Training

In 2015–16 ORIC:

  • provided corporate governance training to 865 people from 208 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations, organisations and new groups
  • developed and successfully trialled a new two-day corporate governance workshop especially designed for directors and members of corporations in remote communities
  • achieved over 88 per cent satisfaction rating from all those who completed an ORIC training course. Participants reported either a significant or very significant increase in their corporate governance knowledge.

Part of the Registrar’s functions under section 658-1 of the CATSI Act is to provide public education programs to improve corporate governance standards among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations.

The Registrar’s training programs not only increase corporate governance knowledge within corporations but also improve skill levels, efficiency and accountability.

Training calendar

Each year the Registrar publishes an online calendar showing the proposed dates and locations of Introduction to Corporate Governance (ICG) workshops and accredited training courses. The calendar comes out in May and lists the training dates, locations and venues for the following financial year. It’s regularly updated and changes are made as necessary.

Types of training courses and workshops

The Registrar encourages eligible applicants to apply for corporate governance training and offers a range of choices. For example, ORIC offers residential and non-residential courses (part of its Managing in Two Worlds program) as well as workshops delivered in the community through its corporation-specific programs.

The Managing in Two Worlds program includes:

  • ICG workshops held over three days
  • Two-day corporate governance workshops (developed over 2015–16)
  • Certificate IV in Business (Governance) delivered in four one-week blocks
  • Diploma of Business (Governance) delivered in five one-week blocks.

Corporation-specific training (CST) is for individual corporations that request training especially tailored to their particular needs and circumstances.

CST workshops are usually held at a corporation’s premises or a central venue within the community. The training is conducted over one or two days and can include:

  • a pre-incorporation doorway (including transfers and amalgamations): provides information on the requirements and processes for an organisation to become incorporated under the CATSI Act
  • rule book design and re-design: helps new groups looking to register under the CATSI Act to develop a rule book or existing corporations to update and refresh their current rule book
  • support and mentoring: provides practical information in running a corporation, and often follows a special administration to help corporations avoid the problems that may have led to the special administration in the first place
  • Building Strong Stores (BSS): is a two-day program designed specifically for corporations that manage a community store
  • native title module: assists corporations in the native title sector which face particular challenges and issues. The module is specifically for native title corporations and was further refined during 2015–16.

Introduction of the two-day governance workshop

In 2015–16 ORIC developed a new model of governance workshop to meet the training needs of corporations in remote regions. The Registrar understands that it’s very difficult for members of corporations in these areas to attend the Introduction to Corporate Governance (ICG) workshops. The travel distances involved are too great and place an unreasonable burden on people from remote communities. Cultural/kinship issues and family commitments are also a consideration.

The new two-day governance workshop therefore is designed to take place in community. Feedback has indicated that this is the preferred option among people living remotely.

Trials of the new workshop conducted on Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory, and Karratha, Western Australia, were well received.

Overall training delivered

In 2015–16 ORIC exceeded its training targets for both the number of participants and corporations.

Table 14: Overall training delivered 2015–16

 

Target

Actual

Number of participants

750

865

Number of corporations

120

208

Participants that reported a significant or very significant increase in corporate governance knowledge

90%

88.15%

Note: Overall statistics are based on single counts of participants and corporations.

Figure 13: Training workshops and courses by state/territory 2015–16

Introduction to Corporate Governance (ICG)

The purpose of an ICG is to explain key concepts and principles of good corporate governance to the members and staff of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations. Participants are aware that they must complete an ICG before they can apply to do the accredited Certificate IV in Business (Governance).

ORIC delivered eight ICG workshops across Australia in 2015–16. A total of 219 people, representing 85 corporations, participated.

Table 15: ICG workshops 2015–16

Date

Location

Number of participants

Number of corporations

Jul 2015

Alice Springs, NT

43

14

Aug 2015

Newman, WA

16

6

Sept 2015

Horn Island, QLD

13

5

Nov 2015

Port Lincoln, SA

8

6

Mar 2016

Cairns, QLD

60

26

Apr 2016

Perth, WA

34

13

May 2016

Mildura, VIC

14

6

Jun 2016

Tamworth, NSW

31

9

Total

 

219

85

Two-day governance workshop

As mentioned earlier, the two-day governance workshop is designed to cater to the needs of people in remote communities. It’s essentially the same as an ICG but it’s spread across two rather than three days, and incorporates greater awareness of cultural protocols.

Following successful trials, ORIC will roll out a program of two-day governance workshops in 2016–17.

