Independence in the boardroom

Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Anthony Beven

he corporate governance environment in Australia is changing with a particular focus on board composition, policy frameworks and professional skills to improve the governance of organisations. 

To succeed in this landscape corporations must have the necessary corporate governance arrangements as well as skills on their boards to discharge their duties and meet obligations under corporate law and government funding agreements.

There is no doubt that native title corporations face unique challenges in serving their communities. Corporations need to manage the conflict between the issues of mission and cultural obligation, and practicalities of operational and organisational sustainability.

Those charged with the task of leading a corporation need to have the right mix of skills, integrity and personal fortitude. There are significant responsibility and pressure bestowed on these people in their role as a director. They need to maintain a clear separation and an independent mind when performing their duties – which at times can be more difficult in an organisation embedded in a special cultural context. 

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Bevan will discuss:
• the increased focus on bard performance and accountability
• the challenges for corporations to find directors with appropriate corporate or business skills
• how corporations can leverage independence to strengthen governance, build capacity and improve board performance. 

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations is an independent statutory office holder appointed by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs under the corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

There are approximately 2600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations registered under the CATSI Act. All registered native title bodies corporate (RNTBCs) must be registered under the CATSI Act.