A new voice for community directors
Community directors across Australia have a powerful new advocate, with the formation of a high-level governance advisory council.
The Community Directors Council – a new advisory arm of the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA), one of the eight enterprises of Our Community – will be headed by outgoing Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM.
ICDA hosts Australia’s only recognised diploma-level governance qualification, the Diploma of Business (Governance), which is tailored for not-for-profit directors.
ICDA’s new advisory council will be charged with guiding development of the institute’s curriculum and programs, and representing the interests of community directors.
The role is the first Ms Pascoe has accepted at the end of a seminal five-year term setting up and running the ACNC, which now regulates the nation’s 55,000 charities and guides its 600,000 not-for-profits. Ms Pascoe is due to finish on September 30.
Chairing ICDA’s Community Directors Council would continue her mission of strengthening community groups, Ms Pascoe said.
“I’ve long been committed to improving the governance of the community sector, and am passionate about the contribution that community organisations make to the social fabric of the nation,” she said.
Our Community’s chair and Reserve Bank member Carol Schwartz AM said Ms Pascoe was a perfect fit for the new advisory council.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Susan has agreed to chair this very important council, which will continue ICDA’s important work to reshape not-for-profit governance,” Ms Schwartz said.
“We’re very fortunate to have secured the support of the most respected regulator in the country to head up this new body.”
Our Community group managing director Denis Moriarty said the council would drive ICDA’s goals of increasing community directors’ capabilities, in a sector that boasts 11% of the nation’s workers, and to better equip them to face a unique set of governance, funding, and political challenges.
“This council will boost the effectiveness of our diploma for not-for-profit directors and continue to showcase the similarities and fundamental differences between a company director and a community director,” Mr Moriarty said.
“At the moment, we don’t have enough people effectively trained to take up the challenges of a tough funding environment, rising time commitments, and increasing governance requirements,” he said.
Since its formation in 2014, ICDA’s membership had “grown and matured significantly” and was now in a position to represent the whole sector, Mr Moriarty said.
“The council will help us ensure the training we provide for board members and senior staff managing community organisations remains the most relevant, practical and affordable in the country,” he said.
The 10-member council will have representatives drawn from groups including the sporting, faith, education, community development and international aid areas, with Ms Pascoe at the helm.
“Susan is well placed to reshape our agenda and to address the current and emerging challenges that community directors are facing,” Mr Moriarty said.
Mr Moriarty announced the Community Directors Council’s formation this week at the Commonwealth Bank’s Not-for-Profit Finance Week awards, hosted in Sydney to recognise the efforts of the best community treasurers in the country.
Prizes were awarded for those who contributed to a bank of shared resources that represented the best examples of treasurers’ tools, while nearly 2000 volunteers received certificates marking their contribution as a community treasurer.
Denis Moriarty| firstname.lastname@example.org