Chair Report

Rev Tim Costello AO
Chair, Community Council for Australia

We are now working with a new government, new policy challenges, in an Australia that is still recovering from the global shocks of a pandemic, war in Eastern Europe, and global pressure on economic markets through rising inflation and supply issues. CCA will continue to try and ensure charities are front and centre in the way Australia responds to these and other emerging challenges.

I am sorry I cannot be in Canberra for this year’s Annual Meeting, but I am sure it will be a wonderful event given the work of CCA over the past 12 months.

Australia is a different place now than it was 12 months ago.  We have a new Federal government, and ALP governments in almost every jurisdiction.

The old saying change the government and you change the nation is being played out for CCA and the broader charities and not-for-profit sector.

Having long time Shadow Charities Minister Andrew Leigh assume the role of Assistant Minister for Charities, Competition and Treasury in the new Albanese government from May 2022 has changed the nature and level of engagement between the government and CCA.

Similarly, having long time charities and community organisation lawyer and supporter Susan Woodward recently assume the role of Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commissioner has also changed the conversation between the charities regulator and the sector.

CCA was very active in the lead up to the Federal election, arranging pre-election forums to raise issues of importance to Australian charities, as well as running a very successful Poli-Pics competition encouraging charities across Australia to engage with their local MPs and political candidates.  Our special thanks to Mike Bowers (Guardian photographer) and Amanda Copp (press gallery reporter for National Radio News) for judging the awards that were generously sponsored by Denis Moriarty and Our Community.

CCA was finally able to say goodbye to the Charities Crisis Cabinet, but we know charities are still facing major challenges with inflation and rising costs, increased competition for staff, and growing concerns about cybersecurity being just a few of the issues CCA has raised in its advocacy work on behalf of its members and the broader charities and not-for-profit sector.

CCA continues to deliver remarkable outcomes for a relatively small organisation, especially in relation to national advocacy on behalf of the charities sector.  We see the outcomes of this advocacy in many areas. 

One example many may not be familiar with is the critical role played by CCA in facilitating meetings with international peak bodies, local peak bodies and the most senior Mastercard company executives to resolve a globally led push from within Mastercard to require every single donation to a charity to be accompanied by a new written authority, even if the donation was part of an annual commitment or subscription. Well over $100 million in regular giving was at risk in Australia if each monthly instalment required a new signed payment agreement.  CCA worked with a range of groups and eventually, after a meeting with senior Mastercard executives, the proposed policy changes were shelved enabling annual donations and subscriptions using annual agreements to continue.

CCA continues to advocate across many areas of government, trying to ensure the needs of charities and the communities they serve are factored into decision making.  This work doesn’t just happen.

Each year in my role as CCA Chair I acknowledge the work of my peers, the Board Directors of CCA who give their time to support and inform the work of CCA.  I want to especially single out Claire Robbs (CEO of Life Without Barriers) our Deputy Chair who will be chairing the AGM and chairs other meetings during my absences.  Claire brings tremendous skills and insight to her role with CCA and we are fortunate she has continued to be one of our leaders.

My other fellow CCA Board Directors all bring extensive experience and knowledge to our regular Board discussions.  CCA is very well served in having outstanding skills and sector leadership on our Board. 

Caitriona Fay from Perpetual, Denis Moriarty from Our Community, and Karen Mahlab from Pro Bono Australia all partnered with CCA in 2022, and we are grateful for their involvement and support.  Each has stepped in and offered their resources to ensure CCA could leverage its work more effectively.

As I point out each year, our staff are our primary resource.  David Crosbie and Deborah Smith not only do outstanding work, but they are also clearly driven by the purpose of CCA and the goals we share. They were able to produce an amazing amount of work for such a small secretariat as is evidenced in the listing of activities in the 2022 Annual Report. 

Each year at this time we also acknowledge our members.  CCA is very much a member driven organisation.  Without the involvement of members and their financial contributions, we would not exist.  Without members, our policy and advocacy would be not much more than opinion.  On behalf of our staff and the Board, I want to thank every CCA member for helping us make a difference. 

We are now working with a new government, new policy challenges, in an Australia that is still recovering from the global shocks of a pandemic, war in Eastern Europe, and global pressure on economic markets through rising inflation and supply issues.  CCA will continue to try and ensure charities are front and centre in the way Australia responds to these and other emerging challenges.

I thank you all for being part of CCA and look forward to working with you in 2023 as we seek to better serve our communities and work towards the kind of Australia we want to live in.


