Media Release

February 18, 2014

Australia's 1.1 million-strong army of hard-working not-for-profit board and committee members are the focus of a new body launched today by award-winning social enterprise Our Community.

The Institute of Community Directors Australia - - will serve as a key source of knowledge, connections and credentials for not-for-profit board members and the senior staff who work alongside them.

Launching the Institute in Melbourne on Monday, February 17, University of Western Sydney Chancellor Professor Peter Shergold AC threw his support behind the Institute's new Diploma of Business (Governance).

Prof Shergold said the leaders of community based organisations should be accepted and acknowledged for their professional expertise, managerial capacity and leadership.

"That, for me, most of all, is why this course is so important," he said. "That's why I support it so wholeheartedly - because it says categorically that the skills we expect from our board directors and our senior executives are just as valuable and just as worthwhile and, frankly, even more important than those in the private and public sector."

Prof Shergold, who founded of the Centre for Social Impact and for five years was Australia's most senior public servant, said the community sector was a vitally important, rich and complex sector.

"We need leaders who come from a position of the heart, but we need people also who can lead from the head," he said.

Our Community Chair Carol Schwartz AM said the Institute of Community Directors Australia built on Our Community's work over the past decade to deliver information, tools and training to Australian not-for-profit organisations.

"The Institute of Community Directors Australia has really been a natural extension of what we've been doing for 15 years - building capacity, educating our members and our subscribers, and making sure that we are facilitating the best type of governance, the best type of involvement with community organisations we possibly could," she said.

Key facets of the Institute include:

  • A Diploma of Business (Governance) - a tailored qualification for not-for-profit board members: Dip. Bus (Gov)
  • Credentials - three membership options: FICDA (Fellow of the Institute of Community Directors Australia); MICDA (Member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia; and AMICDA (Associate Member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia), providing community and professional recognition for educated and engaged not-for-profit board members
  • Board Matching Service - a free online service to help create connections and aid board upskilling and renewal
  • Policy Bank - sample policies in the areas of governance, human resources, financial management, values and communications
  • Information, news and tools - regular newsletters, training and networking events, governance help sheets and news, and practical, downloadable templates and tools.

The Institute of Community Directors Australia is the latest initiative added to the Our Community stable of enterprises. Group Managing Director Denis Moriarty said the not-for-profit landscape was changing markedly.

"Not-for-profit board members used to be seen as little more than 'time donors', congratulated for their commitment but often excused from too-high expectations," Mr Moriarty said.

"It's time to stop patronising the people who oversee the finances and the direction of the 600,000 organisations that make up the $100 billion not-for-profit sector.

"Not-for-profit governance is different to corporate governance - the Institute of Community Directors Australia will ensure that not-for-profit directors have the knowledge and connections they need to do the job well, and that they'll feel supported and connected throughout their term."

More information:

Denis Moriarty | 03 9320 6800 |