Board and governance
Cancer Council Australia
Our Board is responsible for strategic decision and policy-making activities of Cancer Council Australia. The Board comprises
- an independent Chair appointed by the Board
- a nominee from each state and territory member organisation
- three additional nominees, one each from NSW, Queensland and Victoria
- a nominee of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia
- a nominee who is a consumer.
There are three Board committees:
- the Executive Committee consults with the Chief Executive Officer on managerial and other issues delegated by the Board
- the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee oversees the audit of business and operational matters, identifies and manages business risk, and advises on matters relating to financial performance and budget development
- the Governance Committee oversees and advises the Board on issues relating to the current review of the constitution and on other matters relating to governance.
Professor Hugh Harley
Dr John Laker AO
Cancer Council New South Wales
Ms Patricia Schmidt
Cancer Council Queensland
Ms Jennifer Richter AM
Deputy Chair, Cancer Council South Australia
Professor Phillip Carson
Cancer Council Northern Territory
Distinguished Professor Gregory Peterson
Cancer Council Tasmania
Professor Gail Risbridger AM
Cancer Council Victoria
Ms Kathryn Bellion
Cancer Council Victoria
Dr Jo Mitchell
Cancer Council New South Wales
Mr Roger Buckley
Cancer Council Australian Capital Territory
Mr Andrew Arkell
Cancer Council Queensland
Dr Paul Cannell
Cancer Council Western Australia
Ms Anne Pleash
Professor Sabe Sabesan
Clinical Oncology Society of Australia
Cancer Council Australia is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 and the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission Act 2012. Ultimate responsibility for the governance of the organisation rests with the Board of Directors. The Governance Statement outlines how the Board meets that responsibility. The Board's work is guided by a Board Charter which can be found here:
Achieving the mission
The Board’s primary role is to ensure that Cancer Council Australia's activities are directed towards achieving its mission of minimising the threat of cancer, through successful prevention, best treatment and support. The Board must ensure that this mission is achieved in the most efficient and effective way possible. Our constitution can be viewed here:
Specific responsibilities of the Board
The Board fulfils its primary role by:
- selecting, appointing, guiding and monitoring the performance of the Chief Executive Officer
- formulating Cancer Council Australia's strategic plan in conjunction with the Chief Executive Officer and senior management
- monitoring management's progress in achieving the strategic plan
- approving the organisation's annual budgets and monitoring management's adherence to them
- ensuring the integrity of internal control, risk management and management information systems
- putting in place a suite of delegations, policies and procedures
- ensuring Cancer Council Australia's financial viability, solvency and sustainability
- ensuring stakeholders receive regular reports
- ensuring the organisation complies with relevant legislation and regulations
- acting as an advocate for Cancer Council Australia whenever and wherever possible.
The Board has formally delegated responsibility for Cancer Council Australia's operations and administration to its Chief Executive Officer, Tanya Buchanan, and her senior management team.
The Board acts collectively as it oversees and monitors management's performance by:
- meeting at least four times during the year
- receiving detailed financial and other reports from management at these meetings
- receiving additional information and input from management when necessary
- assigning to its Executive and its Finance Committees, responsibility to oversee particular aspects of Cancer Council Australia's operations and administration.
Each Board committee operates under separate terms of reference approved by the Board. Other advisory committees report through the Chief Executive Officer to the Board. Their terms of reference are reviewed regularly and updated as necessary.
All Board members are non-executive directors and receive no remuneration for their service.
The organisation's constitution specifies:
- there must be no more than 11 ordinary member directors
- no employee of the organisation, including the Chief Executive Officer, can be a director of the organisation
- an annual general meeting is held annually and within five months of the Cancer Council Australia end of financial year and is attended by a representative of Cancer Council Australia's eight member bodies
- other Board members include a Chair, a Consumer Director and a COSA Director.
Board members are appointed on a representative rather than skills basis. The Chair and Chief Executive Officer oversee the induction process for new Board members.
Board members receive an induction pack on their appointment. Board members’ knowledge of the business is maintained by management representations, visits to Cancer Council Australia's office when possible and other activities as necessary.
Through its Finance, Risk and Audit Committee, the Board oversees the establishment and implementation of Cancer Council Australia's risk management system, which is designed to protect the organisation's reputation and manage those risks that might preclude it from achieving its goals.
Management is responsible for establishing and implementing the risk management system, which assesses, monitors and manages operational, financial reporting and compliance risks. While the Board retains responsibility for managing risk, the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee is responsible for monitoring the implementation of and reporting on the risk management system.
The Board and Board Committees may request access to external advice on their responsibilities at any time. The organisation maintains separate relationships with an independent legal firm and an independent firm of accountants and auditors.
Ethical standards and code of conduct
Board members, senior executives and staff are expected to comply with relevant laws and the organisation's codes of conduct, and to act with integrity, compassion, fairness and honesty at all times in all their dealings in pursuing the organisation's mission.
Board and committee members and staff are made aware of Cancer Council Australia's ethical standards and code of conduct, and provided with copies of relevant documentation, during their induction.
In the performance of their duties, Board members of Cancer Council Australia are required to adopt the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour. When meeting as the Board, directors must always act in the best interests of Cancer Council Australia.
The Board’s code of conduct requires directors to declare any financial, personal or professional conflict of interest at each meeting of the Board and to abstain from voting on any motion about which there is a conflict.
During and after their terms, all directors have a duty to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and security of official information for which they are responsible or come to learn of during their directorship, and to avoid any activity that may be likely to harm the reputation of the organisation or its member bodies.
Apart from its eight member Cancer Councils across Australia, Cancer Council Australia has many stakeholders, including cancer patients and their carers, cancer professionals, other non-profit organisations, advisory committees, corporate partners, staff, government and the general public.
Cancer Council Australia adopts a consultative approach in dealing with its stakeholders in its activities and especially in the development of its policies and position statements.
Every day, we support people affected by cancer when they need it most