Effective Director Course

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Choose to join virtually or in person in our Sydney training rooms. Read more about how we are doing this safely.

Exploring the role of the company director and the board’s vital contribution towards organisational culture and sustainable governance, this course draws on theory, practice, and the collective knowledge of the participants to simulate the boardroom experience.

  • What issues and challenges are faced by a director on a board?
  • How can you best prepare for and understand directorship in the current landscape, with the lens firmly on director capability?  

Is this course right for you?

This course is for

  • aspiring or newly appointed directors
  • executives seeking director transition pathways
  • directors wanting to refine their skills
  • those needing to better understand the role and responsibilities of a director.

Upcoming courses

Sydney: Wednesday 4 November to Friday 6 November 2020

Virtual course: Wednesday 4 November to Friday 6 November 2020

As part of your participation in the Effective Director Course, Governance Institute have negotiated a 20% discount for all full course attendees to participate in a 28 Day Board Search Intensive run by Board Direction.

Details of the specific program and how to join will be provided to you during the November Effective Director Course.


As an experienced board director with current directorships, an international expert on corporate governance, and a corporate governance advisor to mid and small-cap boards, Julie champions the cause of directors required to shoulder enormous responsibility with limited resources. Julie uses her real-life experience and deep knowledge of corporate governance to show boards with limited resources how to be more effective through practical governance innovation and know-how. She is the author of the Directors’ Dilemma Newsletter and five practical books that show how directors can respond to real-life situations with effective leadership. Julie has over 20 years’ experience presenting director education and has worked with leading institutions such as The Governance Institute of Australia, The Australian Institute of Company Directors, CPA Australia, The College of Laws, The National Association of Corporate Directors (USA), etc. She has studied directorship and governance gaining qualifications from The Australian Institute of Company Directors, FINSIA, Wharton School of Business, The University of California Irving, etc. She has an Executive MBA from I E Business School, Madrid and an honours degree in engineering from City University, London.

Debora has over 30 years’ experience in the superannuation and financial services industry, as CEO of two industry superannuation funds, and through several other senior executive, and non-executive roles. As a practiced non-executive director, with a demonstrated history of working in the 'Profit for Purpose' sector, Debora is a strong outcomes and governance driven professional, with proven ability to work across a range of industry sectors. She has skills in Leadership, Business Development & Transformation, Superannuation, and Corporate Governance. 

Debora’s current roles include two non-executive roles - as the Chair, and the Vice-Chair of profit-for-purpose organisations.  Further, in an executive capacity, Debora is heading up the Client Liaison Program at Stapleton Finance.
Debora holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Melbourne; a Certificate of Organisational Leadership, London Business School (2010); and she successfully completed the ‘Effective Director Course’ at the Governance Institute of Australia.

Fotini is a Principal Lawyer at Prisma Legal, a boutique commercial law firm, specialising in corporate advisory services and commercial law. Fotini is a governance professional and a strategic business adviser with almost 20 years’ experience advising clients in range of legal areas, including litigation, management, international tax consulting and commercial legal issues. Her main areas of practice include mergers and acquisitions, shareholder and partnership agreements and disputes, contractual advice and corporate structuring and governance advisory services. Fotini was awarded her Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance in 2012 by the Governance Institute of Australia Fotini is the Chair of the Board of the Hellenic Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is a regular presenter of applied governance certificate courses at the Governance Institute of Australia. She is a Specialist Accredited Adviser through Family Business Australia and also provides tailored governance advice for private and family owned enterprises.

David began his career as a Headhunter / Executive Search Consultant in London and has been putting people on boards for 15 years. His first assignment was the appointment of David Higgin as CEO of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the board appointments of the entire ODA board. His second assignment was for the entire board and Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. These roles were arguably the most significant in the country at that point in time and saw over 2,000 board applications received and took over a year to deliver. The rest of his career followed this trajectory and involved reviewing over 10,000 board CVs, taking, interviewed thousands of board candidates as well as taking briefs from hundreds of Chairs on what they wanted in successful candidates – all of which resulted in him recruiting hundreds of individuals into some of the most significant board appointments in the world!

David left recruitment to begin working at the Australian Institute of Company Directors running their Directorship Opportunities service. During that time he recognised that the experience he obtained over the previous decade was unique, and could be utilised on behalf of individuals (rather than companies) to help them gain board appointments. Board Direction was born with the explicit intention of helping put people on boards.

Masters in Career Development Life Fellow Institute of Directors (FIOD) Delhi Chapter; Fellow Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD), Fellow Australian Institute of Management (FAIM), Professional Member Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), Charter Member TiE, Member Golden Key International Honour Society Chairman Itours Pty Ltd and China Digital Ready, Director Universal Village, Director in Director’s Suite, Director Taradale Music (Spring Music), Advisory Director Reacheights (India), Director Eka Academy, Director Bravo Careers (India) Private Limited, Director Bravo Careers Singapore, Ebravo Pty Ltd, Bravo education Services and International Institute of Business Technologies, Melbourne. Dale is the founder and Managing Director of several firms specialising in performance, leadership and career management. He and his team have a passion for and a wealth of experience in delivering leading edge programs for people who want to achieve their best. Dale has worked in the Coaching, Career Development and Education for 30 years. He has delivered career and leadership programs in Australia, India, Singapore and Malaysia at all levels including for Graduates and Executives. His particular skills and experience extend to executive coaching, performance and career management, and leadership. Even as the founder of several companies he devotes the majority of his time to delivering services directly to clients.

