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NFP Board Observership Program Call for Applications


16 August 2016 at 1:56 pm
Lina Caneva
Applications have opened for Victorian Not for Profit organisations and individuals to join the Observership Program which allows a young professional to sit on their board as an observer, while providing access to the perspective of the next generation.

Lina Caneva | 16 August 2016 at 1:56 pm


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NFP Board Observership Program Call for Applications
16 August 2016 at 1:56 pm

Applications have opened for Victorian Not for Profit organisations and individuals to join the Observership Program which allows a young professional to sit on their board as an observer, while providing access to the perspective of the next generation.

 People in boardroom standing RS

Established in Sydney in 2013 and modeled on a similar successful program in the United States, the program is now in its fourth year of operation. The Observership Program places people aged 25 to 40 on Not for Profit boards for a period of 12 months.

“Observers are selected via a competitive application process and matched with Not for Profit organisations for 12 months,” Observership Program CEO Cathy Robinson said.

“During that time, organisations allow observers to attend all board and / or committee meetings as non-voting members so they can both contribute to the organisation and learn about fundamental principles and functions of Not for Profit boards, the role of board members, the decision-making process and governance priorities.

“In addition, observers are required to participate in a formal professional development program over the 12 months delivered for the program by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), comprising a series of facilitated sessions on key topics about directorship.”

Robinson said the program also created a valuable networking opportunity for observers to meet other like-minded young professionals on a similar path to involvement and leadership.

“The program requires participating boards to allow an observer to attend all board meetings. While this individual cannot vote, she / he can participate as much or little as the board stipulates,” Robinson said.  

Participation in the program will also require a member or members of the board to:

  • interview and rank three to four prospective candidates carefully assigned to your board
  • act as liaison with the placed observer
  • oversee the observer’s involvement in a special project and/or formal sub-committee if deemed valuable for the board.

Participating organisations in the 2016/17 Melbourne program include:

  • Australian Communities Foundation
  • Family Life
  • Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
  • Museum of Australian Democracy Eureka
  • Philanthropy Australia
  • Save the Children Australia.

Applications for both Not for Profits and observers close at 11:55pm on 4 September 2016. For more information email info@observership.com.au


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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