Roles of Directors and President

The Board of Directors of PWDA is the voice of our members. The Board’s job is to speak with and for people with disability and to govern the organisation.

PWDA is a large organisation with many staff and responsibilities. Our work includes advocacy, representation and implementing projects. We also raise awareness, including through the media, about issues facing people with different kinds of disability across Australia.

The members of PWDA elect Directors to represent them to lead the organisation. The Directors do this by:

  • Ensuring we are the voice of and for people with disability;
  • Setting strategic goals and a way forward;
  • Making sure our money is spent wisely; and
  • Employing staff to do our work.

Duties of all Directors

All PWDA Directors must:

  • Have a commitment and knowledge of our values, aims and objectives;
  • Consult with our members and other people with disability on issues;
  • Act in the best interests of PWDA;
  • Act with reasonable care and use all our skills so that we carry out our work in a way that means we have enough money to cover all our costs. This means we are trading solvently;
  • Write an Agenda Paper for all issues you want the Board of Directors to make a decision about;
  • Make sure PWDA complies with its legal, constitutional and contractual obligations;
  • Make sure our members receive an Annual Report which shows them the work PWDA has done over the year as well as an end of year financial report;
  • Provide a written report of any other meetings you have attended on behalf of PWDA;
  • Find new Directors for the Board of Directors;
  • Use all information correctly in your position you have as a PWDA Director;
  • Tell other Directors about and manage all conflicts of interest you think you may have; and
  • Make sure the people who have been chosen as the Chief Executive Officer are:
    • working well for PWDA;
    • doing the work the Directors want them to do; and
    • have the support and resources to do their job.

Responsibilities of all Directors

Directors have a lot of responsibilities and these include:

  • Understanding your responsibilities as a Director of PWDA;
  • Understanding the shared values of PWDA;
  • Attending all Board meetings possible for you. If you can’t attend then you must send your apologies as quickly as possible;
  • Reading all the papers you have been sent before the Board meeting;
  • Asking questions during Board meetings to make sure you understand all the papers given to you;
  • Respecting all other Directors’ opinions, even if they are different from yours;
  • Responding to all telephone calls and emails as soon as you can;
  • Attending and participating in all Board Advisory Groups you are a member of;
  • Understanding the difference between the work of the Directors and the work of the staff;
  • Reviewing and developing policies of the Board of Directors;
  • Reviewing our strategic plan; 
  • Checking, planning and looking over the management of risks for the organisation and;
  • Reviewing the audited annual financial report and determining that it gives a true and fair view in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012.

Role of the PWDA President

The President has all the same responsibilities as a Director. All Directors speak with ‘one voice’ and the main role of the President is to:

  • Make sure the Board of the Directors follows the PWDA Constitution and laws and contract obligations that we have to follow;
  • Show leadership to the Board of Directors in all matters;
  • Consult with the Board of Directors on all matters;
  • Carry out the will of the Board of Directors;
  • Consider issues without personal bias; and
  • Make sure all processes of the Board of Directors are always in the best interests of PWDA.


  • Chair the Board of Directors meetings and other meetings;
  • Set the Agenda for Board of Directors meetings in consultation with the Chief Executive Officer;
  • Lead the Board of Directors to make decisions as a team;
  • Provide a written President’s report at each Board of Directors meeting and the PWDA Annual General Meeting;
  • Sign contracts and agreements on behalf of PWDA;
  • Provide a written column for PWDA publications;
  • Make sure the Board of Directors meetings only cover decisions about the Board’s work and not the work our staff are to complete;
  • Make sure meetings are carried out in a fair and timely manner;
  • Calls special meetings if necessary; and
  • The President is an ex officio of all Board Advisory Groups;
  • Act as the Directors’ link to the Chief Executive Officer:
    • Work with the Chief Executive Officer to make sure the decisions of the Board of Directors are carried out;
    • Carry out, with any other Director, regular support and supervision meetings with the Chief Executive Officer; and
    • With the Treasurer, be responsible for the audit and approval of financial statements as required by law.

For more information on other Director roles please download  PWDA Director Job Descriptions.