David Crosbie
CEO, Community Council for Australia

We know there are many issues where the voices of charities have been raised but not heard, and that the current economic environment is increasing inequality and marginalisation of some communities. CCA will need strong support from its members if it is to take on the new government and push for reforms that will improve the capacity of charities to serve their communities more effectively.

2022 was a year of two halves – there was before the Federal Election under the Morrison government and after the Federal Election under the new Albanese government.

CCA was fortunate enough to be able welcome new Assistant Minister for Charities Andrew Leigh to our last Annual General Meeting. At that time, he was yet to have his role confirmed in the new Albanese Ministry – but was still prepared to engage in a frank and open discussion with CCA members as we advocated for the policies we believed would make a positive difference in Australia.

During the first half of 2022 a lot our work was focused on the lead up to the election.

Then Shadow Assistant Minister Andrew Leigh was involved in our pre-election Forum along with Greens Senator Janet Rice.  Infoxchange hosted the forum at the annual Connecting Up Conference in Melbourne.  This forum confirmed the agenda and policies the incoming government and the Greens would pursue to support the charities and not-for-profit sector.

Post the election, the nature of CCA’s engagement with government shifted significantly, not only because we enjoyed a stronger relationship with a more committed and informed Assistant Minister, but also because so many new initiatives, consultations and reviews were initiated by the incoming government.

CCA has developed a robust set of consultation measures that include regular online forums with CEOs, Chief Financial Officers, Chief People Officers, Government Relations and Policy Managers, and Technology and Information Management leaders.  These specialist leadership forums not only assist CCA to know what issues are emerging across the sector, but they also enable those involved in leading charities to share information and talk about solutions.

It was through these forums that CCA learned how much additional work the sector was involved in as the new government began to reset key policies and government structures.  These forums also brought to our attention critical areas where CCA needed to advocate on behalf of the sector.

Data security was one of the issues raised with CCA through our consultation forums.  With the Federal government becoming increasingly concerned about cybersecurity and the safety of private information, the government sought to massively increase penalties for breaches to ensure companies took their data security obligations seriously.  CCA members expressed concern that the proposed new level of fines could mean the end of their organisations.  CCA was able to not only offer a submission, but also advocate directly to allow for variation in the proposed penalties to take account of charities who might inadvertently breach data requirements.  Small and medium charities will now face less severe penalties than were originally proposed, although there is still more advocacy required in this area. 

This advocacy work is one small part of our work.  It is partly enabled by the ongoing relationships CCA maintains with key decision makers whether through our engagement in opportunities like Senate Estimates or policy development discussions with Members of Parliament, Senators and their advisors. 

CCA also plays a role in several key consultative mechanisms within the ATO and Treasury.

The listing of CCA activities covered in the 2022 Annual Report provides some of the highlights of another busy year for CCA.

The next 12 months will be challenging in different ways for CCA.  The new Federal Government is seeking more policy input, but often the capacity to implement and drive real reform is quite limited.  The reality is that charities do not have their own department within government, and there is no clear home for charity policy reform. 

We know there are many issues where the voices of charities have been raised but not heard, and that the current economic environment is increasing inequality and marginalisation of some communities.  CCA will need strong support from its members if it is to take on the new government and push for reforms that will improve the capacity of charities to serve their communities more effectively.

As I regularly note, it is a privilege to work at CCA in what I find to be a rewarding and challenging role.  It is a pleasure to work with Tim Costello, Claire Robbs our Deputy Chair, and a Board that offers real insight and support. I want to acknowledge that Tim and Claire in particular do a great deal of work for CCA, all in a voluntary capacity, and they do so with energy and grace.  

Of course, all of us close to CCA know that it is the wonderful Deborah Smith who actually runs CCA behind the scenes.  Thank you, Deb, for all you do.  This year we also welcome Nick Nguyen to our small staff team.  I am sure you will see the impact of Nick’s work over the coming year.

I want to echo Tim’s note of thanks to Caitriona Fay and Perpetual, Denis Moriarty and Our Community, and Karen Mahlab and Pro Bono Australia, all invaluable partnerships that have leveraged the work of CCA in 2022.  They are also all great people to work with.

CCA is not about the staff, the Board, or any of our individual initiatives, CCA is primarily about our members and the work they do.  Most days I get to talk to our members about the issues that matter to them.  I am constantly reminded of how important our sector is in Australia, especially as I talk to change makers helping build flourishing communities in Australia and internationally. 

