Governance Principles

BrightSpark Foundation (Foundation) is a public ancillary fund registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and is constituted as a trust with a company limited by guarantee acting as corporate trustee. As the Foundation is endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a deductible gift recipient, any donations made to the Foundation by eligible donors are tax deductible.

The Foundation recognises that to continue its important role of providing sustainable funding for critical child health research, it needs to observe the highest standards of governance placed on charities and not-for-profit entities. For this reason, the Foundation adopted governance documents to ensure that its systems of control and accountability reflect the latest principles of good governance. In undertaking these revisions, the Foundation has adopted, where applicable, the recommendations made in the ATO’s Public Ancillary Fund Guidelines, ACNC Guidelines and the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Good Governance Principles.

In addition to improving organisational strategies and plans, the Foundation’s governance documents contain, amongst other things, mechanisms to:

  • limit the purpose of the Foundation to providing money, property or benefits to eligible entities in accordance with the ATO’s Public Ancillary Fund Guidelines and require the Foundation to apply its income and property solely towards this purpose;
  • advance more prudent regulatory compliance;
  • ensure the Foundation’s Board protects and enhances the interests of the Foundation, the Foundation’s stakeholders and the wider community;
  • limit the term of appointment of the chairman, vice chairman, company secretary and treasurer to a period of one year with the option of re-election;
  • ensure the staggering of the terms of the Foundation’s directors to blend continuity and diversity of appropriate knowledge, skills and experience at all times;
  • ensure appropriate financial recording, auditing and disclosure; and
  • prevent a director of the Foundation from being present or voting at a meeting in which the director has a material personal interest in the subject matter of the meeting.