At our 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on Monday 14 November at 11am (AEST), Spinal Life Australia members voted, both online and through proxyholders.
The outcomes were:
- In the election of directors, members voted on the following three successful candidates:
- Members also voted in favour of a proposal to change Spinal Life Australia’s Constitution to include a new definition of Board Directors as ‘Elected’ by members or ‘Appointed’ by the Board. Further details on these changes can be found below.
All votes, including proxies and through the online platform, were managed independently by Link Market Services, the external company we engaged to conduct this year’s meeting.
Annual Financial Statements and Reports
The Financial Report, Directors’ Report and Auditor’s Report for the financial year ending 30 June 2022 is available by clicking here.
Spinal Life Australia 2021-22 Annual Report
The 2021-22 Annual Report is now available here.
More information on our Constitution changes
At the 2022 AGM, members voted in favour of important changes to our Constitution to make our organisation even stronger.
You can read more below about these changes, which will ensure our Board has the right mix of skills to effectively lead Spinal Life.
Five things you need to know:
- The majority of Board Directors, including our Chair, will always be people who have lived experience of spinal cord damage, combining first-hand knowledge of disability with their professional skills.
- We look for new Directors based on what skills are most needed on the Board at any time, to ensure we have the strongest possible team – the right mix of skills and expertise to achieve Spinal Life’s goals.
- Under the proposal, members will continue to choose the Directors who have lived experience, who you feel will best represent you – these will be called ‘Elected Directors’.
- The remaining group of Directors will be chosen by the Board and subject to regular performance reviews, just like any other role – these will be called ‘Appointed Directors’.
- This change will bring Spinal Life in line with other similar organisations; and ensure we can attract the highest quality Board candidates who have the skills we really need to be successful in the competitive environment.
Frequently asked questions
Why do we need Elected and Appointed Directors?
Since the introduction of the NDIS, Spinal Life Australia operates in a very competitive, commercial environment. To remain financially viable, our Board needs a well-rounded mix of expertise and skills, with Directors who can share their professional knowledge, industry experience and strategic ideas. As always, lived experience of disability remains essential to our Board. This is why we need ‘Elected Directors’ who will always be chosen by our members.
The Board is well-positioned to identify any gaps in professional skills and expertise that are most needed to help guide the organisation and, when required, can search for ‘Appointed Directors’ who meet these criteria. These Appointed Directors may or may not have a disability – it is their skills that are most important when considering them for a Board position.
How many Board Directors will Spinal Life have?
The maximum number of Board Directors is nine, and the number of Elected Directors must always be more than the number of Appointed Directors. This ensures that members always have a say in the composition of the Board and people with lived experience of spinal cord damage will always have the majority vote on the Board. The Board Chair will always be an Elected Director, as voted by members.
How does the Board know what skills they need?
An independent audit of Director skills was undertaken in 2019, which identified ways to strengthen the Board, specifically tailored to our organisation and our goals. As part of this audit, a ‘skills matrix’ was created, which is a document that lists the various types of expertise the Board needs to be successful. This document is updated annually to ensure its currency.
When recruiting for new Directors, the Board uses this document to determine what specific skills or experience they are looking for, to fill any gaps and ensure we have a well-rounded set of skills from different fields.
How will elections work at the next AGM?
At each AGM, one-third of the Elected Directors will be required to ‘retire’ from office and choose to nominate for re-election. No Elected Director may retain office for more than three years without submitting for re-election, to give other members living with spinal cord damage the opportunity to join our Board.
As required under the Constitution, Spinal Life will call for nominations for these positions, and, prior to the AGM, members will be provided profiles on all nominees for their consideration. Candidates for election as an Elected Director must be proposed and seconded by current Ordinary Members, Life Members or Honorary Life Members.
How long will Appointed Directors be on the Board?
The term of appointment of Appointed Directors will be chosen by the Board, however, each term of appointment cannot exceed three years before being reviewed and other candidates considered.
Appointed Directors may only be appointed for up to three consecutive terms, each of three years. Directors will be subject to regular performance reviews, just like any other role at Spinal Life.
Do the Board get paid?
Spinal Life’s Board Directors are all volunteers and give up their time because they believe in our organisation’s mission and vision; and know that they can share their experience and skills to contribute to our success.