State Council’s Governance Capacity Building Project

The State Council, Board of Directors, and Executive Leadership Team (ELT) have been working together to strengthen the governance of the Society in NSW.

The State Council President Paul Burton commissioned an independent review of the governance of the Society in NSW. The review was conducted by Susan Pascoe AM and Murray Baird. Susan was the inaugural Commissioner for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), is a member of the Vatican Commission on Methodology and has held a number of senior roles in the Church and government. Murray was the inaugural Assistant Commissioner General Counsel at the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. Prior to that he was Senior Partner and Leader of the Not-for-Profit Law Group at Moores Legal in Melbourne.

The review was undertaken to better understand the strengths and identify areas for improvement within the Society’s governing bodies. After meeting with members of the State Council, the Board, and the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and then reviewing the governing documents (including of course, The Rule) the reviewers presented their recommendations.

The State Council, Board and ELT have shown great commitment to improving the governance of the Society and are collectively implementing all of the recommendations of the report.

The State Council, Board of Directors and ELT have been participating in a governance capacity building program, to strengthen the relationships between our governing bodies in NSW, increase understanding of the respective roles of our governing bodies, and to share and build on the knowledge of the members of our State Council, Board, and ELT. Our governing bodies so far have undertaken sessions on:

  • Trustee and Board Director roles – part 1
  • Purpose and duties of State Council, Trustees and Board, as well as Management and governance interface
  • Financial stewardship and sustainability
  • Membership and Stakeholder engagement and accountability
  • Diversity and inclusion.

The capacity building series will conclude with a retreat weekend focusing on strengthening our shared understanding of the mission and purpose of the Society in NSW.

The capacity building program has been of great value, ensuring that all entities of SVDP NSW are working as an effective team in furthering the mission of the Society.



Front row: 1st step, left to right – Elaine Griffin, Kate Temby, Nazli Munir, John Adams, Neil Rabbett, Brian Halligan

Second row: 2nd step, left to right – Paul Burton, Yolanda Saiz, Kerry Muir, Gail Gaudron

Third row: left to right – Richard Stewart, Michelle Chahine, Leo Tucker, JB Naudet, Peter Burgess, Liz McNamara, Niamh Mannion

Back row: left to right – Sam Crosby, Murray Baird, Peter Houweling, Peter Doris, John McKendry, Peter Doyle, Brad Jones, Frances Scurfield, John Walden, Anne Stanfield, Dr Evelyne Tadross , Jim Rogers, Vikram Pitre

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