Media Release

Posted: January 31, 2018

New Community Directors Council on a mission for not-for-profit directors

By Matthew Schulz, journalist, Our Community

Ten top not-for-profit advocates and thinkers have joined former Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) chief Susan Pascoe as formation members of the Community Directors Council.

The new advisory arm of the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) — which represents thousands of community board members — brings a wealth of talent, experience, skills and direction to the organisation.

They’ve held senior roles in government, business, academia, and at the coalface of community organisations, bringing specialist knowledge of not-for-profit law, finance, governance, theory and change management to the table.

The Council will be chaired by Susan Pascoe (AM). Susan was the Inaugural ACNC commissioner, and is currently the chair of both the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and the Principals Australia Institute Certification Advisory Board.

The council’s role will be to provide high level governance advice and to advocate for the needs of community directors, Ms Pascoe said.

“Given the eminent nature of the members of the board, I’m really hoping that they will be able to use their knowledge and their skills and their creative ideas to collectively enhance good governance training in the not-for-profit sector in Australia. I would like to see ICDA become a beacon — a badge of recognition — of good training, good capacity and good governance in Australia.

“My time with the ACNC and elsewhere has shown me charities and not-for-profits really are the engine room of our nation’s generosity, culture and the Australia ‘fair go’ spirit.

“Ensuring those organisations are well governed is so important, and community directors have a crucial role in making that happen.

“The Institute of Community Directors Australia, as its name suggests, has always considered the needs of community directors first.

Susan Pascoe

“And, while similar, those needs aren’t always the same as company directors. That’s why this council has become an essential and necessary addition to the institute, and I have no doubt our members will benefit.”

Among the council’s early tasks will be to:

  • Steer the ongoing development of ICDA’s Diploma of Business (Governance) the nation’s only diploma-level governance qualification
  • Guide the development of the institute’s extensive resources, training, and events programs, including the annual national conference
  • Build a powerful network of interests to best advocate for community directors in every sphere

The council will meet for the first time, next month at the Institute of Community Directors Australia headquarters in Melbourne.

ICDA is one of the eight enterprises of Our Community, the social enterprise set up to help the country’s 600,000 not-for-profits.

Our Community Chair, Carol Schwartz AM said the council’s presence would help drive ICDA’s main goal of creating more capable community directors.

“More than ever there’s increased pressure on community directors around funding, their time, and increasing regulation and this eminent council will help build even more capacity in the governance structures of community organisations,” Ms Schwartz said.

The rest of the new board will comprise:

Myles Emeritus Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes

The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, Queensland University of Technology Business School

Kristy Professor Kristy Muir

CEO, Centre for Social Impact and Professor of Social Policy at UNSW, Sydney

Cynthia Professor Cynthia Mitchell

Deputy Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney

Jahna Jahna Cedar

Executive Officer, Gumala Aboriginal Corporation

Sonja Sonja Hood

CEO, Community Hubs Australia

Jodi Jodi Kennedy

General Manager, Charitable Trusts and Philanthropy, Equity Trustees

Sheena Sheena Boughen

Culture strategist, community activist, arts leader

Pablo Gimenez Pablo Alfredo Gimenez

Social enterprise development manager, Centre for Participation

Catherine Catherine Brooks

Principal, workplace relations specialist, Moores Legal

Anne Anne Cross

Non-executive director, former Uniting Care Queensland CEO, Adjunct Professor, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Queensland