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Chair's report

Louise Markus, AIHW Board Chair
On behalf of the AIHW Board, I am pleased to present the AIHW’s annual report for 2018–19. The major achievements made by the AIHW are highlighted in this report.

This annual report demonstrates that the AIHW is continuing to increase the value it delivers to the Australian Government and the Australian Community.

Over the past 32 years, the AIHW has fostered and established many strategic and trusted partnerships across the health and welfare sectors. In collaboration with these partners, the AIHW has continued to develop and capture the data required to inform national policy and health and welfare priorities. This work supports good policymaking, research and the information needs of the broader community.

Amendments to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987 came into effect in November 2018. The most significant change saw the representative-based structure of the AIHW Board replaced with membership comprising a collective mix of skills and experience from a range of different fields.

The amendments also created the position of Deputy Chair. I welcome the appointment of long-term board member Dr Erin Lalor to this role.

The board continued its journey to review and refine its Risk Management Framework (RMF). The board worked with the Risk, Audit and Finance Committee (RAFC) and senior executives to update the RMF and develop a new Strategic Risk Profile (SRP). Unsurprisingly, cybersecurity and general data security are central to the maintenance of trust. The board will pay particular attention to the investment needs of the AIHW in this area.

The updated RMF and SRP will be implemented in 2019–20.

It is pleasing to see strong growth in our budget appropriation and external revenue. This demonstrates the value of the AIHW’s significant contribution to the evidence base of Australia’s health and welfare.

I would like to thank Mr David Conry, Ms Caroline Edwards, Mr Andrew Goodsall, Ms Luise McCulloch and Ms Marissa Veld, who finished their terms as board members, for their valuable contributions.

I am proud to see the achievements of our Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Barry Sandison and his senior team who are ably supported by our talented staff. I want to particularly mention their passion and commitment across the AIHW which the board has observed. It is an honour to be the Chair of Australia’s leading agency for authoritative information and statistics on health and welfare.

In 2019–20, the board will continue to focus on the dynamic environment in which the AIHW operates. The board will also provide appropriate oversight and guidance to enable the AIHW to be innovative in meeting the growing demands for information and data products and services.

The board is excited about the AIHW’s future, as it leads the way in a rapidly evolving health and welfare data landscape.

Louise Markus
AIHW Board Chair