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Our Board

Photo: Australian Red Cross/Mark Farrelly Photography.

The role of the Board is to govern the activities of the Society. In doing so, the Board approves the overall strategy for the Society including strategic plans, annual plans and budgets. The Board works to ensure the Society acts in accordance with the fundamental principles of the Red Cross Red Crescent movement. The Board sets policies including the Ethical Framework.

The Australian Red Cross Society Board operates under a Royal Charter and Rules that set out the policies and internal rules for the governance of the organisation. The Royal Charter and the Rules of the Society aim to set the highest standards possible for the performance of the organisation. The Board has formally delegated responsibility for the day-to-day operation of Australian Red Cross Society to the Chief Executive Officer and executive management team. Day-to-day operation of the Blood Service is delegated to a separate board, CEO and executive management team.. The Board oversees and monitors management’s performance. 

Ensuring good governance is a key Board responsibility. This includes overseeing mechanisms to provide for compliance with legal requirements and regulations, effective identification and management of risks and the ongoing financial viability of Red Cross. The Board monitors and periodically evaluates its own performance and strives to have a skilled and diverse membership in place. It also establishes and implements a recognition process that acknowledges the efforts of volunteers, members and staff.

Comprising up to 16 members, the Board includes the President, Deputy President, Audit and Risk Committee Chair, Youth Member, Chair or nominee of each of the eight Divisional Advisory Boards (DABs) from every state and territory, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) Chair and up to three Additional Board Members. While they are not members of the Board, the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Board Secretary attend Board meetings throughout the year.

The Board is made up entirely of volunteers. We do not provide payment for serving as a Board Member but we sometimes provide reimbursement for reasonable travel and other expenses incurred in connection with Red Cross activities.

The Board met six times during the financial year.

A = Meetings held during the period of office of the Board Member
B = Meetings attended by the Board Member
C = Meetings attended by an alternate of the Board Member (Divisional Advisory Board Chairs only)

(* Ms Li was granted a Leave of Absence in June 2018 for the remainder of her term [Dec 18]).

Australian Red Cross Board Members

Learn more about the Members of our Board »

Michael Legge AM – President
To December 2017

Ross Pinney – President
Appointed December 2017; joined the Board in 2007, Deputy President 2011–2017

Lyndal Herbert – Deputy President
Appointed December 2017, prior to this was Chair, TAS DAB from November 2012

Jan West AM – Chair, Audit and Risk Committee
Appointed April 2012

Pearl Li – Youth Member
Appointed November 2014

Wendy Prowse – Chair, ACT DAB
Appointed October 2016

Sam Hardjono – Chair, NSW DAB
Appointed October 2015

Charles Burkitt – Chair, NT DAB
Appointed October 2014

John Pinney AM – Chair, QLD DAB
Appointed October 2012

Sue Vardon AO – Chair, SA DAB
To October 2017

Rose Rhodes PSM – Chair, SA DAB
Appointed October 2017

Colin Taylor – Chair, TAS DAB
Appointed December 2017

Anne Macarthur OAM – Chair, VIC DAB
Appointed October 2014

Dianne Buckles – Chair, WA DAB
Appointed October 2013

James Birch AM – Chair, Blood Service
Appointed February 2016

David Hamill AM
Retired November 2016

John Dorrian – Additional Board Member
Appointed August 2012

Margaret Piper AM – Additional Board Member
Appointed August 2012

Ian Hamm – Additional Board Member
Appointed April 2017

Committees of the Board

Six Red Cross Board Committees met during the year, all of which include Board Members. The Board also appoints various other committees, including advisory committees and specialist committees which are established for short-term, specific or ad hoc purposes. The Committees of the Board include:

Audit and Risk Committee
Assists the Board in fulfilling its governance role and responsibilities in exercising due care, diligence and skill. The Committee oversees:

  • the statutory financial reporting process, including the annual financial statements and new or amended accounting policies;
  • the scope of work, independence and performance of the internal and external auditors;
  • the operation and implementation of the risk management framework;
  • the system of accountability and internal control affecting the operations of the Society;
  • the process for monitoring compliance with laws, regulations and internal policies; and
  • the audit and risk management processes undertaken by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Board through its Risk Committee and its Finance and Audit Committee.