To all our members I offer my thanks for your support in 2022.  I look forward to again working alongside you all as we seek to make Australia a better place in 2023 and beyond.

Election 2022

Charities Matter

CCA promoted the value of charities and community groups in the run-up to the 2022 Election to: secure commitments for positive reforms for our sector in the next term of government.  We also encouraged charities to step up and speak up on policy issues to advance their purpose and to engage aspirant Parliamentarians from all sides of politics with their work and their value. 


Our Community and Pro Bono News partnered with CCA to set about making ‘pictures worth more than 1000 words’.  A truism when it comes to a community selfie opportunity for a politician, and for charities who used the election period to positively engage politicians with their work and the difference they make at the heart of communities.  With the help of photographer-at-large for the Guardian Australia, Mike Bowers and political reporter for community radio, Amanda Copp, we awarded $20,000 in prizes, mostly to small charities and community groups. 

The competition was timely, encouraging charities to shake the ‘chill’ from the various attempts to curtail and undermine the advocacy activity and capacity of charities.  It also proved to be a valuable and positive counter-balance to some controversies that emerged from an over-step of the partisan endorsement line by some politicians and charities.

 Sox, Dean Morris and Give Our Strays A Chance

Tim Watts MP checks out the latest project of the Friends of Kororoit Creek, a passionate group of volunteers who have been restoring the Kororoit Creek habitat corridor.

The Eltham and Districts Historical Society has taken the first prize in round two of the Poli-Pix competition for putting their local member in the picture about the value of local history, volunteering and community groups.

Fun, energy and creativity were the cut-through ingredients that led to this entry from a not-for-profit community theatre in Perth taking the win in week three of the Poli-Pix competition. The snap, which impressed judge Mike Bowers, shows the Member for Perth, Patrick Gorman, getting into the act with ARENA Theatre Productions WA, which is calling on all MPs to stand up for the arts.

AEIOU Foundation welcomed Senator Anne Ruston, minister for family and social services, and Senator for New South Wales Hollie Hughes to its Nathan centre in Brisbane where the Coalition committed $1 million towards the National Autism Strategy.

Greens candidate for Kavel, Mel Selwood, gets her hands dirty to help the Lobethal Community Association volunteers with their project at the Mill Road Pocket Forest.

Manning Valley Cycle Club with local member for Lyne, David Gillespie MP

CleftPALS Victoria knows now is a great time to engage with federal candidates like Member for Dunkley, Peta Murphy MP, to advance its cause and why it’s important for the community.

Tim Watts MP checks out the latest project of the Friends of Kororoit Creek, a passionate group of volunteers who have been restoring the Kororoit Creek habitat corridor.

Natimuk Showground Community Recreation Reserve user groups meet Dr Anne Webster, member for Mallee, set for the 130th Natimuk Show and combined 150th Back to Natimuk Celebrations

Point Nepean Men’s Shed in Flinders hosting a Q&A with local candidates

Love in Action Wallen with the local Member for McEwan, Rob Mitchell, helping out with hampers and some Easter joy for families in need.

“We think it is important for all politicians and all governments to better understand the invaluable work of charities and community groups in their electorates and beyond.  Even if we are just looking at the economic impact of these groups, charities employ over 1.3 million Australians and contribute around 12% of GDP with a total annual turnover above $150 billion.  When we include all the not-for-profits you are talking about at least one in five Australian workers employed in this sector, and even more volunteering.  This is one of the reasons the research shows voters are more likely to back politicians that support their local charities and community groups.” CCA Chair, Tim Costello

“Community groups are the heartbeat of Australian life, and yet a lot of people down-play their role, not just in our economy, but in all our lives. Our sector is rarely seen as important enough to be in the room when major national policy decisions are being taken by governments.  We want to change that, increase understanding, and have charities and community groups more involved in government decision making to build stronger and more productive communities across Australia.”  Denis Moriarty, Group Managing Director of Our Community

Charities absolutely matter – voters say so

A pre-election survey of over 3,400 voters across the 20 most marginal electorates in Australia conducted for CCA by Piazza Research found that:

  • 91% of voters are involved in charities
  • 91% say charities are important to their community and our future
  • 84% of voters want donations to all registered charities to be tax deductible
  • 57% of undecided electors are likely vote for candidates who want government to work better with charities

CCA used these results in a Pre-Election Forum, in the media and shared them widely with politicians to highlight both the level of positive voter engagement with charities and the need for governments to work closer with charities in developing policies. 

