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Good governance

Corporate governance is the system by which your club or association is controlled. It is about how your club or association manages its resources effectively for both members and stakeholders.

Committees and boards must fully understand their responsibilities, as well as the key operational aspects of their club/association.
Good corporate governance is about:

  • Planning - Developing strategic goals and objectives, and determining how these can be achieved
  • Organisational performance - Monitoring the performance of the club or association against performance targets to ensure the goals and objectives are achieved
  • Leadership - Ensuring the club or association is governed responsibly with the best interests of members and stakeholders at the core of decision making.

Benefits of good governance

  • Better management - Good governance encourages better managed and more efficiently organised clubs or associations.
  • Improved communication - A well-run club or association facilitates better informed members and volunteers.
  • Sustainability and growth - Careful business planning and implementation of policies and procedures helps sustain and develop your club or association and the sport.
  • Attracting sponsors - Sponsors are more likely to link up with efficiently run organisations.
  • Appealing to insurers - Generally insurers have a higher regard for clubs or associations with good governance practices. This may result in reduced premiums.
  • Increased membership - Parents are more likely to enrol children in a club or association that is being well managed.
  • Enhanced reputation - Through satisfied members the profile and reputation of your club or association can be raised.

More information

Related sections

Useful governance glossary

  • Office Bearers - Are elected or appointed to boards or committees of sporting clubs/associations who are often seen as community sports leaders.  Typically, club office bearers have higher levels of involvement and are responsible for running their club.  Office bearers have legal obligations as directors and are often given titles including: committee member, sports administrator, president, chairperson, treasurer, secretary, public officer, member protection information officer.
  • Association - mean a State Sporting Organisation, Regional Sporting Association and community club a company, firm, enterprise, or other legal entity, whether incorporated or not, public or private, that has its own functions(s) and administration.
  • Non profit - According to the Australian Tax Office is any organisation which is not operating for the profit or gain of its individual members, whether these gains would have been direct or indirect. This applies both while the organisation is operating and when it winds up.  A non profit can still make a profit but it must be used to carry out its purposes as per its Constitution and is not distributed to any of its members.
  • Board or Executive (the Board) - The body comprised of the directors and includes executive committees of management as per the model sport constitution templates.
  • Sub-committee - The body delegated authority by the Board or committee to undertake tasks on behalf of the Board or committee.
  • Coach or official - A person who could be a fitness instructor, outdoor recreation guide, team manager, team coach, mentors.
  • Sport Volunteer - A representative from the community who freely chooses to give their time, skills and experience to support their sport or recreation activities (See also Australian Bureau of Statistics).
  • Director - A person (office bearer) charged with the management (in a governance sense) of the club.
  • Duty of care - The duty to take care to refrain from causing another person injury or loss.
    Fiduciary - The relationship of one person to another, where the former is bound to exercise rights and powers in good faith for the benefit of the latter.
  • Governance - The processes and systems by which legal entities are controlled.
  • Regulations - are sometimes referred to as by-laws. These are key rule and policy documents which can address a range of issues for a club i.e. disciplinary process, election procedures, member protection, anti-doping, grievance handling, financial management and particular sporting matters like anti-doping (subject to National Sporting Organisation).
  • Insurance - A contract whereby the insurer agrees, for payment of a premium by the insured, to indemnify the insured against loss on the happening of certain events.  The insurance policy is the document which contains the insurance contract.
  • Intellectual property  - All rights or goodwill subsisting in copyright, business names, names, trade marks (or signs), logos, designs, trade secrets, know how, equipment, images (including photographs, videos or films) or service marks (whether registered or registrable) relating to the club or any event, competition or club activity of or conducted, promoted or administered by the club, whether past, present or future.
  • Liability - Subject to a legal obligation; or the obligation itself. 
    Stakeholders - Those people and clubs who may affect, be affected by, or perceive themselves to be affected by, a decision or activity.