The Capital Health Network (CHN) Board has reviewed the company’s Constitution to ensure that the organisation’s governance is aligned with the strategic objectives of the company. A proposal was put to members in October 2017 and although more than 70% of members who voted supported the proposed Constitution, the motion to change was not successful as a vote of 75% in favour was required. The Board resolved to continue to promote for the change of CHN’s Constitution and has subsequently undertaken a long process of consultation and review.

a) Why update the Constitution?

Since the Constitution was updated several years ago:

  • the Commonwealth Department of Health replaced the “Medicare Locals” programme with the “Primary Health Network” programme. 
  • our funded functions are materially different as a PHN. 
  • significant legal reforms occurred e.g. introduction of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission regime and various developments in judge-made law.

As ACT’s primary health network, CHN has matured as an innovator and influencer in the primary health care sector. As our funding and reputation has increased, we need to change our governance to best reflect our agile and responsive organisation and substantial responsibilities with public monies. Therefore the Board is considering the skills required on the Board moving forward, the importance of clinical leadership, community perspectives and the variety of business and other specialist expertise required to ensure that CHN is best governed by an independent Board with a diverse set of skills, experience and capabilities.

b) What are the key changes?

The Board has consulted with members and made changes to reflect members’ concerns. Proposed changes to the Constitution will allow CHN to better attain and maintain a skills-based Board in line with the Department of Health’s requirements and good governance practice which will feature:

  • continuing GP, allied health and consumer expertise on the Board
  • increasing commercial and entrepreneurial experience on the Board to help us into the future as a commissioning organisation
  • increasing the number of Directors from 7 to 9, with an amended process for electing and appointing Directors to better enable the choice of the most appropriate people to lead CHN in a strategic way.

c) How can I have my say?

Members can vote by:

You can see a copy of the Explanatory Memorandum of the proposed changes to the Constitution and the full draft Constitution. If you have any questions, please phone 6287 8099 or e-mail governance [at] chnact.org.au.