Better Boards Conference 2024

Better Boards Conference 2024 Master the Art of the Boardroom SYDNEY, 14 & 15 JUNE 2024


Resilient Governance and Technology

Vera Visevic

Partner, Mills Oakley

Vera heads up the Sydney Not-For-Profit, Human Rights & Social Impact team at Mills Oakley. Acting for numerous charities, religious and not-for-profit organisations, Vera has 30 years' experience in the legal profession. In her work, Vera is well recognised for her expertise in assisting clients with governance and fundraising issues, restructuring and mergers and regularly advises on constitutions and ACNC/ATO endorsements. Vera has written several academic works, including a chapter within ‘Charity Law’ (2012, 2016 and 2018) published by Thompson Reuters.

Vera sits on numerous charity boards, associations and committees including the ACNC Professional User Group; the Community and Consumer Consultative Group, Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW; Everyday Justice; and Catholic Care, Diocese of Parramatta.

Privacy protection changes are coming – prepare now before the proposed changes become law.

The 2022-23 NFP Governance and Performance Study conducted by the Australian Institute of Company Directors shows that a current top priority of not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) is ‘responding to changes in our operating environment’. Of particular concern is the increasing use of technology, the rapid development of that technology and how relying upon such technology exposes NFPs to potential privacy breaches.

This is evidenced by the fact that on 25 October 2023, more than 20 organisations signed an open letter to the Australian Government (which included NFP organisations such as Community Legal Centres Australia and Human Rights Watch), the letter was a clarion call for the introduction of major reforms to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) to protect everyday Australians from data misuse and invasions of privacy.

In November 2023, the Digital Technology in NFP Sector report was released by InfoXchange which researched areas of strength, growth and improvement in NFPs by examining technology use. The report stated that there was a concerning trend which found that just one third of NFPs agreed their IT systems work well and just 22% agreed that more generally their systems enabledthem to measure the impact of their services and outcomes.

In September 2023, the Australian Government released its response to the Privacy Act Review Report confirming its commitment to strengthening privacy protection. It is now merely a matter of time as to when these proposals will be adopted.

As data is crucial to all NFPs, it is critical for NFPs to prepare for the incoming law reform.

This presentation will:

  • (a) highlight the key proposals and law reform which the Government has ‘agreed’ to adopt and of which NFPs should be aware;

  • (b) address potential challenges and opportunities to the NFP sector arising from the proposed reform; and

  • (c) offer practical tools to support directors and senior management such as updating policies, ensuring that they have an adequate understanding of their IT systems and associated risks, adopting a digital transformation strategy etc.

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Conference Partners

HLB Mann Judd
Virtual Support Specialists
Integrite Insurance
Australian Ageing Agenda
Russell Kennedy Lawyers