Swings + Roundabouts Winter 2022

important to them outside the board? Include contact details and a photograph of each trustee to make it easier to put a face to a name. Do the same for the operations team. Create space for them to meet you as Centre Manager. This signals a different relationship – board member vs. parent. Hands on experience If the new board member is not a parent who has experience at the Centre. Coming in for a session (or two) is a great way to truly understand why the Centre exists and what you do. A visit will keep them connected to the big picture of their role. Your history 1-pager Sharing the Centre’s history is a vital part of helping people understand the big picture and can help to put their role into context. Big picture key points, not the day-today happenings. Bring them to life using photographs, videos, or storyboards. Vision, Mission, and Strategic Plan Board members need to understand the Centre’s direction for the future. What is your vision - the future you are trying to create? What is your mission – what do you do on a day-to-day basis to make that vision a reality? What are your longer-term focus areas? Clear understanding of your vision, mission and focus areas will enable trustees to make effective decisions. How you work together – What’s important? What are your Centre’s values? What’s important to your Centre about how you do things? “It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.” - Roy E Disney Your Constitution This document outlines the rules by which your Centre must be run as an Incorporated Society. The board is responsible for making sure those rules are followed. Expectations of board members The Incorporated Societies Act 2022 sets out duties for governing group members. There will also be expectations specific to your organisation. For example positively contributing at meetings, practising due diligence in decision making, undertaking training etc. They are not necessarily expected by all organisations, so you need to make yours clear from the start. Code of conduct To avoid potential upset, conflict, or embarrassment further down the track, make sure your new board members are given a Code of Conduct. What you include in this document is up to you, but you might want to consider things like how you work together or how trustees must conduct themselves with staff and other parents. Your process for managing conflict of interest. Setting out what is expected provides clarity. Role and responsibilities Regardless of the size of your Centre, you need to ensure your new member understands the role of governance and About the author Megan is Managing Director of Exult. She is passionate about governance and helping organisations to build governing group capability and best practice process to help them work to their full potential. Megan runs a range of governance workshops from getting everyone on the same page to meeting processes, conflict of interest, power of policies and being a successful Chair. Join Megan for her workshop at the ECC Conference in September. Focused on community-based Centres, her session will provide practical tips and tools to help Centre Managers to support their board to be the best they can be. their responsibilities from the outset. How do you manage the split of governance and operational roles and responsibilities between the board and Centre Manager? Liabilities Ensure your board member understands how the Centre manages potential liability for board members. What is set out in your constitution? What legislation applies to the Centre and how can you make it as easy as possible for board members to understand what is involved. You might also include: ● Full Centre organisational chart ● Centre highlights for the previous year ● Recent annual reports ● External audit reports ● Fundraising strategy 1-page overview ● Approved budget for the year ● Most recent monthly financials ● Board meeting minutes of the last 3 meetings and the agenda for the next meeting ● Governance boards and members ● Logistics and policy information ● Past Centre newsletters ● List of upcoming meetings and events that your new person might like to attend Create your process and plan for sharing the information that helps your new board member feel equipped and engaged first, then enable them to access the rest at their own pace. You might choose to share through a Board Charter or Handbook. You can ask your trustee to sign as having read and understood, not from a legal perspective, from a commitment and clarity perspective. June 2022 { 17 }