Certificate IV in Business Governance

Part of a national accredited training package, the Certificate IV in Business (Governance) is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who want to build on their corporate governance knowledge and management skills.

Although ORIC did not run a Certificate IV in Business (Governance) course over 2015–16, it plans to run one in 2016–17, starting in February 2017.

Diploma of Business (Governance)

Also part of ORIC’s national accredited training package, the Diploma of Business (Governance) is intended for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who want to enhance and extend their corporate governance knowledge and management skills. Potential and existing corporation directors who have completed the Certificate IV in Business (Governance) are encouraged to apply.

In 2015–16, ORIC ran one Diploma of Business (Governance) course.

The course is deliberately designed to give participants the benefit of face-to-face tuition in five one-week residential blocks, spread across several months. Support from family and the community is essential as participants must not only spend time away from home but also complete course assignments in between study blocks.

To be accepted on to the course, it is important participants are committed to learning, willing to participate in group activities, and like sharing their knowledge and experience. Topics covered include:

  • financial management
  • understanding the role and responsibilities of directors
  • maintaining and protecting culture
  • communicating with the community
  • policy development and strategic planning.

In ORIC’s 2015–16 course, four of the study blocks were in Darwin and one was in Sydney. The Sydney location was chosen so students could enjoy such highlights as a visit to the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) in Redfern, and a tour of the South Sydney Rabbitohs’ training facilities with former National Rugby League (NRL) star and charity ambassador for Souths Cares, Beau Champion.

The course drew participants from the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. Fourteen students from 11 different Aboriginal corporations across Australia started the course and all 14 graduated.

Table 16: Diploma of Business (Governance) 2015

Date

Location

Number of students graduated

Number of corporations

Block 1: 22–26 June 2015

Darwin, NT

14

11

Block 2: 27–31 July 2015

Darwin, NT

Block 3: 31 Aug– 4 Sept 2015

Darwin, NT

Block 4: 12–16 Oct 2015

Sydney, NSW

Block 5: 16–20 Nov 2015

Darwin, NT

CASE STUDY: Diploma of Business (Governance)

To further enrich the learning experience of the 14 students on the Diploma of Business (Governance) course 2015–16, ORIC held the fourth of the five study blocks in Sydney.

‘We wanted to expose the students to some real life examples of good corporate governance in action,’ the Registrar said.

The students visited the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern (NCIE) where they saw first-hand how to make high quality programs. They also saw and appreciated the role that culture plays in engaging with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

On the following day, retired NRL star and Souths Cares ambassador, Beau Champion, took the students on a tour of the South Sydney Rabbitohs’ headquarters and training facilities in Redfern. As he showed them around, Beau spoke about leadership, identity, decision making and resilience. Both the tour and the talk were major highlights. The students came away with a clear sense of the dedication and responsibility involved in becoming a successful NRL team player but also a leader and quality person in life.

A presentation by Commonwealth Bank senior executive, Philip McCabe, from the bank’s Indigenous unit capped off the Sydney high points. The informal presentation, which showed good corporate governance models at work in the bank, sparked a lively discussion.

Each of the students thoroughly enjoyed the Sydney study block and said they gained invaluable insights from interacting with a range of different professional people. Following such positive feedback ORIC will try to include an interactive learning block when it next offers its Diploma of Business (Governance) course.

‘I’m convinced that the interactive learning model fosters positive development,’ said the Registrar. ‘For this reason I’d like us to continue with it.’

The graduation ceremony for the Diploma of Business (Governance) students was held in Darwin on 20 November 2015. Ms Bilawara Lee, a Larrakia elder, conducted the welcome to country ceremony, One Mob Different Country provided the dancing while singer Ms Ali Mills performed two solos (Arafura Pearl and Waltjim Bat Matilda).

In congratulating the students the Registrar said, ‘I know that the Diploma of Business (Governance) is a demanding course and you should each feel proud you stayed with it, even when the going was tough. You can now take what you have learned to benefit your communities and corporations.’

Susan Betts, a director from the Warna-Manda Aboriginal Corporation based in Port Lincoln, South Australia, who also runs her own business said, ‘Our corporation is about healing and connecting our people back to country. I enjoy helping to run the corporation. I feel fantastic that I have completed the Diploma of Business (Governance).’

In his address the Registrar said, ‘My office wants to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations succeed as effective, sustainable and accountable organisations with good, capable leaders at their helm. Today’s ceremony recognises a small group who has shown real commitment. Each person has strived to get the most out of a tough course and now joins a growing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working hard to make their corporations and communities stronger.’

