In early June, the Chair of the Board of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), the Hon. Helen Coonan, announced that David Locke has been appointed as the Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive Officer of AFCA.
I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate David on accepting this new role, which will suit his considerable expertise in leadership, relationship building and stakeholder management.
David has been an integral member of the ACNC for almost 7 years, playing a vital role as Chief Adviser to the ACNC Taskforce before his appointment as Assistant Commissioner, Charity Services. He has been an essential part of the fabric of the ACNC.
We thank him for his service and wish him all the best for his new role.
Since the last edition of ACNC Quarterly, I have had the opportunity to meet with a range of people involved in the not-for-profit sector across the country. These conversations have bettered my understanding of the issues charities are facing, which has helped me shape my vision for the ACNC over the coming years.
In March, and again in mid-May, I outlined this vision during keynote addresses at not-for-profit sector conferences in Melbourne.
I firmly believe that the data the ACNC collects about a charity – its operations, beneficiaries and activities – can be used by donors to make informed giving decisions and help to drive every charity dollar further.So far, the data collected by the ACNC has given us an overview of Australia’s charity sector, providing information about the location, size, activities and beneficiaries of almost 55,500 registered charities.
However, over time, we can do more with the data.
I plan to make it easier for donors and volunteers to access and understand our data, effectively lowering the cost of analysis. In addition to making data more readily available, we want to help donors and volunteers find charities in the first place. We’re currently in the middle of a $3 million project (more on this below) to improve our website and the Charity Register, and in the coming year, we hope to have implemented a more user-centric search function that helps donors find similar charities, operating in similar regions.
For those of you who could not attend the events I have spoken at, and who are interested, you can read the speeches on our website. A video of the first speech, recorded by A-PAC, is also available to watch on YouTube.
Over the coming months, I look forward to travelling around the country to meet with charities and stakeholders, and continuing to explore ways to increase the transparency of Australia’s charity sector.