Governance and leadership discussions at the Better Boards Conference


ACNC Innovations to Support Board Governance

Dr Gary Johns

Commissioner, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Dr Gary Johns has been the Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission since late 2017. He took up the role following a long and varied career in public service and policy advice, including as the author or editor of nine books on public policy. He was an inaugural board member of Volunteers Australia, a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Community Partnership, and served on the committee to design the Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

The ACNC is committed to supporting and sustaining a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative not-for-profit sector, which includes providing guidance and support to boards.

Good governance is key to the sustainability of Australian charities and not-for-profits and to maintain public confidence in the work they do.

It’s strategically important for boards to understand where their organisation fits into the ecosystem, who is doing complementary or similar work, where they differentiate, and where collaboration would deliver better outcomes for your beneficiaries.

Dr Johns will provide an overview of new free tools and resources developed by the ACNC to support charity (and not-for-profit) boards. In March 2022 the ACNC launched new search functionality on the ACNC Charity Register that provides a new way for charities to connect with donors, volunteers and each other, opening a world of opportunities for the sector to connect, collaborate and innovate.

Dr Johns will explain the benefits of the ACNC Register and present a demonstration. He will also provide an overview of the ACNC’s new free interactive online learning program launched on 28th July 2022. The program of study is for anyone seeking to improve their leadership of an Australian charity’s governing body and covers the foundations of how to run a charity successfully in Australia with courses including:

  • • What to consider before joining a charity board
  • • Applying to become a registered charity
  • • How the ACNC can help you and your charity
  • • Governing your charity and the governing document
  • • Governance Standards 1-6
  • • External Conduct Standards
  • • Reporting obligations: internal and external
  • • Safeguarding
  • • Managing charity finances and fraud prevention

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