Richard is a corporate governance practitioner with board and senior executive level experience with public, private and not for profit entitiesOver the past 20 years, Richard has held senior governance, legal and risk roles in the banking and financial services sector and with the Commonwealth Government. During this period he has also been a board member of both operating and subsidiary entities and a trustee of a not for profit foundation. Richard has first hand experience with many of the issues which confront directors, CEOs and other executives as they come to grips with their stakeholders’ governance expectations. Richard consults in governance, strategy, business design and operations and commercial law and is an occasional author and presenter in applied governance. He has successfully built and led highly effective teams in complex business environments. 
Richard is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Deborah has over 25 years’ experience in leadership roles including those of Executive Chair and CEO of a listed entity. She is passionate about careers, leadership journeys and the importance of preparation and planning. She has spent over 25 years in the recruitment, careers and leadership sectors doing just this! As a thought leader in this space she mentors and coaches a number of board directors, CEO’s and executives. She is a shareholder and executive of OnTalent and also an experienced non-executive director with current board roles being Deputy Chair of TAFE QLD and Chair of the People, Culture and Safety Committee; Non Executive Director of Aviation Australia, Chair of the People, Culture and Safety Committee and a Non-Executive Director of FOGS (Former Origin Greats) a non-profit organisation committed to inspiring and developing the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander leaders and supporting various charities. She holds a Master of Organisational Leadership; Accredited Coach, Growth Coaching International; Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Choose the learning experience that suits you:

  • Complete the whole course or register in standalone modules to build your portfolio of credentials.
  • You can complete the individual modules over time, to suit your schedule.
  • Modules 1, 2 and 4 of the course are available for standalone registration. 

Learning objectives

Using the Tricker Model as an integrating framework, this module defines corporate governance and outlines how it operates in practice. Explore the boundaries between board and the executive, the balance between conformance and performance, and ensuring the appropriate level of monitoring and supervising of management activity.


  • define corporate governance and outline how it operates in practice
  • examine the role and core duties of directors and the board
  • analyse the key attributes of a high-performing board
  • discuss the link between the board and board performance


  • board and governance foundations
  • the practice of corporate governance
  • the high performing board
  • practical matters – board meetings and board structure

 7 CPD hours

Effective director conduct requires the development of softer skills to make you aware of the types of behaviour you may experience and will need as a director. Self-awareness of your behaviour and communication styles and the impact of these on your director effectiveness is key. 


  • discuss board and director effectiveness and how these elements are assessed
  • apply concepts such as communication progression and the Ladder of Inference to the role of the effective director
  • recognise the different styles of communication and how these can be used effectively
  • examine how acquiring information, active listening, asking the right questions, persuasion, influence and negotiation skills can be used to achieve the strategic vision and objectives of the organisation


  • board and director effectiveness
  • how directors communicate
  • acquiring information by listening
  • asking the right questions
  • persuasion, influence and negotiation

Includes boardroom dinner.

 7 CPD hours

Take part in a simulated board meeting using a hypothetical case study to put into practice the strategies and techniques you have covered in modules 1 and 2.

The pre-reading and attendance at a boardroom dinner will prepare you for this simulation. Guided by an expert facilitator, this experience will enhance your knowledge about effective director communication context, progression and quality.  This session will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of how to influence boardroom discussion to raise issues that require elevation for exploration, whilst maintaining a professional and respected presence.

Please note: this module cannot be undertaken as a standalone module. Attending module 2 is a prerequisite entry requirement for this module.

3 CPD hours

  • Is a non-executive director role for you?
  • How do you position yourself to find a role?
  • What other pathways could you consider?

This facilitated session includes advice from a director and executive recruitment specialist. Hear about current trends in director recruitment and appointment. Learn from, and take the opportunity to question, an experienced non-executive director about their pathway to success.


  • understand your director potential
  • uncover the possible pathways to directorship
  • appreciate the many dimensions of personal profile development
  • learn how to position yourself to stand out in the selection process


  • the importance of honest self-analysis and communicating personal identity
  • useful tips and guidance for building effective executive personal and digital presence
  • where to look and how to find opportunities
  • interviews and the selection process – preparation strategies, success factors, current trends

4 CPD hours


Following successful completion of the whole course and assessment tasks, become part of The Effective Director Course Alumni, and qualify for membership of Governance Institute of Australia. 

Bring the course to you

We offer Effective Director Course via in-house facilitation — sending the experts to you. Choose the learning experience that suits your organisation. Select stand-alone modules or the whole course.   

Find out more 

Join and save 

Members of Governance Institute receive a discount of up to $400 — find out if you are eligible.

Request a brochure and complimentary reading 

Fill in your details below to register your interest for upcoming courses. You'll receive a course brochure as well as some complimentary readings to introduce you to some of the skills, experience and values required of directors.  You can unsubscribe from our emails at any time. 

Effective Director Course

Take your seat with assurance

What I wish I knew before becoming a director