The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (the ACNC Act) has the following objects:

  • maintain, protect and enhance public trust and confidence in the Australian not-for-profit sector

  • support and sustain a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative not-for-profit sector

  • promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the sector.

The meaning of the second object – to support and sustain a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative Australian not-for-profit sector – is not clearly explained in the ACNC Act or the Explanatory Memorandum.

In late 2018, the ACNC commissioned a literature review to provide insight into the phrase “robust, vibrant, independent and innovative”, and suggest a range of measurements to help assess the health of the sector, and how that health changes over time.

To read the Measures in support of the not-for-profit sector - Object 1(b) report, visit

Further consultation now open

Following the publication of the review in late 2018, the ACNC consulted a range of stakeholders on proposed ways of understanding and measuring the four attributes.

The ACNC plans to publish information that tracks progress on the four attributes as part of the annual Australian Charities Report.

We are now welcoming any feedback on the proposed publication of additional information.

Please provide any feedback in writing to by 19 July 2019.