A Board meeting of the Lowitja Institute was held at the Stamford Plaza Hotel, Adelaide on 23 November 2011. Directors who attended were Ms Pat Anderson (Chair), Ms Stephanie Bell, Dr Louise Morauta, Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver, Dr Sanchia Shibasaki and Professor Peter Buckskin. Mr Robin Lonergan was an apology.
The following provides a summary of some of the matters discussed at the meeting.
Recruitment of Chief Executive Officer
At an in camera session before the commencement of the Board meeting, the Directors, together with representatives from the Carlyle Young Group, the consultants appointed to handle the recruitment process, reviewed all applications for the position of Chief Executive Officer. Four candidates were shortlisted for interviews to take place in the first week of December.
Appointment of a Director to the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Advisory Board
The CRCATSIH Advisory Board membership is made up from a person nominated by each of the 12 CRCATSIH essential participants plus 2 members appointed from attendees at the 2010 Congress Lowitja and one Director, as Chair, appointed from the Lowitja Institute Board. The CRCATSIH Advisory Board must meet at least annually. The Board resolved to appoint Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver as its representative on the CRCATSIH Advisory Board.
Independent Review of Fundraising Strategy
During September and October 2011, the firm Fundraising Research and Consulting (FRC) was engaged to provide the Board with an independent review of the Institute’s current fundraising strategy. The final report from FRC was discussed at the meeting. Amongst other recommendations the report highlighted that the Institute should continue with its current strategy; focus efforts on seeking one very substantial gift; carry on with the mixed funding model and the Institute engage external expertise as required.
The Lowitja Institute Budget 2010–2014: Review
A minor review of the Institute budget was undertaken during October 2011. The review looked at staff salaries for newly identified positions and project expenditure for the recently approved scholarships. The Finance and Audit Committee had recommended the budget’s acceptance and the Board approved the revised budget.
Term Deposits of Surplus Funds
The Chief Operating Officer presented a proposal to the Board on maximising interest earned on cash surpluses. After considering the paper the Board suggested that rather than having a single deposit, that a set of rolling deposits of smaller amounts be investigated. The Board approved the use of term deposits to maximise interest earning potential and delegated the authority to the Finance and Audit Committee to approve individual term deposits.
Program Area Reports
The Board noted that this was an off-reporting period and that Program Leaders had been asked to only identify significant or relevant issues. Under the traffic light reporting format, no projects had been identified in the red zone and only a few in the amber zone. The Board focused its attention on the key areas of knowledge translation and capacity building and ensuring that these areas were given appropriate focus in Program Area Reports. The Board also discussed whether there was a need to define “knowledge translation” and “capacity” for the purpose of Institute activities/projects.