Finance Committee
Assists the Board in ensuring that Red Cross meets its essential financial requirements and sustainability. Specifically, the purpose of the Committee is to:

  • recommend to the Board financial, investment and property policies and strategies, and the medium to long term financial plans and annual operating and capital budgets, including Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), that support the mission and strategic goals of  Red Cross;
  • monitor performance against financial plans and budget targets; and
  • recommend to the Board investment and property transactions in accordance with delegations.

National Awards Committee
Approves nominations for awards to recognise and reward Red Cross members, volunteers and staff for their contributions to the International Movement or Australian Red Cross Society, and makes recommendations for ways to acknowledge the efforts of Red Cross people.

National Youth Advisory Committee
Advises the Board and consults on youth policies and programs, including youth engagement and leadership opportunities. The responsibilities of the Committee are:

  • to act as a reference and support group for the National Youth Member of the Board and Council, and for other roles of the Committee Chair;
  • provide oversight of, advice in relation to and champion the Youth Engagement Strategy and other related policies;
  • to build governance and leadership skills of Committee members so they can better identify and address opportunities and challenges associated with youth engagement at Red Cross;
  • to provide leadership and coordination for Divisional Youth Advisory Committees.

Nominations and Remuneration Committee
Supports and advises the Board regarding appointments of Board Members, succession planning, remuneration and employment, induction, training and education programs. The scope of responsibilities and activities include:

  • overseeing the process for making appointments and ensuring appropriate succession planning for the Australian Red Cross Board and the Blood Service Board;
  • reviewing annually the remuneration for Blood Service Board members and recommending changes in remuneration to the Australian Red Cross Board;
  • providing advice in relation to contemporary and emerging human resources trends, issues, practices and projects related to staff and volunteers;
  • providing advice and oversight on policies relating to remuneration and terms and conditions of employment to support the strategic and operational goals and objectives of Australian Red Cross and meet the legal obligations of the organisation.

Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) Advisory Committee
Provides independent advice to the Blood Service Board on medical, scientific and research matters issues. The committee also provides assurance to the Red Cross Board that the Blood Service maintains the highest standards of medical and scientific practice and product safety. The responsibilities of the Committee are to:

  • review and provide advice on medical and scientific aspects (including technical and safety issues) of Blood Service activities as referred to it by the Blood Service Board or management or the Red Cross Board, or as it believes of its own initiative require the attention of management, the Blood Service Board or the Red Cross Board;  
  • receive an annual research summary from the Research Advisory Committee.
  • consider regular reports including on blood products, donor and product safety and transfusion medicine services at each meeting.
  • scan the external medical and scientific environment, to enable input to policy development and recommendations for research initiatives.

Risk management and mitigation

The Board sets the risk appetite and identifies and reviews major risks and opportunities that are important to Red Cross strategies and priorities through our risk management framework.  The activities underpinning our framework, such as periodic organisational risk assessments, ensure our organisation is conscious of the risks it faces, makes informed decisions to manage these risks and maximises opportunities. Our risk reporting not only recognises a number of strategic and operational risks, but also the potential risks in the execution of our strategic priorities. 

This year we focused on identifying and mitigating child protection risk, compliance risk and financial sustainability risk, whilst identifying further opportunities to strengthen the organisation against cyber and data security-related risks. Particular focus has been given to identifying the causes of risk. We then developed mitigating controls and on-going monitoring of the effectiveness of these controls to contain the identified risks within acceptable tolerance levels. For example, we adopt strict requirements for child protection compliance under our Ethical Framework as part of our recruitment, screening and on-boarding for all staff and volunteers. All funding opportunities are risk-assessed through internal review processes and ensure that our services remain viable and effective.