Our board & governance
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Our board & governance

Meet the board at the heart of the Heart Foundation.

Governance overview 

The Heart Foundation is a National Health Promotion Charity with offices in each state and territory. The National Heart Foundation of Australia (Heart Foundation) is a Company Limited by Guarantee. The national entity delivers our One Heart 2018-2020 Strategy, with the delivery and collaboration of localised activities and events co-ordinated with the state and territory offices. 

The Heart Foundation effectively operates as a single unified national organisation, although each state and territory is a subsidiary entity of the Heart Foundation and each local entity is chaired by a national Board Member. 

Each state and territory may nominate two individuals to become members of the national entity. Each state and territory entityhas a Local Advisory Board to support and advise the local CEO. Members of the Heart Foundation  meet with the national Board and are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting.

The Heart Foundation Board  

The Heart Foundation Board determines strategy, while management is responsible for ensuring our strategy is effectively implemented. The Heart Health and Research Strategy Committees have established expert technical advisory groups that assist these Committees to provide advice and recommendations to the Board. 

Generally, the Board have authority for approving:

  • Strategy 
  • Annual budget  
  • Heart Foundation scientific policy papers and guidelines 
  • Annual reports 
  • Heart Foundation organisational policy 
  • Reputation and risk management  

Board Committees

The Heart Foundation Board is a skills-based board of 9 Directors. It has established the following Advisory Committees: 

  • Risk, Audit and Governance 
  • Heart Health 
  • Research Strategy 
  • Finance 
  • Investment 
  • Development 
  • Board Executive 
The Board Committees have a terms of reference to govern their activities and meet regularly throughout the year to ensure the provision of appropriate  advice and recommendations to the Heart Foundation Board. 

One Heart strategy 2018-2020 

The One Heart strategy (2018-2020) establishes the framework for programs and activities delivered by the Heart Foundation. The strategy breaks down initiatives and activities at a local and national level. The strategy’s performance is measured by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) approved by the NHFA Board. 

Good Governance

The Heart Foundation Board is committed to ensuring that standards of good governance are realised openly and with integrity, commensurate with Heart Foundation’s broader objectives. Part of the Board’s role in relation to corporate governance is to implement and maintain a culture of good corporate governance respected by both internal and external stakeholders. The Board recognises its role in overseeing the determination and implementation of policy frameworks that reflect good corporate governance aligned with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (‘ACNC’) Governance Standards.

The ACNC Governance Standards are the core requirements Heart Foundation applies in relation to corporate governance. These ACNC Governance Standards are:

  • Standard 1 – Purposes and not-for-profit nature
  • Standard 2 – Accountability to members
  • Standard 3 – Compliance with Australian laws
  • Standard 4 – Suitability of responsible persons, and
  • Standard 5 – Duties of responsible persons.

The Heart Foundation continues to be committed to undertaking governance measures which strengthen relationships and processes to ensure that the funds raised by, or gifted to us, are used to carry out our vision – an Australia free of heart disease – and our  mission – to prevent heart disease and improve the heart health and quality of life of all Australians through our work in prevention, support and research.

Priority Areas

Our commitment to people who are socially and economically disadvantaged and affected by heart disease remain a priority. This focus includes:

  • Communities in regional, rural and remote areas 
  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.   
The Heart Foundation is committed to maintain our important local relationships, programs and activities, and continue to be a strong local presence in each state and territory.  

Our legal entities 

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

Everything we do is possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters. ...

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join our community of fundraisers who are committed to taking action to fight heart disease....

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

Atrial fibrillation resources for patients

Atrial fibrillation resources for patients

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Training Centre

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Training Centre

Training to support identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, in line with standard practice....

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

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Cyril suffered a heart attack in 2015. Cardiac rehab helped get his life back on track. ...

Cardiac Rehabilitation Advocacy

Cardiac Rehabilitation Advocacy

Snack recipes

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Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community is a program that aims to increase a person’s chance of survival if they suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital. ...

About the Lighthouse Hospital Project

About the Lighthouse Hospital Project

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Australia, but the burden of disease disproportionately affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples....

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

After having five open heart surgeries between the ages of 13 and 41, Peter knows a thing or two about recovery....

Healthy eating to protect your heart

Healthy eating to protect your heart

Healthy eating to protect your heart

What does a heart-friendly diet look like?...

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

How your waist measurement contributes to your heart health...

Research funding programs

Research funding programs

Research funding programs

Our research funding supports outstanding researchers who share our vision of an Australia free from heart disease. ...

After being treated for atrial fibrillation, Boyd is now back on track

After being treated for atrial fibrillation, Boyd is now back on track

After being treated for atrial fibrillation, Boyd is now back on track

Running has been an important part of Boyd's life, so imagine his shock when a heart condition he had never heard of threatened to put a stop to it. ...

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Become a Heart Foundation fundraiser, do it for heart and make a real difference to your community....

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David's heart failure diagnosis led to significant changes in his life....

Pregnancy and heart disease

Pregnancy and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Heart Foundation Tick

Heart Foundation Tick

Heart Foundation Tick

The Tick Program has made a substantial contribution to the health of Australians over the past 26 years....

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease....

Supporting local Councils in South Australia

Supporting local Councils in South Australia

Supporting local Councils in South Australia

Resources to help support your council region to be healthy, connected and safe....

Wholegrains and heart health

Wholegrains and heart health

Wholegrains and heart health

All you need to know about wholegrains to put you on the right track...

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

A small, battery-powered device that is fitted under the skin of your upper chest....

Medical tests for heart disease

Medical tests for heart disease

Medical tests for heart disease

Learn about the common tests your doctor may want you to have to diagnose your heart condition....

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Discover more about our various funding programs, requirements, and application dates now....