Anglicare WA chair John Barrington has heralded the arrival of two-high profile board members as key elements in the organisation’s efforts to pursue growth in a competitive environment.
Ranked seventh on the BNiQ list of charitable organisations by revenue, Anglicare WA has welcomed the appointment of Social Ventures Australia WA director Jenna Palumbo and McCusker Centre for Citizenship director Michelle Scott.
Mr Barrington told Business News that, when the time came to replace directors who were retiring, Anglicare WA began an extensive search to choose board members who would help the organisation uncover new opportunities, particularly in terms of funding sources.
He said Anglicare WA was driven primarily to find people who could help the organisation adapt and grow over the next three to five years, rather than recruiting for specific skills such as legal or financial expertise.
“We’re looking more at the strategic composition of the board, not functional roles,” Mr Barrington said.
“If we look at the sector, there’s a tightening fiscal environment at both state and federal levels. We really have to focus on that, and so new ways of addressing the funding requirement and the contracting government budgets for us to meet an increasing need is important.”
Mr Barrington said Anglicare was drawn to Ms Palumbo’s experience with impact investing and social investment bonds, which link investment returns to the delivery of agreed social outcomes, as well as her work in measuring outcomes of community service projects.
“There are a range of different instruments that we might consider in the future and so we’ve got an open mind to that,” he said.
Mr Barrington said Ms Scott’s extensive understanding of how state and federal governments operated, and her knowledge of how to traverse complexities within the sector across government and service providers was desirable.
Another feature that has shaped changes at Anglicare WA’s executive level has been the creation of a mergers and acquisitions task group, which reports to the board and includes Anglicare WA executives and several people with extensive corporate M&A experience.
“We’ve had a number of organisations come to us (seeking to merge),” Mr Barrington said.
“We’re being proactive at looking at the sector and how it might evolve structurally.”