A Board meeting of the Lowitja Institute was held at Graduate House, Melbourne on 22 March 2012. Directors who attended were Ms Pat Anderson (Chair), Ms Stephanie Bell, Dr Louise Morauta, Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver, and Mr Robin Lonergan. Dr Sanchia Shibasaki and Professor Peter Buckskin were apologies.
The following provides a summary of some of the matters discussed at the meeting.
The Board considered the revised draft strategic planning statements and noted that as the planning process was still ongoing that the statements will remain as drafts and not be displayed publicly.
CRCATSIH Advisory Board Meeting Dates
The next CRCATSIH Advisory Board meeting dates of 18 July and 21 November 2012 were confirmed. Both will be held in Melbourne.
CRCATSIH Mid-Term Review
The CEO briefed the Board on the preparation activities undertaken for the CRCATSIH Midterm Review by the Commonwealth CRC Program. The dates for the briefings and rehearsals were noted and the Chairperson and two other Directors indicated that they would attend the review.
The Chief Operating Officer spoke to a paper on a major review of the Institute’s budgets and the Board acknowledged the work undertaken by the COO during the review process. The Board directed that any surplus funds be committed to further research projects and that if appropriate a grant funding round take place.
KPMG Audit of Internal Financial Processes
The Chief Operating Officer circulated copies of the KPMG report on the Audit of Internal Financial Processes and the draft management responses, which are currently under consideration by the Finance and Audit Committee members. The Board was pleased to note that no major issues were identified. Amongst some of the Report recommendations, those regarding the separation of duties may be problematic for smaller organisations such as the Institute. Senior management are considering some options to implement these recommendations in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Insurance Policy Renewals
The Chief Operating Officer advised the Board that all insurance policies had been renewed and that there had been no significant premium increases.
Proposal to establish an Investment Committee
The Chief Executive Officer spoke to a paper on the establishment of and Investment Committee. The CEO advised that while the Institute was yet to receive any endowment funds, it was important to identify mechanisms through which donors could have an ongoing meaningful engagement with the Institute and its work. The Board discussed the proposal and suggested that a better vehicle may be a business think tank through which donors/champions could assist the institute with strategic corporate advice or guidance.
Recognition Dinner for Professor Ian Anderson
The Board recorded its thanks to the Institute staff, especially Katie Symes and Trish Williams, for all their work in delivering a fantastic recognition dinner to celebrate the work of Professor Ian Anderson for the CRCAH and the Institute.