Piazza Research Report, Community Perceptions Survey (Charities)

‘If we want a prosperous country, we need to move beyond short-term political decision-making and involve charities and community groups in planning and implementing programs to build a better Australia.  Voters understand that charities matter.  Governments need to show they also understand the critical role of charities in our health and wellbeing, productivity, our environment, our creativity and spirituality, and the capacity to achieve the kind of Australia we all want to live in.’ CCA Chair, Tim Costello.  

Media Release: Marginal seat survey – charities are a vote changer
Election 2022: The state of play, Pro Bono News, 18 May 2022.
CCA called for a dedicated minister for charities in the next government and government to work better with the sector, ‘Charities want a fair go from government – less political favouritism in grant programs, and inclusion in the making of important decisions for the country.’


Pre-Election Charities Forum - Connecting Up to champion charities

Shadow Assistant Minster for Charities, Andrew Leigh and Greens spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice joined CCA, Infoxchange and 200 sector delegates at a Pre-Election Forum at the Connecting Up Conference in Melbourne on 11 May.  (No representative was able to accept our invitation from the Morrison Government). 

In a panel session chaired by CCA CEO David Crosbie, Dr Leigh committed a Labor Government to a positive policy agenda for the sector and to work with charities and NFPs as partners in solutions to build connected, resilient, flourishing communities. Senator Rice promised to push a new Government to go further, faster.

A new Government, a new Minister and a new Agenda

Days after the Albanese Government’s election win, the soon-to-be-appointed Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, the Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP joined the CCA Board and members at CCA’s AGM in an open and frank discussion on working better with the sector and implementing Labor’s policy agenda for the sector. 

CCA members emphasised the capacity of the two implementation groups to work across government, business and the community sector would be critical, pushing for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to take carriage.


2022 was yet another year of fighting the good fight for meaningful fundraising reform.  CCA’s pre-Election survey showed over 75% of the 3400 people surveyed in marginal electorates want government to fix fundraising regulations across Australia.  Labor promised to make reform a priority.  The year ended with progress in the work between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories, but no implementation.

Media Release – GivingTuesday – a time to change things for the better
Wasting our time – marginal seat voters have their say,  Pro Bono News, 5 May 2022


‘I have lost count of how many inquiries, recommendations, working groups, and commitments for reform have been given to address the dog’s breakfast of dysfunctional unfit-for-purpose, out-of-date regulations that charities have to contend with if they dare put a ‘donate here’ button on their website… The situation is beyond bizarre – and yet still we wait’. David Crosbie, CCA CEO  

ALP will streamline tangled fundraising laws in government, Pro Bono News, 13 April 2022

‘If any government in Australia is concerned about getting increased value from the donations and funding charities receive, and supporting the 1.3 million workers employed in charities, they could greatly improve productivity by removing the interstate road blocks on fundraising. We should encourage charities to do what they do best, serve their communities.’ CCA Chair, Tim Costello.  

Media Release: Voters want government to remove interstate roadblocks on charitable fundraising


Heavy-handed enforcement action by the ACNC Commissioner in the run-up to the Election caused deep concern to charities and CCA.  It was one of the reasons CCA worked with Our Community and Pro Bono News to support a campaign encouraging charities to engage politicians with their work and their value through the Polipix competition.  We spoke in the media about the role of charities in policy advocacy, and had many conversation supporting sector leaders as they worked through concerns.

The recent spate of enforcement action initiated by the commission is deeply worrying. “All governments of all persuasions do not like it when charities hold them to account on these issues that are impacting negatively on the community or the environment,” he says. “But for me, advocacy is the heartbeat of change for the better in our world. The idea that we would silence voices because they are connected to a charity is incredibly destructive, not only for our democracy but for the country.” CCA CEO David Crosbie

New front in Coalition war on charities, The Saturday Paper, 14 May 2022

Sue Woodward AM, ACNC Commissioner

Gary Johns stood down as ACNC Commissioner following the Election.  As the Albanese Government began thinking about appointing a new Commissioner and reviewing the membership of the ACNC Advisory Board, CCA’s advocated successfully for a transparent and merit-based appointment process.

We joined the sector in welcoming the appointment of Sue Woodward AM as ACNC Commissioner, and in thanking A/Commissioner Deborah Jenkins for her work in engaging more constructively with the sector.

Jobs and Skills Summit

Our job ahead of promised workplace reform, was to get charity workforce issues on the table with Government and to see active engagement of charities and community groups in the Jobs and Skills Summit.

