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President’s commentary — helping you keep abreast of cultural, institutional change

It was Thomas Jefferson who wrote: ‘As new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change…institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.’

We find ourselves in a time of unprecedented change in our national public and private institutions, as a result of the banking royal commission. One consequence is the emergence of the ‘why not litigate?’ paradigm, which has seen regulatory scrutiny expand far beyond its initial remit. Regulators are sending a clear memo: public tolerance for lax governance and unethical behaviour is low and we want to see businesses realign themselves accordingly.

The question that we keep hearing from our members is: so how should we respond to this new regulatory regime? Answering these questions has been a major focus for us, which is why we have been rolling out a range of initiatives to help our members get ahead of the regulatory curve.

The question that we keep hearing from our members is: how should we respond to this new regulatory regime?

In late September, our CEO, Megan Motto and General Manager of Policy and Advocacy, Catherine Maxwell, were in Melbourne for a roundtable with Minister for Charities, Zed Seselja, to discuss regulatory reform in the NFP space. Some of this feedback will no doubt inform the discussions at our upcoming Not-for-Profit Governance Forum events in Queensland and NSW, on 10 and 11 of October respectively. The ACNC Comissioner, Dr Gary Johns will be in attendance and attendees will have an opportunity to question him on a range of topics.

Governance Institute is also arranging several Public Sector Governance Forums — one on 10 October in Perth, and another in Melbourne on 11 October. The Perth forum will cover the topics of compliance and organisational culture and will include an address from Directors at the Corruption and Crime Commission, as well as discussion on topics such as employee conduct, fostering organisational integrity and obligations under the Whistleblowers Protection Act versus the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

While the rate of cultural change has been rapid in recent months, it’s our role to help you address these challenges. To this end, I encourage you to attend events and engage with me and the team here at Governance Institute. As always, if you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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