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Our board & governance
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Our board & governance

Meet the board at the heart of the Heart Foundation.

Governance overview 

The Heart Foundation is a National Health Promotion Charity with offices in each state and territory. The National Heart Foundation of Australia (Heart Foundation) is a Company Limited by Guarantee. The national entity delivers our Connecting Hearts Strategy, with the delivery and collaboration of localised activities and events co-ordinated with the state and territory offices. 

The Heart Foundation effectively operates as a single unified national organisation, although each state and territory is a subsidiary entity of the Heart Foundation and each local entity is chaired by a national Board Member. 

Each state and territory may nominate two individuals to become members of the national entity. Each state and territory entityhas a Local Advisory Board to support and advise the local CEO. Members of the Heart Foundation  meet with the national Board and are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting.

The Heart Foundation Board  

The Heart Foundation Board determines strategy, while management is responsible for ensuring our strategy is effectively implemented. The Heart Health and Research Strategy Committees have established expert technical advisory groups that assist these Committees to provide advice and recommendations to the Board. 

Generally, the Board have authority for approving:

  • Strategy 
  • Annual budget  
  • Heart Foundation scientific policy papers and guidelines 
  • Annual reports 
  • Heart Foundation organisational policy 
  • Reputation and risk management  

Board Committees

The Heart Foundation Board is a skills-based board of Directors. It has established the following Advisory Committees: 

  • Risk, Audit and Governance 
  • Heart Health 
  • Research Strategy 
  • Investment 
  • Revenue
  • Board Executive 
The Board Committees have a terms of reference to govern their activities and meet regularly throughout the year to ensure the provision of appropriate  advice and recommendations to the Heart Foundation Board. 

Connecting Hearts Strategy 

The Connecting Hearts Strategy establishes the framework for programs and activities delivered by the Heart Foundation. The strategy breaks down initiatives and activities at a local and national level. The strategy’s performance is measured by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) approved by the NHFA Board. 

Good Governance

The Heart Foundation Board is committed to ensuring that standards of good governance are realised openly and with integrity, commensurate with Heart Foundation’s broader objectives. Part of the Board’s role in relation to corporate governance is to implement and maintain a culture of good corporate governance respected by both internal and external stakeholders. The Board recognises its role in overseeing the determination and implementation of policy frameworks that reflect good corporate governance aligned with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (‘ACNC’) Governance Standards.

The ACNC Governance Standards are the core requirements Heart Foundation applies in relation to corporate governance. These ACNC Governance Standards are:

  • Standard 1 – Purposes and not-for-profit nature
  • Standard 2 – Accountability to members
  • Standard 3 – Compliance with Australian laws
  • Standard 4 – Suitability of responsible persons, and
  • Standard 5 – Duties of responsible persons.

The Heart Foundation continues to be committed to undertaking governance measures which strengthen relationships and processes to ensure that the funds raised by, or gifted to us, are used to carry out our vision – towards an Australia free of heart disease – and our mission – to reduce heart disease and improve the heart health and quality of life of all Australians through our work in risk, reduction, support, care and research.

Priority Areas

Our commitment to people who are socially and economically disadvantaged and affected by heart disease remain a priority. This focus includes:

  • Communities in regional, rural and remote areas 
  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.   
The Heart Foundation is committed to maintain our important local relationships, programs and activities, and continue to be a strong local presence in each state and territory.  

Our legal entities 

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