Today the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) was officially launched by the Assistant Treasurer, the Hon. David Bradbury MP, in front of a broad cross-section of charities and not-for-profit sector representatives.
Speaking at the official launch, Ms Pascoe said that the establishment of the ACNC marked an important day for the not-for-profit sector, and that she was proud to be named the first Commissioner of the ACNC.
“It’s wonderful to be here and see so many people from the sector joining us to mark the official launch of the ACNC. I am especially pleased that our launch is being held on the International Day of Human Rights, where we acknowledge, raise the significance of, and draw attention to the Declaration of Human Rights.
“Many charities devote their efforts to ensuring that the basic human rights of individuals are met and that we provide a world where those who are less fortunate or who struggle with poverty, homelessness and indifference can find support and compassion through the work of charities.
“Many people across government and the sector have worked tirelessly to take the ACNC from a concept to a fully operational organisation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved,” Ms Pascoe said.
Minister Bradbury welcomed the establishment of the ACNC and said that this is a historic day for the sector.
“I’m proud to be here today to formally launch the first ever national, independent, regulator of charities. The establishment of the ACNC is about supporting public trust and confidence in the not-for-profit sector, and about encouraging innovation and sustainability,” Minister Bradbury said.
“The ACNC will focus on cutting down on red tape for charities, so that they can get on with doing what they do best – supporting the most vulnerable members of our community.
“I would like to congratulate and formally welcome Susan Pascoe, the ACNC Commissioner, the Assistant Commissioners, David Locke and Murray Baird and the whole ACNC team.”
The ACNC opened for business on Monday 3 December, and immediately commenced education and advice services for the sector and the public.
“The introduction of the ACNC is an exciting time for the sector but there will also be challenges,” Ms Pascoe said.
“We do realise that some charities, particularly smaller charities, may find the initial transition to a national regulator difficult, however our staff have completed extensive training and are here to help.
“Our staff can provide advice on a broad range of matters including the registration process, what the ACNC means for a charity, what reporting charities need to undertake, as well as providing information to the public.”
The introduction of the ACNC also marks the first time members of the public have been able to search a national database which lists all 56 000 registered charities. The ACNC Register, available on the ACNC’s website, will initially allow the public to search for charities, by state, ABN, or name.
Over time the functions of the ACNC Register will expand to include information about the registered charity, their activities, finances and reports. This will assist the public to make informed decisions about making donations and volunteering.
Charities and members of the public can contact the ACNC by calling 13 ACNC (13 22 62), emailing email@example.com, or by visiting our website www.acnc.gov.au. The ACNC is also active on social media through Facebook(facebook.com/acnc.gov.au) and Twitter(twitter.com/@acnc_gov_au).
The official launch took place in Melbourne at Charcoal Lane, Mission Australia’s not-for-profit restaurant that provides hands on work experience and training to Aboriginal and disadvantaged young people.