Who we are

With a membership of over 7,500 company secretaries, governance leaders and risk managers from some of Australia’s largest organisations, Governance Institute of Australia is the only fully independent professional association with a sole focus on governance excellence.

For 110 years, our education, research, advocacy, and support networks have provided cutting edge governance and risk management advice to Australian business leaders from all walks of life. We celebrate Australia’s successes, and challenge it to be even better. 

The Governance Institute operates as a fully independent not-for-profit, and a charity.

Our values and story


To be the leader in the promotion and application of the practice of whole of organisation governance to drive responsible performance.

Our objectives are to ensure that:

  • Australia’s governance frameworks lead the world in facilitating a strong economy underpinned by responsible performance and organisational culture.
  • Current members and aspiring company secretaries, governance professionals, risk managers and directors are provided with the best education, resource support and career support to enhance their professional standing.
  • The organisation is strategically focused on being innovative; encouraging positive engagement with, and influencing, all stakeholders; and fostering a culture and values that ensures it is sustainable.
  • Governance practitioners are provided with a trusted community from which they can draw education, provide input and access a knowledge sharing network of support, appropriate for their changing needs and circumstances throughout their chosen governance careers.

Governance is the systems which manage an organisation’s performance and behaviour. This includes leadership, risk management, compliance and business administration, as part of a healthy corporate culture built on ethical conduct. Read more.

Governance is about more than the administration, compliance and financial metrics of an organisation’s performance. It is about how an organisation can operate more efficiently and effectively to benefit its stakeholders, while being a good corporate citizen that provides benefits to all of society. We do not believe these things to be mutually exclusive.

Our mandate is simple: to drive better corporate governance practices across Australia’s largest corporations, not-for-profits, public sector organisations and small businesses. As an independent not-for-profit, we reinvest everything toward that goal.

Good governance enables the exceptional customer service, innovative thought leadership and strong business growth that has defined Australian businesses for generations. We don’t shy away from tackling the tricky governance challenges of our time: workplace diversity, ethics and corruption, environmental sustainability and the disruption soon to be wrought by new technologies.

We are a passionate industry advocate driving fair and effective representation for our members, leveraging their experience and expertise to work with Australia’s business and government leaders, to help them reflect our ambition as a nation. We are building the governance leaders of the future.

Governance Institute of Australia is one of Australia’s oldest industry associations, founded 110 years ago.

We are a division of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), which in turn has an ancestry dating back over 125 years. ICSA was founded in the UK when a group of influential company secretaries joined together to form a society that would promote their professional interests. It is now an international body, with over 30,000 members living and working in over 80 countries.

In 1909, the Australian division of ICSA gained independence from its parental London body, and in 1947 all the Australian branches merged under the single name Chartered Institute of Secretaries.

In 2013, that organisation became the Governance Institute of Australia. Reflecting the key role good governance plays in the performance of every Australian organisation, we expanded our remit to incorporate governance professionals from every part of an organisation — from Company Secretaries, to Chief Risk Officers, Directors, CEOs and other senior leaders.

Governance Institute of Australia is the leading association for company secretaries, governance professionals, directors and risk managers. Our membership is open to professionals with qualifications and experience in the field of governance or risk management. Being a member is the ideal way to advance your career, expand your network and build on your skills. Find out more.

As Australia’s leading independent voice on governance, the Governance Institute of Australia is an active participant in the reform process. We engage with the government and public sector groups to contribute our expertise on proposed legislative and regulatory reform and contribute to the national discussion around good governance. Read more.

One of our key advocacy mandates is to improve governance practices nationwide, and this includes helping to improve the standard of governance reporting by Australia’s journalists. We contribute our own analysis and commentary on industry issues to help lead the discussion on best practice corporate governance. Learn more.

Want to learn more?

Contact us directly on info@governanceinstitute.com.au or call, 1800 251 849.