Our Board

Our Board of Directors is responsible for Oxfam Australia’s overall performance and compliance, providing strategic direction, effective governance and leadership.


Our Constitution establishes a governance structure for Oxfam Australia in which the management and control of the business and affairs of our organisation is vested in our Board of Directors.

The Board is responsible for:

  • setting the strategic direction and policies of the organisation
  • monitoring overall organisational performance
  • approving and monitoring the annual budget , ensuring overall financial wellbeing, and managing risk
  • ensuring effective engagement with stakeholders
  • ensuring the organisation meets all regulatory and statutory requirements

The Board appoints the Chief Executive, monitors his or her performance and delegates to him or her the organisation’s operational management. The Chief Executive is the Board’s connection to the organisation’s operations and conduct, and he or she is accountable to the Board for the organisation’s performance.

The roles and responsibilities of the Board are set out in our Board Charter. All Directors agree to abide by our Board Charter, which commits them to performance of their roles and responsibilities with honesty, integrity and respect.

The Board has developed a Risk Appetite Statement which considers the significant risks to which Oxfam Australia is exposed in the pursuit of its goals and mandate for change.

Composition and structure

The structure and size of our Board is designed to provide a variety of skills to ensure that the Board can effectively govern Oxfam Australia.

Our Constitution provides that the Board consist of between nine and fifteen Directors. An elected staff participant and the Chief Executive participate in Board meetings, but are not Directors and do not vote in Board decisions.

Directors are generally appointed for staggered terms of four years and may serve a maximum of twelve consecutive years.

The Board elects its own Chair and Deputy Chair. These office bearers serve for two-year terms, for a maximum of three consecutive terms.

The Board maintains a number of committees to assist it in the performance of its functions. All Directors serve on at least one of the Board’s committees, which may also comprise Board-appointed external experts.

  • The Finance, Risk and Audit Committee is responsible for assisting the Board in matters related to the ongoing financial condition, budgeting practices, risk management and statutory compliance of our organisation.
    • Director members: Ann Byrne (Co-Chair), Peter Croft, Dennis Goldner, Lindy Tallis, Michael Wright, Selwyn Button
    • Co-opted members: Mark Pryn (Co-Chair), Bruce Watson
    • Board Observer: Rebecca Smith
  • The Public Engagement Committee is responsible for ensuring the Board’s effective engagement with Oxfam groups, members and supporters.
    • Director members: Melissa Houghton (Chair), Judi Moylan, Michael Wright
    • Co-opted member: Lil Healey
    • Staff participant: John Siddham
  • The Governance Committee is responsible for assisting the Board to improve its own performance, including through overseeing orientation, training and evaluation of individual Directors, Committees and the Board as a whole.
    • Director members: Alan Wu (Chair), Fiona Kotvojs, Dennis Goldner, Greg Ridder, Barbara Rugenduke
    • Co-opted member: Ian Anderson
  • The Remuneration Committee of the Oxfam Australia Board is appointed for the purpose of assisting the Board to review and adopt the policy which guides the terms of employment and the remuneration strategies applicable to the Chief Executive and Senior Leadership Team.
    • Director members: Dennis Goldner (Chair), Ann Byrne, Melissa Houghton, Alan Wu
  • The Nominations Committee is responsible for seeking out, assessing, and recommending appropriately qualified candidates for service on the Board and its Committees.
    • Director members: Dennis Goldner (Chair), Alan Wu
    • Community advisors: Judy Mitchell, Bruce Hartnett, Geoffrey Graham, Glenyys Romanes


The Board generally meets in person six times annually with additional teleconferences as required.

The Finance, Risk and Audit Committee, Governance Committee and Public Engagement Committee generally meet four times a year. The Remuneration Committee meets annually and the Nominations Committee is activated when required.

Oxfam Australia Board – Notes of Meeting held March 2017

Oxfam Australia Board – Notes of Meeting held February 2017

Oxfam Australia Board – Notes of Meeting held December 2016

Oxfam Australia Board – Notes of Meeting held October 2016

Oxfam Australia Board Notes Archive


Appointments to the Board are now managed by a Nominations Committee, comprised of the Chair of the Board, the Chair of the Governance Committee, and four community advisors.

When directed to do so by the Board, the Nominations Committee seeks out and assesses applications for Board membership while having regard to the importance of diversity in Board composition. It then submits a shortlist of suitable candidates for the Board’s consideration for appointment.


The Board self-assesses its performance at the conclusion of every meeting. It formally assesses its performance at least every two years, with an external review at least every four years.


New Directors receive a formal induction and a comprehensive induction manual.

The Board also provides assistance towards the cost of relevant ongoing education for Directors, and provides opportunities for Directors to undertake field visits to our overseas programs.