About Us Governance
Opportunity International Australia believes that good governance is a means of staying accountable and remaining worthy of trust.
Opportunity International Australia believes that good governance is a means of staying accountable and remaining worthy of trust. Ultimate responsibility for the governance of Opportunity rests with the Board. The Board is responsible for overseeing the functions of the organisation, including input into (and approval of) policies and practices, strategy, management and the operation of Opportunity.
The Board has delegated the responsibility of management, operation and administration to the Leadership Team, while Opportunity's Council is purely an advisory group. Learn more about Opportunity’s governance structure here.
Opportunity’s Board Charter sets out our corporate governance policy and defines the roles, responsibilities, protocols and authorities of the Board. It also includes information on:
- The functions and structure of the Board
- The role of individual Directors, the Chair, CEO and Company Secretary
- Board Committees
- Our policies
- Stakeholder interests and communication.
Appointment of directors
All Directors are expected to bring specific skills and experience that add value to the Company. The Appointments and Compensation Committee regularly reviews the composition of the Board and presents recommendations for changes to achieve the required diversity of skills, experience, qualifications, gender, age, geographic representation, relationships and personal attributes to ensure an appropriate balance is maintained to increase the Board’s effectiveness.
Directors are elected by the Members of Opportunity at a General Meeting by a simple majority of votes. Between General Meetings the Board may appoint a Director, who meets all the requirements of a Director, who may serve until the following General Meeting when he or she must either resign or stand for election. New Directors undergo a full induction to help them succeed in their role on the Board.
Directors’ code of conduct
The Board of Directors takes its duty to act in good faith and fulfil its legal obligations seriously. It also takes into account the best interests of Opportunity’s stakeholders, including members, supporters, clients, volunteers, employees and partner organisations. A Directors’ Code of Conduct is in place to ensure the Board acts with the highest standards of honesty, integrity, respect and fairness.
The detail of some Board functions is handled through Board committees. However, the Board as a whole is responsible for determining the extent of powers delegated to each committee and is ultimately responsible for accepting, modifying, or rejecting committee recommendations.
The Board has established three standing committees; the Audit and Risk Committee, the Appointments and Compensation Committee and the Revenue Committee. The Board reserves the right to appoint other committees from time to time as deemed necessary. The Charters outlining the purpose, powers as delegated by the Board, composition and reporting requirements can be viewed here: Audit and Risk Committee, Appointments and Compensation Committee and Revenue Committee.
The performance of the Board, its Committees and the Chair is evaluated annually as a critical input into effective governance. In 2020, Opportunity benefited from a $50k grant under the BoardOutlook not-for-profit program and we now use BoardOutlook to conduct the annual performance evaluation.
Like any well-governed organisation, Opportunity places great emphasis on maintaining appropriate policies and procedures to ensure we fulfil our obligations to comply with various state and federal legislation and regulations. Particular areas of focus include the Corporations Act, privacy legislation, workplace health and safety regulations, child protection, various state fundraising and charities legislation and employment law. Learn more about Opportunity's policies here.
As a steward of donated funds, Opportunity strives to be accountable and transparent in everything it does. Opportunity expects the same commitment to transparency and accountability from our partners. We monitor our partners to ensure they communicate important issues and developments, whether they are positive or negative. We also have legal agreements in place with our partners, participate in their governance and are actively involved in risk management and fraud and corruption prevention.
We are also committed to providing stakeholders with opportunities to provide input and feedback, as well as responding to that input and feedback in a timely, respectful and appropriate manner. Learn more about how Opportunity makes information available here.
Opportunity is fully accredited by the Australian Government and receives federal government funding through the ANCP Program. A rigorous accreditation process involving a detailed assessment of organisational structure, systems, policies, processes and philosophies is conducted regularly. Opportunity is also subject to ad hoc audits that look at the adequacy and efficiency of our management systems, contract administration, recognised development expenditure, project procurement, asset control and fraud risk management.
Each year, Opportunity submits funding proposals to the Australian Government. These include a plan of development activities which we intend to support with the ANCP subsidy and a snapshot of targets and milestones for a variety of programs over a 12-month period. Each proposal is then assessed by the Australian Government to ensure compliance with the ANCP Guidelines and Guiding Principles.
An annual performance report is prepared by Opportunity and submitted to the Australian Government. This report contains the annual achievements of the projects using specified measures of performance and the annual financial acquittal, as well as progress against development objectives and outputs as identified in the proposals. We are grateful to the Australian Government for its continued support.
Australian Council for International Development (ACFID)
Opportunity is a full member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and is a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct. This code outlines minimum standards of management, accountability and governance for international development organisations including communication with the public and how funds raised are to be spent.
In keeping organisations accountable, the Code ensures that public confidence is maintained in the way funds are used overseas and in Australia. At Opportunity, funds and other resources designated for specific purposes will be used only for the purposes that are stated. We oppose, and will not be a knowing party to, wrongdoing, corruption, bribery or other financial impropriety in any of our activities.
In embracing the ACFID Code of Conduct, we aim to build creative and trusting relationships with people in developing countries and meet program standards which:
- Give priority to the needs and interests of the people they serve
- Encourage self help and self-reliance among beneficiaries and thus avoid creating dependency
- Involve beneficiary groups to the maximum extent possible in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects and programs
- Respect and foster internationally recognised human rights, both socioeconomic and civil-political
- Seek to enhance gender equity
- Respect the dignity, values and religion of the people with whom we work
- Are based on an understanding of the history and culture of the people served.
Opportunity also adheres to ACFID’s Fundraising Charter and reports to the Board of Directors annually on our compliance with the Charter.
Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA)
Whilst not currently a member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA), Opportunity has adopted the FIA Code and is committed to ethical, accountable and transparent fundraising.
The FIA, our national peak body that represents professional fundraising in Australia, aims to let Australians know they have a right to be reassured their charity is fundraising and managing their funds in a transparent and accountable manner, which is critical to how a fundraising organisation is viewed by donors, government and the community.
The FIA Code is a voluntary, self-regulatory code of conduct for fundraising in Australia. It aims to raise standards of conduct across the sector by going beyond the requirements of government regulation. Its content is informed by the International Statement of Ethical Principles in Fundraising. Find out more about the FIA Code.
Opportunity has implemented a formal risk identification and management process in order to minimise risk and ensure that key risks are being managed appropriately – read more.