Diversity on Boards - Indigenous
Increasing the variety of people who serve on your Board offers the opportunity to tap into a rich pool of talented candidates, bringing new voices, experiences and approaches to the decision-making process. It will also help you to add depth to existing skills and ideas and, perhaps most importantly, bring the Board closer to properly representing its stakeholders.
Greater diversity will also expand the networks available to your group, help you to reach your "audience," increase the profile of your group and build support for what you are doing in key constituencies.
A number of studies have found that having a diverse Board can also bring about better organisational performance – both financial and non-financial. Diversity makes for better governance – and better governance inevitably means better results.
Reaching out to include Indigenous people
on Boards will allow services, groups and the wider community to become more welcoming to Australia's first people.
Below we have listed a range of resources that will help you to make your Board more inclusive of Indigenous people. This list will expand over coming months so keep coming back to check for more resources.
In their own words
- Do you have a story to tell about being an Indigenous person serving on Boards and
Committees? Email your story to email@example.com.
- The NSW Premier's Department maintains a register of
people who have expressed an interest in a Board or Committee
appointment. It encourages suitably qualified people from diverse
backgrounds to apply.
- The WA Government has a website which provides access to
information relating to government boards and committees, including
statutory requirements, functions and membership details. It also allows
members of the public to register online to the Interested Persons Register,
while allowing access to the Register by Ministers and their agencies to
assist in finding suitable nominees for Boards and Committees.
- The Queensland Register of Nominees to Government
Bodies is a confidential listing of people who are interested in being
appointed to government boards, committees and statutory authorities.
All Queenslanders are eligible to join the register. Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander people, women, people with knowledge and
expertise on multiculturalism, young people and people with a
disability are encouraged to apply to join. The register is consulted
by Ministers when a vacancy becomes available.
- The Australian Government's Living in Harmony initiative is designed
to strengthen community harmony and address issues of racism in
Australia. The initiative is primarily a community-based education
program, which encourages communities to play a positive role through
three elements: a community grants program; a partnerships program; and
a Harmony Day, held on March 21 each year.
- As a
Matter of Fact: Answering the myths and misconceptions about Indigenous
Australians is a publication that aims to promote greater
understanding within the Australian community of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander history and issues.
- The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Studies is an independent Commonwealth
Government statutory authority devoted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander studies. It describes itself as Australia's premier
institution for information about the cultures and lifestyles of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- The Queensland Government has produced Protocols for
Consultation and Negotiation with Aboriginal People to aid in
communication across cultures.
- Getting it Right: A Journalist's Guide to
working with Indigenous Communities was produced by the NSW
Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the Sydney Organising Committee
for the Olympic Games. It was intended to inform visiting and local
media of relevant issues, appropriate contacts and culturally sensitive
practices for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
communities. Information may be also be of interest to people working
with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people for the first time.
- The ABC's Message Stick website has produced an
Indigenous Protocol site, which aims to help journalists, filmmakers,
producers and documentary makers to understand the importance of
abiding by Indigenous protocols.
- The Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre
is a non-profit organisation which aims to foster the development of
leadership ability and skills of Indigenous people, conduct educational
and experiential courses and seminars, develop education and training
materials, promote Indigenous leadership skills and ability and create
forums for Indigenous people to share ideas, experience and skills.
- indigenous.gov.au is an internet portal
that provides access to Indigenous services and information located on
government internet sites.
- Reconciliation Australia's Governance Program
includes: the Indigenous Governance Awards, which encourage, reward and
promote best practice in Indigenous Governance; the development of a
best practice manual and associated tools on good governance for use in
Indigenous communities and regions; communication through all levels of
government to have Indigenous Governance recognised as a key issue for
the social and economic wellbeing of Indigenous peoples and communities;
and development of a framework for a major governance research project.
- Reconciliation Australia also has a
searchable database of reconciliation activities and events.
- The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Studies website contains links to resources from
across the internet.
- The Aboriginal Studies WWW Virtual Library
is a research tool containing links to a range of resources, including
an online bookstore.
- The Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Languages is the national body for community based
Indigenous language programs in Australia. It was established to
promote the maintenance, retrieval and revival of Indigenous languages,
through the support of community-based language programs.
- The Aboriginal Languages of Australia
website contains annotated links to 180 resources for about 60
Do you know of any resources that may be of
use to organisations wanting to be more inclusive of Indigenous people ?
Send your comments, ideas and links to firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Australian
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission is an independent
statutory organisation, reporting to the Federal Parliament through the
Attorney-General. Its goal is to foster greater understanding and
protection of human rights in Australia and address the human rights
concerns of a broad range of individuals and groups. The Commission's
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner works
to keep Indigenous issues befor the Federal Government and the
Australian community to promote understanding and respect for the rights
of Indigenous Australians.
- The Commonwealth
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
is part of the Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
Portfolio, the responsibilities of which include ethnic and
- The National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group
is comprised of 15 young Indigenous Australians aged between 18 and 24
and selected through a national nomination process. Members have strong
leadership skills, have made significant achievements in their lives,
are role models and have assisted with the growth of their communities.
- The former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Commission (ATSIC) was Australia's peak Indigenous organisation
until June 2004. Parts of the Commission's website have been archived and contain a range of
for Native Title and Reconciliation supports Indigenous rights and
- The Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy
Research (CAEPR) is a multidisciplinary social sciences research
centre, with a primary focus on Indigenous Australian economic policy
and economic development issues, including native title and land
rights, social justice, and the socio-economic status of Indigenous
- Reconciliation Australia is a
non-government, not-for-profit foundation established in 2001 to
provide a continuing national focus for reconciliation. The Foundation
identifies and promotes examples of reconciliation in action so that
others can share the good idea and add their support, and monitors
Australia's progress towards reconciliation so that government,
business and the community can take responsibility to back up words
with real commitment.
- The Torres Strait Regional Authority aims to
strengthen the economic, social and cultural development of the Torres
Strait to improve the lifestyle and wellbeing of Torres Strait
Islanders and Aboriginal people living in the region.
- The NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs works
with Aboriginal people, government agencies, and the private and
community sectors to promote the interests of Aboriginal people in NSW
and reduce the inequity they continue to experience as a result of
- The mission of the WA Department of Indigenous Affairs is to
close the gap between the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of
Indigenous and non-Indigenous people through strategic leadership of
land, heritage and culture, and whole of government coordination of