The active engagement of charities in the Jobs and Skills Summit is important. If the charities sector in Australia was an industry group like mining or tourism, it would be the largest in the employment and skills area. Charities in Australia contribute over 8 per cent of GDP (turnover of $176 billion annually) and have the largest employment with over 1.38 million employees or 11 per cent of the Australian workforce. Charities also engage over 4 million volunteers, CEO David Crosbie, Pro Bono News, 24 August, A lot of work to do ahead of Jobs and Skills Summit

CCA Deputy Chair, Claire Robbs, chaired a pre-Summit Charities Jobs and Skills Roundtable with Assistant Minister for Charities, Dr Andrew Leigh

The Assistant Minister committed to communicating the issues discussed to the Treasurer ahead of the Jobs and Skills Summit.  They are summarised here: Charities Roundtable Jobs and Skills Summit, summary

In a small but important advocacy, the special circumstances of charities in employing staff to deliver time-limited contracts was raised and responded to as the Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation was finalised.

Digital leadership

Our work to see charities included in the Government’s digital transformation and cybersecurity agenda was advanced in partnership with Infoxchange and via direct advocacy by both the Charities Crisis Cabinet and CCA.  We want capacity building support for the sector, and policy that responds to the context of charities (for example, concessional treatment that responds to a charities role and size in the development of cyber-breach policies).

The CCA Digital Leaders’ Network co-chaired by David Crosbie and Infoxchange CEO, David Spriggs is proving invaluable in informing and supporting this work.

CCA was also pleased to support the premier digital capacity building event for the sector with Chair Tim Costello providing an important plenary and David helping judge the Australian Not for Profit Technology Awards.

Charities Crisis Cabinet, job well done – thank you

After two and a half years, 44 meetings and some 20 letters and submissions to Government, the Charities Crisis Cabinet called time.  The cabinet was a remarkable coming together of sector leaders to advocate for charities and the communities they serve at an unprecedented time of global pandemic.  Our thanks to co-Chairs Susan Pascoe AM and Tim Costello AO, and to all involved for your contributions, wisdom, generosity and collegiality in a period when our sector most needed a step-up in collective leadership.

Charities Crisis Cabinet letter to Prime Minister and National Cabinet, 28 February 2022: Charities seek to work with government on critical Covid-19 responses

Charities Crisis Cabinet – a reflection on advocacy and connectedness, Croakey, David provides an opinion piece for Croakey, reflecting on the wins and challenges for the Charities Crisis Cabinet and highlighting the value of community connection in disasters.

Two and half years since the Charities Crisis Cabinet was established by CCA, it is interesting to look back and think about just how much was achieved.  Charities received JobKeeper at a concessional rate, incentives were put in place to promote philanthropy during the crisis, more government funding was provided to emergency relief services, flexibility was provided to many charities in fulfilling their funding requirements, and some governments offered additional support for digital transformation.

The cabinet did not achieve all these positive outcomes, but feedback from very senior government officials informs us that the Charities Crisis Cabinet played a very significant role in the advocacy to ensure these policies were realised.  Epitaph for the Charities Crisis Cabinet , 7 September, Pro Bono News

Policy Priorities

CCA engages constructively with the Assistant Minister for Charities, Andrew Leigh MP; Shadow Assistant Minister Senator Dean Smith, Greens spokesperson on charities, Senator Janet Rice and across the Parliament. We make submissions, provide media commentary, work with Parliamentary Inquiries and Senate Estimates and meet publicly and privately with MPs and Senators from across the Parliament.  We also liaise with the bureaucracy and key regulatory bodies (such as the ACNC, Treasury, the Australian Taxation Office, Fair Work Australia), promote collective leadership by our sector, and work in partnership with leaders and stakeholders.

The policy priorities we sought to positively influence in 2022 included:

