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Westpac Foundation Board Observership Program.

Are you looking for ways to grow and strengthen your Board?

Based on the success of our pilot last year we are expanding our Board Observership Program as a unique capability offering to our community partners seeking to bring new skills and energy to their Boards without any ongoing commitment.

Developed in partnership with legal firm MinterEllison, the Observership Program offers community partners the opportunity to invite senior corporate professionals to attend their organisation’s Board meetings as an Observer for 12 months.

How it Works

Observers will be selected from a range of talented senior professionals from across both Westpac Group and MinterEllison who have diverse skill sets and a genuine passion and interest in the community sector, from backgrounds in areas of legal, HR, finance, risk management and business strategy, marketing, and more.

Boards will be involved in the selection process to ensure an alignment of skills and culture for the organisation and if a suitable match is found, will commit to involving the Observer in all Board meetings over a 12 month period. The Observer will have no voting rights or obligations as a director or officer of the organisation but will be invited to contribute to discussions in an informal capacity. Boards will also have the opportunity to select more than 1 Observer if required.

All Observers and Boards will sign an agreement which outlines the roles and responsibilities of both parties as well as provides assurance that the Observer will adhere to strict confidentiality regarding Board matters.

Westpac Foundation's Board Observership Program provides Observers with a structured opportunity to prepare them for future directorships and includes governance training, support and networking opportunities.

How do I register?

The 2020 Board Observership Program is now underway. Expressions of interest for our 2021 program will open later in the year. Please feel free to get in touch with us via email if you have any questions.


Case Study: The Bread & Butter Project

"The program gave me the opportunity to understand the ins and outs of a working board and apply my skills to something outside what I normally do – which, as a beautiful bonus, aligns with helping a social enterprise." Kate Pepper, Westpac’s Head of Strategy, Planning and Engagement.

For Cindy Carpenter, Chair of The Bread and Butter Project (TBBP), whose Board Kate joined, she also felt the timing was perfect as Kate’s digital marketing skills helped fill a gap on the TBBP Board at a time when it was in transition.

"We've been so fortunate with Kate. It's not just her skills, it’s been a great personal fit as well," says Cindy, noting that the program has also helped strengthen TBBP’s broader relationship with Westpac.

While Kate loved the chance to contribute to a social enterprise, the personal connection has also paid dividends. “I've met a set of wonderful people with completely different skills and experience to me. It's been inspiring. I would highly recommend it," she says.