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Last week I went to Sydney and presented at the Dentons Not-for-profit Breakfast Briefing.

While I was there I took the opportunity to meet with three charities. When travelling, and when my schedule allows, I like meeting with charities to discuss their work and how the ACNC can help.

I met with Natasha Scully from the Australian Social Investment Trust. Natasha and her team support and facilitate investment initiatives which create long term social and economic benefit to Australian Communities.

I also met with Yvette Waddell, the CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute who develop new solutions for vision care and work to eliminate vision impairment and avoidable blindness.

My final charity meeting in Sydney was with Ian Darbyshire and Charles Ulm from the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife. They do incredible work with project partners, scientists and the community to conserve Australia’s unique natural habitats and wildlife.

NSW Stronger Communities Investment Unit

In addition, while in Sydney I met with the Stronger Communities Investment Unit, an initiative of the NSW government. The unit is governed by executives of six government departments, and chaired by the secretary of the Department of Family and Community Services.

The aim is to focus on those children and families who are most vulnerable, by identifying crucial aspects of their lives, and bring an investment approach to commissioning programs of intervention.

The NSW governments ‘Their Future Matters’ initiative will use data from across government to create a coordinated service system that delivers supports by investing resources in programs with strong evidence based outcomes.

This work gels with our desire to have charities report their work by program. This will enable government, philanthropists and donors to use the Charity Register to understand the programs charities deliver, and use that information to inform funding and support decisions.

I look forward to further exploration about how the NSW government and the ACNC can work together.

Governance Institute’s Not-for-profit Governance Forum

Last week I discussed the upcoming Governance Institute’s Not-for-profit Governance Forums with Third Sector. You can read that interview here.

The one day forums, being held in Brisbane and Sydney in October, will provide charity and not-for-profit employees and volunteers with practical governance knowledge and skills.

I will also be presenting a session on the new governance toolkit resources we published.

Anyone interested in learning more about the forums can do so here.

I look forward to attending the forum, discussing specific governance problems facing the charity sector and answering any questions.

Charity Fraud Awareness Week

International Charity Fraud Awareness Week will be held from 21 to 25 October.

Charity Fraud Awareness Week encourages all charities to protect their income and assets and promotes openness and honesty about fraud.

This year’s theme is ‘we are stronger when we work together to keep #CharityFraudOut’.

The ACNC will be participating in and promoting Charity Fraud Awareness Week. Keep an eye out for more information in the lead up to the Week.

In the meantime, you can find out more on the Charity Fraud Awareness Website.

2019 Annual Information Statement

The 2019 Annual Information Statement is now available to submit online via the Charity Portal.

Charities who operate on a 1 July to 30 June financial year have until 31 January 2020 to submit the 2019 Annual Information Statement.

Charities are urged to submit their 2019 Annual Information Statements as early as possible. By submitting early, charities can ensure they do not encounter service delays should they need to contact the ACNC for assistance.

Read our helpful 2019 Annual Information Statement guide.

ACNC webinar on charity governance

Our next free webinar will be held on 24 September.

The webinar will look at the importance of charity governance, including some simple and effective things a charity can do to make sure it is well governed and achieving its aims.

Register for our charity governance webinar here.

Best wishes,
The Hon Dr Gary Johns