ACNC Registers First 10 Charities
14 January 2013 at 9:50 am
Australia’s Not for Profit sector has begun 2013 with a flurry as 10 new charities have registered with the charity regulator, the ACNC, in the opening days of the year.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) says the newly-listed charities are active in diverse fields, including Indigenous governance, Christian and Jewish social services and even support for children whose families travel to shows around the country.
The Helmsman Project, which is working with schools across NSW to deliver an innovative 13-week adventure education and personal coaching program aimed at building life-effectiveness skills in year-9 students, applied to the ACNC in late November.
“Becoming a Public Benevolent Institution was a critical next step in our evolution,” Director Andrew Stainer said.
“The ACNC's handling of our application was extremely professional; we were very pleased with the process, particularly given we applied in the run-up to Christmas. A great start for the ACNC!,” Stainer added.
Australia’s first national charities regulator began operations on December 3, 2012 after two decades of demands from the sector.
“It made sense for us to register as a charity, because the main purpose of our organisation is Not for Profit,” Jason Eades of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute said after registering with the ACNC.
“In the longer term, we’re definitely interested in DGR (Deductible Gift Recipient) status, because there are a number of philanthropic groups who want to work with us,” he said.
“Just by glancing through this list (of new charities) you can see the rich tapestry of the charitable sector we have in Australia,” ACNC Assistant Commissioner David Locke said.
Locke also praised the ACNC’s registrations staff, saying they had processed the applications in an average of just eight days.
Prior to the establishment of the ACNC, charities had to apply for tax concessions directly from the Australian Tax Office.
“The whole system was extremely painless,” Roberta Thompson, assistant manager at the Ashford Ageing Care Facility said.
“We registered online and it was very simple, very quick and very efficient.”
The ACNC is holding free face-to-face information sessions around Australia throughout 2013, offering charities a chance to find out what their reporting obligations are, and what the Commission can offer them.
Charities are also invited to give feedback on the ACNC’s Regulatory Approach Statement – either via an online survey, a Word or PDF document or in person at the information sessions.
More than 56,000 charities that were already registered with the ATO were transferred automatically to the ACNC Register – a public, searchable list of all charities in Australia – when the ACNC began operations in late 2012.