While the topic of governance might not be particularly exciting to read about, we do take it very seriously at StartOut Australia.

Having good organisational governance means that we can be more effective and accountable. Our donors can trust that their contributions will be well spent, our volunteers can be assured we’re looking after them and most importantly, we’ll be able to really help people – a lot of people.

StartOut Australia is an Australian public company, limited by guarantee. StartOut Australia is classified as a Health Promotion Charity under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth), is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient and is eligible for certain tax concessions. The details can be found at the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and on the Australian Business Register.

The Constitution of StartOut Australia establishes StartOut Australia for the purpose of promoting the prevention and control of depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses in people who are disadvantaged and vulnerable as a result of identifying as being of diverse sexuality or gender. We will achieve this by carrying out and promoting activities that:

  • eradicate discrimination of DSG people;
  • improve social inclusion and economic participation of DSG people; and
  • educate the wider community on the effects that discrimination and exclusion can have on the mental health of DSG people.

StartOut Australia is governed by a Board of Directors. Our board is to be comprised of a majority of non-executive directors and includes our two executive directors who are delegated to manage the day-to-day operations of StartOut Australia. Our board members are not paid directors fees, they serve as directors in a voluntary capacity. Directors are appointed based on the skills they can bring to the organisation.

The Board is the guardian of the purpose for which StartOut Australia was established – its vision, mission, values and beliefs.

The Board fulfils its primary role by:

  • appointing and removing the Managing (Executive) Director(s) and monitoring performance
  • overseeing the development of, and approving, StartOut Australia’s strategic plan
  • supporting the delivery of the strategic plan by ensuring adequate management of resources to achieve agreed corporate and performance objectives
  • providing input into, approving, and monitoring performance against StartOut Australia’s annual budget and operating plan
  • monitoring, and where necessary, approving StartOut Australia’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements including external financial reporting
  • recommending to Members the appointment and/or removal of and monitoring the performance and ongoing independence of the auditor of StartOut Australia’s

The Board has formally delegated responsibility for the day-to-day operation of StartOut Australia to the Executive Directors.

The Board oversees and monitors management’s performance by:

  • meeting twelve times per year;
  • receiving detailed financial and other reports from management at these meetings and at other times as required; and
  • receiving additional information and input from management when necessary.