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Introducing Governance to Young Leaders

19 Feb, 2018

Introducing Governance to Young Leaders

Three new board members, together with other senior member leaders, got together over the weekend at a governance workshop at CanTeen.

Led by new board chair Carol Scholes, the session covered the key pillars of non-profit governance – determining purpose, effective governance culture, holding to account and legal and ethical compliance.

Matthew Young, 24,was elected a member director late last year.  “Carol has a real knack at group facilitation,” Matt observed. “She drew out learnings from the discussion that developed among us, while adding in her own expertise to guide us.”


Despite tackling challenging topics, Matt found them easy to grasp. “As we talked and questioned, we came to learn a lot about the line between management and governance, our legal underpinnings, important board processes, what good induction might look like and our collective responsibility, among other things.

In the abstract these are huge topics and perhaps not always the most engaging, but having them grounded in the CanTeen context or other real world examples made the learning relevant and accessible to us all.”


CanTeen has a unique, member-led governance structure consisting of five member directors, including President and Vice President, and five advisory directors including the board chairperson.  New member directors are voted by the membership to ensure young people’s views, opinions and lived experience are represented at the highest level of the organisation.

Being a board member at any age can be challenging and we provide Member Directors with training to help them fulfil their role. With her experience in delivering board coaching, CanTeen board chair Carol Scholes was the perfect choice to give our newest board members, and some other senior leaders, a clear understanding of the purpose of their role and how to make an effective contribution to the governance and culture of CanTeen.

Matt is keen to apply his new-found knowledge at CanTeen and beyond. “Heading into a board role this is important foundational knowledge, but it is also something I’ve been really excited to learn for learning’s sake,” he said.

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