5.0 Governing the organisation
It is estimated that there are more than 5,000 incorporated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations across the country.
This means around 30,000 men and women are sitting on the governing bodies of these organisations, and even more employed in management and staff positions.
In addition, there are just as many—if not more—unincorporated organisations operating in communities, where people are working as volunteers.
Many of these organisations—including reference groups, advisory committees, working groups and task forces—have been created by governments. Others—such as night patrol groups, women’s and youth support groups, and artist and sporting collectives—have been created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wanting to improve the lives of their own people.
This topic focuses on the governing bodies of incorporated organisations, however, many of the insights and tools in this topic will be equally useful to informal or unincorporated organisations.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people appreciate they may need to acquire new knowledge and skills to carry out their governing roles on boards, councils and committees. As part of this process they are often redesigning their governance arrangements, and tackling fundamental challenges to do with:
- their governing roles and responsibilities
- the role and responsibilities of the chairperson
- communication and consultation with their members
- their codes of ethics and conduct
- running successful meetings
- informed decision making
- financial governance
- setting directions and planning
- hiring and supervising management and staff
- monitoring outcomes and the wider environment.
In this part of the toolkit you will find practical answers to these issues, along with ideas and tools to help you get started on rebuilding and strengthening your organisational governance.
In Topic 7 you will find more detailed information about the relationship between governing bodies, and their management and staff.
Topic 6 includes more information about running effective meetings for your governing body.