The Director has overall responsibility for the leadership and management of the Institute. A number of groups are in place to support this function.
The Executive group leads and coordinates all aspects of the research and corporate functions of the Institute. It comprises the Director and the two Deputy Directors.
Senior Leadership Group
The Senior Leadership Group comprises the Executive and Senior Managers from the corporate and research areas. The group is a strategic leadership forum providing advice to the Director and Deputy Directors.
Governance committees and advisory groups
We support sound management of our accountability and ethical and legislative responsibilities through the Risk Assessment and Audit Committee, and the Human Research Ethics Committee. We also have numerous research advisory groups providing advice on the research projects.
Risk Assessment and Audit Committee
The Risk Assessment and Audit Committee reports to the Director and plays a key role in our corporate governance. It helps ensure effective and efficient use of resources by reviewing the performance and operations of internal controls and performance management systems. It approves our internal audit program and advises the Executive on risk fraud compliance and performance. It also provides assurance to the Director on preparing and reviewing financial statements. An external member chairs the committee. Membership includes the two Deputy Directors and three independent members external to the Institute. The committee met four times during 2018/19, addressing a range of issues including the review of budgets.
Risk assessment and audit committee members, 2018/19
- Dennis Mihelyi (Chair), Chief Financial Officer, Australian Building and Construction Commission
- Brian Scammell (Member), Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Group, Productivity Commission
- Matthew Zappulla (Member), Technical Director, Auditing and Assurance Standards Board
- Kelly Hand (Member), Deputy Director (Research), AIFS
- Dr Michael Alexander (Member), Deputy Director (Corporate Services), AIFS
- Anne Hollonds (Observer), Director, AIFS
- Malcolm Williamson (Observer), Chief Financial Officer, AIFS
Human Research Ethics Committee
The role of our Human Research Ethics Committee is to ensure the ethical standards outlined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans, and elaborated in our ethics statement, Ethical Issues in the Research Process (1996), are met in all research projects undertaken by us.
In particular, the committee must ensure projects meet the three key principles of: respect for persons, beneficence and justice, as set down in the National Statement. The committee is registered with the Australian Health Ethics Committee, a sub-committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council.
The Ethics Committee meets to consider new project proposals, receive brief oral and written reports on ongoing projects, consider any complaints or problems that may have arisen regarding ethical issues in our research, and review the complaints procedures, as required.
The committee met six times in 2018/19 and undertook expedited considerations on one occasion, assessing 20 ethics applications for new, revised or extended research projects. The committee has an expedited review process in place for projects that need approval between meetings of the committee.
Members of the Ethics Committee are appointed for three-year terms, with the exception of one member who has sought an extension of their appointment for a shorter term.
Human Research Ethics Committee members, 2018/19
- Dr Duncan Ironmonger AM (Chair), BCom, MCom (Melb.); PhD (Cambridge); Department of Economics, University of Melbourne
- Dr Richard Ingleby, MA, DPhil (Oxford); LLM (Cambridge); Visiting Professor, North China University of Technology
- Ms Lorraine Parsons, BA (La Trobe); BSW (La Trobe); Grad. Cert. Management (Curtin)
- Rev. John Lamont, BA (La Trobe); BTheol (United Faculty of Theology, Ormond College)
- Dr Sarah Wise, BA (Hons), MA, PhD (Melb.); Good Childhood Fellow, Social Work, Melbourne School of Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne/Berry Street
- Victoria Triggs, BA (Melb.), Grad. Dip. Ed. Admin. (Melb.), Williamson Fellow (Leadership Victoria), Grad. Dip. Australian Institute of Company Directors
- Karena Jessup, BA (UTas), BTeach(Hons) (UTas), PhD (UTas), Senior Manager, Survey Research, The Australian Institute of Family Studies (Appointed September 2018)
- Ms Carol Soloff, BSc (Hons) Australian National University
- Mr Ian Walker
AIFS Expert Advisory Committee
The title and terms of reference of the old ‘Advisory Council’ were reviewed in October 2017. The future of this group is under consideration.