Corporation-specific training (CST)

In 2015–16 ORIC delivered 72 separate CST workshops for 112 different corporations which attracted altogether 632 participants. The governance topic most often requested and consequently delivered at the workshops was ‘the roles, responsibilities and legal duties of directors’. This was the same as for 2014–15.

The greatest number of workshops (27 per cent) were conducted in Queensland, followed by New South Wales (23 per cent) and Western Australia (21 per cent).

Table 17: CST workshops 2015-16

Date

Location

State

Number of participants

Number of Corporations

Jul 2015

Cairns

QLD

6

1

Jul 2015

Armidale

NSW

6

1

Jul 2015

Bairnsdale

VIC

12

1

Jul 2015

Townsville

QLD

9

1

Aug2015

Cardiff

NSW

6

1

Aug 2015

Dareton

VIC

8

1

Aug 2015

Taree

NSW

7

1

Aug 2015

Guda Guda Community

WA

4

1

Sept 2015

Poruma Island

QLD

16

14

Sept 2015

Gunbalanya

NT

6

1

Sept 2015

Ramingining

NT

13

1

Sept 2015

Bunbury

WA

6

1

Sept 2015

Indulkana

SA

3

1

Sept 2015

Cessnock

NSW

7

1

Oct 2015

Broadwater

NSW

4

1

Oct 2015

Katoomba

NSW

8

1

Oct 2015

Port Augusta

SA

9

1

Oct 2015

South Hedland

WA

6

1

Nov 2015

Gunnedah

NSW

6

1

Nov 2015

Coffs Harbour

NSW

8

1

Nov 2015

Kyogle

NSW

4

1

Nov 2015

Maryborough

QLD

3

1

Nov 2015

Mooroobool

QLD

3

1

Dec 2015

Rockhampton

QLD

5

1

Dec 2015

Hopevale

QLD

5

1

Dec 2015

Armidale

NSW

4

1

Dec 2015

Karratha

WA

12

1

Jan 2016

Brisbane

QLD

6

1

Jan 2016

Innisfail

QLD

7

1

Jan 2016

Eden

NSW

7

1

Feb 2016

Geraldton

WA

10

1

Feb 2016

Groote Eylandt

NT

13

2

Feb 2016

Broome

WA

10

1

Feb 2016

Maningrida

NT

10

1

Feb 2016

Charters Towers

QLD

5

1

Feb 2016

Broome

WA

9

1

Feb 2016

Gulliver

QLD

5

1

Feb 2016

Gulliver

QLD

3

1

Feb 2016

Santa Teresa

NT

5

1

Feb 2016

Townsville

QLD

7

1

Feb 2016

Wyndham

WA

5

1

Feb 2016

Fitzroy Crossing

WA

22

1

Mar 2016

Daly River

NT

3

1

Mar 2016

Karratha

WA

29

6

Mar 2016

Kununurra

WA

6

1

Mar 2016

Minyerri

NT

17

1

Mar 2016

Ellalong

NSW

2

1

Mar 2016

Alice Springs

NT

12

1

Marc 2016

Fregon

SA

12

1

Apr 2016

Wodonga

VIC

6

1

Apr 2016

Port Hedland

WA

6

1

Apr 2016

Devonport

Tas

6

1

Apr 2016

Kempsey

NSW

8

1

Apr 2016

Townsville

QLD

10

1

April 2016

Townsville

QLD

6

1

Apr 2016

Caboolture

QLD

7

1

Apr 2016

Chinchilla

QLD

20

1

May 2016

Cairns

QLD

36

12

May 2016

Yarrabah

QLD

5

1

May 2016

Mornington Island

QLD

8

1

May 2016

Mount Gambier

SA

4

1

May 2016

Karratha

WA

30

3

May 2016

Mount Liebig

NT

3

1

Jun 2016

Albury

NSW

7

1

Jun 2016

Cairns

QLD

20

9

Jun 2016

Broome

WA

8

1

Jun 2016

Bowraville

NSW

5

1

Jun 2016

Kalgoorlie

WA

2

1

Jun 2016

Caroona

NSW

4

1

Jun 2016

Port Hedland

WA

15

1

Jun 2016

Ramingining

NT

13

1

Jun 2016

Lajamanu

NT

12

1

TOTAL

   

632

112

Partnerships

In 2015–16 ORIC maintained training partnerships with:

  • State Government of New South Wales
  • State Government of Western Australia
  • Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC).