aicd division and canberra

  • Date:01 Sep 2005
  • Type:CompanyDirectorMagazine

AICD Division and Canberra

Canberra “Unlike any other city in the world” - Walter Burley Griffin

Canberra may the nation’s capital and the site of the National Parliament but Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory is also home to a vibrant and progressive business sector. It is a business sector determined to expand beyond the requirements of simply being a supplier to the biggest business in town – the Federal Government and its agencies.
Business confidence among the territory’s small to medium enterprises is high in both local and national surveys. Local SMEs are making significant gains in the export and technology market with many of the ACT’s firms receiving accolades in the national business press.
As companies grow, the skills needed to run the company also increase. Nowhere is this more evident than in boardrooms of the territory’s businesses. And the need for boardroom skills isn’t restricted to the private sector.
Government business is big business and the recognition that these businesses need to be run in a professional manner has meant many government employees and managers have had to upgrade their skill levels including a greater understanding of their duties and obligations as a director of a government entity.
Like the territory’s businesses, the ACT Division of the AICD grew from small beginnings in 1990 under the leadership of Graeme Burgess to a full AICD Division with its own offices headed by Phil Butler and supported by Pauline West, Tania Billik and Geoff Carter.
The ACT Division has established strong links with the Federal Government in terms of staging events such as the annual Public Sector Governance Forum at the Hyatt Hotel, Canberra. The theme was based on risk assessment and management with keynote speakers including Australian Auditor-General Ian McPhee; the deputy of the Defence Materiel Organisation Norm Gray; and Elizabeth Montano, chair of the Centrelink board.
Many government managers have taken the AICD’s highly successful Company Directors’ Course including the former head of the nation’s defence force, General Peter Cosgrove who has recently been appointed to the board of Qantas Airlines.
As with all other divisions the council members are an integral part of the division’s success. Current president is James Morris and the eight division councillors are: Dale Budd, Ross Cottrill, Noela L’Estrange, Lois Fordham, Brand Hoff, Eric Leape, Dick Henley and Alan Morrison.
“The ACT Division has experienced exceptional growth over the years thanks to the hard work of the division staff,” says James Morris. Through their efforts and the support of the National Office, the ACT Division has built an excellent reputation as leading organisation for professional development not only for the ACT private sector but also the government sector.
“To be a director in today’s climate requires a knowledge base specific to the task of being a professional director. To keep abreast of the changing regulatory environment, to understand and manage the risks associated with running a business or a government entity requires constant updating of your skills set.
“We believe that in the courses, the events and the networking functions that the ACT Division arranges, we are a business partner to the ACT’s growing private and government business sectors.”