President’s commentary — A big year for governance professionals

As we approach the end of a busy 2019, it is fitting that we reflect on some of the milestones and notable events of the past year.

As we approach the end of a busy 2019, it is fitting that we reflect on some of the milestones and notable events of the past year.

As we all know, 2019 has been a big year for governance professionals, with two national royal commissions ensuring that governance continues to be a fast-evolving and in-demand profession. We are well placed to assist in meeting this demand for heightened standards in governance, thanks to our reputation as a leading and trusted authority on governance matters. It is pleasing to see that view is shared within the community, which is why we’ve welcomed more than 700 new members this year — an achievement we can all be proud of. 

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In addition to our growth, we continue to deliver on publications to help members stay abreast of current developments in governance. This year, we produced a number of ‘Insight’ works, such as Governance issues arising from the financial services royal commission, as well as new guidance and research papers such as The future of the governance professional and Strategies for engaging with regulators. A special mention is deserved for our Joint Statement on Board Minutes, which was singled out for acknowledgement by the ASIC Chair, James Shipton, in his launch of the Director and officer oversight of non-financial risk report in October.

Throughout 2019 we have also worked hard to represent the interests of our membership — lodging 14 submissions with regulators on topics ranging from Simplifying, clarifying and enhancing the integrity and efficiency of the ASX Listing Rules through to our recent consultation paper regarding Whistleblower policies. We have also driven engagement with policymakers on a range of issues, such as ‘Fixing fundraising’, through to our recent work pushing for the adoption of fairer, more transparent clearing processes at the ASX.

We are well placed to assist in meeting this demand for heightened standards in governance, thanks to our reputation as a leading and trusted authority on governance matters.

It would be remiss of me not to mention one of the key services that we have provided for members — namely our industry-relevant events and forums. National Conference continues to be a stand-out event for us, with speakers such as Sir Winfried Bischoff of JP Morgan Securities and Lakshmi Shyam-Sunder of World Bank Group, attracting over 400 attendees this year. Our Not-For-Profit and Public Sector Governance Forums were also well-received by members, and it was pleasing to note that many forums exceeded their capacity, which speaks to the engagement of members as well as the quality of the speakers we hosted.

On a final note, as this will be my final column in Governance Directions, I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to my fellow Directors, to the people who generously volunteer their time with the Institute and especially to you, our members, for all your support throughout my role. It has been a privilege to serve as your President.

On behalf of the board, management and all staff at Governance Institute we hope you have enjoyed a fulfilling year with us in 2019 and we wish you every professional and personal success moving into 2020.

Rachel Rees FGIA FCIS
President and Chair
President@governanceinstitute.com.au

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