The Twelve Concepts for World Service were written by A.A.’s co-founder Bill W, and were adopted by the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1962. The Concepts are an interpretation of A.A.’s world service structure as it emerged through A.A.’s early history and experience.”

(Service Material from the General Service Office)

The Twelve Concepts for World Service

1.  Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.

2.  The General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly every practical purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience ofour whole Society in its world affairs.

3.  To insure effective leadership, we should endow each elementof A.A.--the Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations,staffs, committees, and executives--with a traditional "Right of Decision."

4.  At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional"Right of Participation," allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.

5.  Throughout our structure, a traditional "Right of Appeal"ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration.

6.  The Conference recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility in most world service matters should be exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the General Service Board.

7.  The Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments, empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service affairs. The Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon tradition and the A.A. purse for final effectiveness.

8.  The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of overall policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect all the directors of these entities.

9.  Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for ourfuture functioning and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercisedby the founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees.

10.  Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority well defined.

11.  The trustees should always have the best possible committees,corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition,qualifications, induction procedures, and rights and duties will alwaysbe matters of serious concern.

12.  The Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. tradition,taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power;that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle;that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves,it will always remain democratic in thought and action.

Reprinted from ("Alcoholics Anonymous ") Pg. 574, 575 with permission of AA World Services Inc.


The  newcomer  soon  learns  about  the  importance  of  Twelfth  Step  Work  -  service  to  another alcoholic which helps both giver and receiver to stay sober.   The member then sees such work broadened  to  include  Central  Service  Office  or  Intergroup  service  and  institutional  committee service.

  Finally, General Services.  What are they?

 In Bill W’s fine introduction to this Manual, he tells how general services grew to fill a need beyond the reach of individual, Group, Central Office and Intergroup.

 The Twelve Traditions make clear the principle that AA as such, should never be organised, that there are no bosses and no government in AA. Yet at the same time, the Traditions recognise the need for some kind of organisation to carry the message in ways that are impossible for the local Groups – such as publication of a uniform literature and public information resources, helping new Groups get started, publishing a national or international magazine, and carrying the message in other languages into other countries. Therefore whilst the local Groups, Intergroups and Districts are mostly concerned with local 12th  Step work by providing ‘Central’ Service, ie coalface AA, ‘General’ Service is concerned with those services which affect AA as a whole - services that these local Groups are unable to provide.

  Today,  the  term  ‘General  Service’  is  applied  to  all  kinds  of  activities  within  the  Conference structure,  carried  on  by  District  Committees,  Area  Committees,  Area  Delegates,  Trustees  and General Service Office staff.  Almost  always, they  are  part  of AA’s  distinctive  Unity  which  allows the Fellowship to function so well.

The Australian AA Service Manual Eight Edition 2012 Pg.20

AA Service Australia