The Members Voice - October 2003

Wednesday, 01 October 2003


    The Members Voice for October 2003.

    Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act Review

    The Victorian Government has commissioned Chris Maxwell QC to review and update the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1985 and related legislation.

    The update will consider and provide recommendations on any changes that are required to the legislative framework, to secure the health, safety and welfare of workers, increase the involvement of employees and employers in the formulation and implementation of safety standards and to ensure that employees, employers and "other duty holders" clearly understand their rights, responsibilities and duties.

    A discussion paper will be released in mid October 2003 for comment and the final review is to be submitted to the Victorian Government in January 2004. AICD will make a submission to the review and will monitor its progress closely.

    Royal Commission

    The Treasurer has announced the Government's final response to the 61 policy recommendations of the Royal Commission.

    Some of the recommendations relate to independent bodies such as APRA, ASX and the AASB and have been referred to those bodies for a response. A number of the recommendations relate to corporate governance and financial reporting and will be implemented in the CLERP 9 draft legislation which is expected to be released for public comment in October. The Government response can be viewed at

    Boardroom Dynamics

    A working party consisting of members of the AICD Accounting and Financial Advisory Committee and the Group of 100 have worked with well known author and presenter Margot Cairnes to produce a guide on the behavioural dynamics that operate in boardrooms.

    The guide explores the effect that these dynamics have on effective decision making in the boardroom, in board committees and by senior executives. It is designed to raise awareness of the issues that arise in practice and to explore some of the types of behaviour that either promote or undermine good corporate governance.

    The underlying philosophy of the guide is that poor governance occurs as often from deep-seated human co-operative instincts as from malice, greed, or criminal intent. It examines how even the best-intentioned people of high integrity can be members of a board with poor corporate governance practices. The guide shows how to recognise these situations when they occur, and how to correct them.

    The purpose of the guide is not to add to existing literature on corporate governance 'best practice' processes and procedures, but to raise awareness of the things people do that impair the integrity of data and of decisions based on that data.

    Members of the working party were James Beecher, Gavin Campbell, Lloyd Draney, Mark Johnson, Catherine Maxwell, Russell Philp and Bronwen Taylor. The guide will be available in October/November.

    Council Working Group

    Sustainability Committee chairman Dr Keith Suter will represent AICD on the Commonwealth Government's Industry Working Group of the National Environmental Education Council.

    NEEC was established in July 2000 by the Environment and Heritage Minister, following the release of the Government's National Action Plan for Environmental Education. NEEC is a non-statutory body providing expert advice on the effectiveness of the Government's environmental education activities and environmental education issues.

    The Industry Working Group will advise NEEC on priority needs in the industry sector and what actions need to be taken to address those needs. The NEEC has already commenced work in this sector by commissioning research into industry attitudes to the environment to better understand the impediments to the adoption of sustainability practices.

    Sustainability Publication

    The AICD Board has approved a new publication, A guide to Sustainability in your Company. The guide will be an addition to the AICD Directors' Check List series. It will be available November/ December. Enquiries can be made to the AICD Publications Department 02 8248 6608.

    FAQ of the month

    Am I a nominee director?

    A nominee director is appointed by a particular group such as a major shareholder to represent them on a company board. Sometimes a group of shareholders will have the right to appoint one or more directors under the company's articles of association or constitution. A nominee must act in the best interests of the company and not the nominator, irrespective of who nominates them. Nominee directors must also remember that what goes on in the boardroom is confidential to the board members only and cannot be disclosed to a third party without the board's permission. An exception to this is a nominee director, nominated by a Commonwealth authority who has the right to report back to the Minister nominating them, see the Commonwealth and Authorities Corporation Act 2001.

    For more information see Duties and Responsibilities of Directors and Officers, Bob Baxt. 17th edition, AICD, 2002, Pages 12-18

    New NSW manager to build on momentum

    Raising professional standards through education has been a career endeavour of the new NSW Division manager, Mark Carmichael. Mark took over the management of the division in September. His focus is to build on the momentum of new education programs and services currently on offer to members and to ensure ongoing growth of the division's network of 5800 members.

    Working in member-based associations and delivering quality education has been central to Mark's career. He commenced working life as a teacher and then entered the not-for-profit arena 15 years ago. A Masters in Business Management from the University of Technology, Sydney introduced Mark to management roles and for the past seven years he has managed NSW regional divisions of two national member-based associations.

    His most recent role, as executive manager of the NSW/ACT division of the Recruitment & Consulting Services Association, involved raising the professional standards of the recruitment industry through new education programs, representing members on a federal and state level on recent regulation changes in the industry and workers compensation and developing business partnerships with both the private and public sectors.

    "In my four years at the association we developed and implemented a strategy to raise professionalism in the recruitment industry. This involved creating a pre-requisite level of education to raise standards," he said. "My skills developed in delivering education, keeping members informed of developments and advocating on their behalf will be used for the benefit of NSW Division members."

    A resident of Sydney for more than 15 years, Mark grew up in Crookwell on the NSW Southern Tablelands. Outside the office, Mark and wife, Liz, a doctor in charge of the emergency unit at Mona Vale Hospital on Sydney's northern beaches, run a busy household of three children.


    The purpose of this database is to provide a full-text record of all articles that have appeared in the CDJ since February 1997. It is aimed to assist in the research and reference process. The database has a full-text index and will enable articles to be easily retrieved.It should be noted that information contained in this database is in pre-publication format only - IT IS NOT THE FINAL PRINTED VERSION OF THE CDJ - therefore there might be slight discrepancies between the contents of this database and the printed CDJ.

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