The museum is a statutory authority within the Arts Portfolio. Its enabling legislation, the Australian National Maritime Museum Act 1990 (the ANMM Act), established a governing council to ensure the proper and efficient performance of its functions.
At 30 June 2019 the Council comprised 11 members, including the museum’s Director and a representative of the Royal Australian Navy.
The full Council met five times during the reporting period. At the September 2019 meeting of Council, it was agreed that the committees would be the Audit Committee, the Remuneration Committee and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee. All committees have charters and members are appointed by Council.
The Council operates under a governance policy that includes a requirement for periodic self-assessment. The Council is committed to continuous improvement, and various changes were implemented throughout the course of the year. A number of councillors are members of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and subject to its code of conduct. All councillors are aware of the need to comply with both the letter and the spirit of relevant legislation. Operations are informed by the highest museological standards and codes of practice and all staff are bound by the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct.
The museum prepares corporate plans over four years and annual operating plans for ministerial approval in accordance with the ANMM Act. The Minister receives reports on matters of significance, and the Chairman and Director meet with the Minister as required. A senior departmental representative attends all Council meetings as an observer and copies of the minutes are provided to the Minister and department. The museum is subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).
All museum staff are aware of the importance of good governance, and governance is a regular item on the agenda for the executive management group’s fortnightly meetings.
The names of the museum’s executives and their responsibilities, as at 30 June 2020, are:
Kevin Sumption PSM Director and CEO
Tanya Bush Deputy Director, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer
Zena Habib Head, People and Culture
Michael Harvey Assistant Director, Public Engagement and Research & Commercial and Visitor Services
Paul McCarthy Senior Executive, Strategy and External Relations.