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Board Member Vacancy

Board members EOI

Invitation to express interest in joining the CERES Board

CERES, a leading environmental education centre and social enterprise, is seeking passionate and committed individuals to join our Board of Directors. We are currently inviting expressions of interest for the roles of Chair and two additional Board Members.

Board Members should have an active commitment to environmental and social causes and action on climate change and be aligned with the vision and values of CERES as set out in our Theory of Change.

Based on a recent review of the Board’s skills, we are particularly seeking Board Members who have expertise in Finance, People and Culture, and in Commercial/Retail Operations.

About CERES

Established in 1982, CERES is an environmental education centre, urban farm and social enterprise hub spread across four locations, linked by the Merri and Darebin Creeks on Wurundjeri Country, Melbourne. CERES helps people understand our lives within the context of the human and ecological systems that sustain us. From that realisation, we find meaning and purpose in service of others and the Earth.

www.ceres.org.au 
www.ceresfairfood.org.au
https://school.ceres.org.au/

CERES is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, with a purpose to protect and enhance the natural environment through community-based learning and action. As part of our governance evolution, we are looking for individuals who can guide CERES into the future with strategic vision and commitment.

CERES is governed according to the Corporations Act (2001), and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Act (2012). The CERES Board operates in accordance with the Constitution of CERES Earth Limited (as adopted on 3 May 2022) (available at https://ceres.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/CERES-EARTH-Ltd-Constitution-24-08-22-With-Corrections-19-10-22.pdf).

Chair role

The current Chair is stepping down after five years and we are seeking a dynamic and committed individual to serve as Chair of our Board of Directors.

Key Responsibilities:

Strategic leadership: Guide the Board in setting the strategic direction and priorities for CERES.
Governance: Ensure effective governance practices, compliance with legal requirements, and adherence to CERES’ constitution.
Board management: Lead and facilitate Board meetings, ensuring active participation and effective decision-making.
Stakeholder relationships: Represent CERES to external stakeholders, promoting our mission and values.
Collaboration: Foster a collegial and collaborative Board culture, building strong relationships with Board members, staff, and volunteers.
Support: Provide mentorship and support to the CEO and senior management team.

Skills and attributes:
● Proven leadership experience, preferably at the Board level.
● Deep commitment to environmental and social causes.
● Strong understanding of governance, strategy, and organisational management.
● Strong communication and interpersonal skills, capable of inspiring stakeholders.
● Ability to dedicate around 30 hours per month to Board duties.

Board Member roles

Key Responsibilities:

Board members have broad governance responsibilities, both collectively and individually, many of which are outlined in legislation. They are expected to:

Uphold CERES’ values: Demonstrate commitment to the organisation’s values in the Boardroom and in interactions with stakeholders.
Engage actively: Attend and actively participate in Board meetings.
Stay informed: Be well-prepared for meetings by staying informed about Board matters, reviewing minutes and reports, and providing constructive feedback.
Committee involvement: Serve on at least one Board Committee and participate in policy or strategy working groups as needed.
Foster relationships: Build collegial working relationships with other Board members, contributing to consensus-based decisions.
Collaborate effectively: Bring courage, curiosity, and a collaborative mindset to Board and Committee discussions.
Leverage expertise: Utilise personal skills, experience, and networks to support the success of
the organisation.

Skills and attributes:

Board Members are expected to bring a range of governance skills to contribute to CERES across the areas of:

● Organisational strategy, development and management
● Governance & policy development
● Accounting & finance
● Legal & risk management
● Fundraising
● Environmental expertise
● Social enterprise expertise
● Community engagement and social change expertise.

We are particularly interested in Board Members who have expertise in:
Finance and risk: We are seeking a Board Member with expertise in financial strategy and effective risk mitigation to support the organisation’s long-term sustainability through sound financial governance.
People and culture: CERES employs over 300 people and hosts numerous volunteers. We seek a Board Member with expertise in organisational culture, remuneration and performance, and diversity and inclusion.
Commercial operations: CERES operates several trade-based social enterprises involving supply chain development and retail operations. We are seeking a Board Member with expertise across commercial and retail operations or trade-based social enterprises.

Diversity and Inclusion

We encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds, ages, and perspectives to apply, ensuring a wide range of insights and experiences on our Board.

Meetings and time commitment

The CERES Board meets at least six times a year face-to-face at CERES Community Environment Park in East Brunswick. Board meetings typically last 2 hours. Strategy days and Committee meetings are held separately. Much of the time commitment for Directors is in preparation for meetings and in
Committee or working group duties. Board Members must have the ability and willingness to commit 15-30 hours per month.

The time commitment of the Chair is at the upper end of this, with responsibilities for regular communication with the CEO and Board members, and with external stakeholders.

Remuneration

CERES Chair and Board members are volunteers and are not remunerated.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for appointment as a Board Member (Director) of CERES Earth Ltd, you must:
Become a member of CERES (if you are not already a member)
● Not be ineligible to be a director under the Corporations Act or the ACNC Act.

Application

Interested candidates are invited to submit an Expression of Interest. Expressions of Interest should be emailed to companysecretary@ceres.org.au including:
● A brief governance-focused CV
● A brief cover letter addressed to the Chair.

In your cover letter, please give consideration to:
● Your relationship to CERES and commitment to CERES’ purpose and values
● Your governance experience across all areas
● Governance or related experience in the identified areas of Finance and risk, People and
culture and Commercial operations
● Your ability and willingness to commit 15-30 hours per month and to be an actively contributing
board member.
● How you can contribute to a collaborative and collegial Board culture.

EOIs close midnight Friday 26 July 2024.

The Board Nominations Committee will shortlist candidates and then reach out to select candidates for a discussion.

For more information or an informal discussion about these Board roles, please contact Nicole Baker, Deputy Chair. She can be reached on nicole.f.baker@gmail.com.

Key documents

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