06 governance rules and policies
The cultural foundations of Girringun’s governance
Girringun Aboriginal Corporation was awarded Highly Commended Category A in the 2014 Indigenous Governance Awards. Here CEO Phil Rist describes how Girringun’s cultural and spiritual foundations underpin the organisation’s success.
Running Annual General Meetings – What WYDAC do
Every incorporated organisation needs to hold an annual general meeting (AGM). In this video, WYDAC managers explain the various steps and rules that must be followed before and during the annual general meeting.
NPY Women’s Council’s guiding principles
Listen to how the NYP Women's Council has built cultural values into their constitution and how these guiding principles are the spirit of the organisation and foundation of their governance.
Template: List of contents for a governance reference manual
This list of contents will give you an idea of the kinds of information you could include in a governance reference or induction manual for your leaders. Your community and nation will also be better informed about how you do things if they have access to it.
Template: A policy
This policy template shows how all the information that needs to be contained in a policy can be set out. You can use and adapt it to create your own organisation’s policies.
What can we do? Steps to develop effective policies
Every community and organisation has its own ways of developing governance policies, focusing on issues that matter most to them. But there are some common steps you can follow. These apply to policy-making in general, not just to governance policies.
Check-up: Our governance policies and rules
Do you have all the policies, rules and procedures in place for your organisation to run well? Use this check-up to find out.
What can we do? Cultural legitimacy in governance rules and policies
You can use this resource to help create culturally legitimate rules and policies. It also contains some great ideas that work from others.
Template: Sample minutes
This template is an example of how the minutes of meetings can be recorded. You can adapt it to use at your own governing body meetings.
Template: Progress report on actions
It is not enough for a governing body to make good decisions. You need to make sure they are implemented. It is your responsibility to keep track of whether your decisions have been implemented or not, and to ensure you are regularly updated with that imformation at your meetings.
Template: Decision making
This resource provides some tips on procedures and questions to ask before making decisions and a template for recording decisions made at meetings.
Template: Meeting agenda
You can adapt this template to suit your circumstances and needs. It allows time at meetings for members of the governing body to individually provide feedback on events and updates on issues raised by people in their community or nation.
Weak rules and strong rules – What happens to your governance?
|What happens when rules are weak and poorly enforced?||What happens when rules are strong and enforced|
|Governance is less effective and legitimate.||Decision making is more transparent, winning support from members and staff.|
|Conflict increases and relationships are under stress.||Cooperative relationships and collaboration are increased.|
|Members’ rights and interests are overridden or marginalised.||Members’ rights and interests are protected and strengthened.|
|Leaders might be encouraged to be greedy and self-interested.||Everyone wants to invest their time, effort and resources.|
|Private and public agencies won’t want to invest in economic growth.||Economic growth is more sustainable and partnerships stronger.|
|Staff and members are confused and have low morale.||There is high morale amongst staff and members.|
|Nations and communities are less able to exercise practical self-determination.||Nations and communities are more able to exercise practical self-determination.|
Key Governance Policies
What do policies do?
Decisions should be based on established policies. See above diagram.
For corporations registered with ORIC, the CATSI Act adopts a model for quorums that states how many people make up a quorum depending on how many members the corporation has:
|20 or fewer members||two members|
|21 to 30 members||three members|
|31 to 40 members||four members|
|41 to 50 members||five members|
|51 to 60 members||six members|
|61 to 70 members||seven members|
|71 to 80 members||eight members|
|81 to 90 members||nine members|
|91 members or more||10 members|
Effective meetings need: proper notice, a quorum, a clear agenda, plain language briefing papers, minutes, an action update, good facilitation and to follow agreed procedures.
What is culture?
Different cultures have different rules for how they govern.