Engaging with those affected by our work helps us make better decisions, provides greater predictability and transparency, and builds trust and confidence. Collaborating with other regulators helps us to minimise the regulatory burden on charities, find opportunities to work on common issues and to be more efficient. Put simply, engagement makes us a better regulator.

Two key annual events that are important in supporting our engagement with the charity sector and with other regulators have been held over the past two days − the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (CLAANZ) conference and the ACNC Regulators Day.

ACNC Assistant Commissioner, General Counsel Anna Longley made some opening remarks at the CLAANZ conference about legislative changes and legal issues the ACNC has been considering over the course of the year. The broad conference theme was Government and the Sector and covered matters such as regulation, administrative law, the relationship between government and charities and political advocacy. Discussion was wide ranging and touched on innovation and risk in regulation, charitable trusts and Indigenous economic development, and recent developments in taxation. Meanwhile today at our Regulators Day, we welcomed Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing, the Hon Michael Sukkar MP to speak about Government priorities.

Registered charities are required to meet several obligations to maintain their entitlement to registration, such as reporting annually and notifying the ACNC of certain changes. We are committed to providing accurate, timely and relevant information to charities to help them understand and meet their obligations, in a way that minimises the impact on their time and resources.

Tapping into the expertise of stakeholders and canvassing a diversity of viewpoints results in better regulatory decisions and clear, accessible guidance. It improves how we communicate what the regulations are and how to comply with them. The feedback loop supports continuous improvement in our approach, increasing compliance over time.

The way we communicate takes different forms and aims to reach the breadth of stakeholders with an interest in charities, but throughout the year, two forums are particularly important for us. The Adviser Forum comprises professional advisers to the charity sector such as legal and accounting professionals, while the Sector Forum comprises representatives from registered charities who are important participants in the Regulators Day each year.

We value the expertise and insights we gain from engagement with all our stakeholders. The charity sector contributes enormously to the Australian community, so ultimately it is the community that benefits.

Best wishes,
The Hon Dr Gary Johns