  • Seeking higher government engagement with charities as part of the solution to supporting communities through crisis and toward recovery.
  • Challenges to advocacy including commentary intended to ‘chill’ and electoral reform.
  • Positive engagement with politicians around the sector’s value, contribution and issues during the election period and as a new Parliament and Government formed.
  • Opposing new and existing burdens of red tape and administration, including making it feasible for charities to establish fundraising initiatives quickly and efficiently by removing dysfunctional red tape fundraising regulations and creating a national registration process through existing regulators the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
  • Improving transparency and changes to ACNC secrecy provisions.
  • Subject to strong performance, trying to ensure greater certainty in government contracts by locking in existing payments and extending contracts wherever possible.
  • Supporting greater flexibility in government funding to charities and not-for-profits to respond to the emerging needs in their communities.
  • Workforce issues (retention, engagement, training, Fair Work Ombudsman, industrial relations and award complexity), including advocating the importance of involving charities in the Jobs and Training Summit.
  • Supporting initiatives to unlock new sources of capital for charities including underwriting medium-term loans schemes and impact investment options that will enable charities to smooth out inconsistent income streams and invest in their future.
  • Supporting re-engagement of volunteers, including investing in a one stop shop registration process to enable volunteers to be registered and insured more quickly without the red tape of multi-jurisdictional compliance.
  • Providing transformational funding to charities in critical areas such as information technology, energy efficiency, collaboration, measurement of impact, research, staff development and other productivity focused areas.
  • Addressing digital transformation and the digital divide in our communities and within our sector.
  • Responding to new legislative propositions and their likely impact on charities (e.g. DGR, and related party transactions)
  • Ensuring charities are front and centre in discussions about climate change, community resilience, preparation, and recovery, with a stronger focus on community connectedness.
  • Engagement with Government and the Assistant Minister for Charities on the sector’s issues, priorities and value within the Government’s sector reform, community building and productivity agenda.

Peer Leadership

Some of the best support for sector leaders, is to connect with each other.  Our leadership networks are informal and informative; collegial and collaborative; safe and insightful… and an invaluable grounding for our national policy and advocacy.  Thank you to all who participated and contributed to meetings during 2022:

  • CCA CEO Forums
  • CCA CFO Network
  • CCA Senior Policy and Government Relations Managers’ Network
  • CCA HR Senior Leaders’ Network
  • CCA Digital Leaders’ Network

CCA CEO David Crosbie and Chair Tim Costello provided media commentary on issues throughout the year. David also contributed fortnightly articles to Pro Bono News intended to raise and share sector issues and promote thought leadership within and about our sector and its contribution.

In 2022, CCA published well over 200 editions of Daily Diary – our informal and fairly frank two-minute read intended to help CCA member CEOs and senior staff up to date on national context, CCA work and other news of interest to charity leaders.  We also hope it brings the occasional laugh

Media commentary and thought leadership

CCA media commentary 2022:

The price we pay for selling our values , 14 December, Pro Bono News: David explains why Robodebt is “an icon of malicious discrimination against innocent and vulnerable Australians”. 

Biting the cybersecurity bullet, 30 November, Pro Bono News: What are the issues that need to be seriously considered if the sector wants to improve data security?

Do we really value diversity? Really?, 17 November, Pro Bono News: Australia could learn a lot from a new Canadian report about how to make “diversity” more than just lip service.  

Changing our future , 2 November, Pro Bono News:  David asks charity leaders to consider, Does the charities sector need to have stronger ownership of policy development groups, if the government will not properly resource them?

Charities hit hard by cost-of-living crisis – ABC Radio National, 28 October 2022, David talks to the cost of living and demand pressures facing charities.

Finding a new way forward, 25 October 2022, Pro Bono News:  David writes that in many ways this budget was a full stop to the work of the previous Morrison government, a reorientation to the new federal government agenda and workplan. 

Smoothing the way forward, 19 October 2022, Pro Bono News:  David shares the advocacy success of heading off a significant issue affecting regular giving (with MasterCard) – and the lessons of small victories incrementally smoothing a pathway forward.

Urgent rethink needed in funding and provision of community care, 5 October 2022, Pro Bono News:  David writes that if governments are seriously committed to reducing costs and improving community wellbeing, investing in community provision of care is one of the best investments they can make… elections provide a window of opportunity for shifts in what is possible. Charities should actively pursue this opportunity to achieve change over the coming months.

Jumping to judgement, 28 September 2022, Pro Bono News: a contribution to the outcomes and impact measurement discussion.  If you want to know whether a charity is achieving its mission, spreadsheets and data don’t always hold the answers.

Let the work begin, 11 August 2022, Pro Bono News – While there is certainly cause for optimism as the sector engages with the new government, we also need a healthy dose of realism, writes David Crosbie. (Article).

When taking a step back is the quickest way forward, 27 July 2022, Pro Bono News – Revisiting an existing report identifying the barriers not for profits face in improving productivity could hold the key the sector needs, writes David Crosbie. (Article)

The value of working in the charities sector, 16 June 2022, Pro Bono News – The problem currently keeping charity CEOs awake at night is their capacity to attract and retain quality staff, writes David Crosbie, who argues it is time for charities to be actively engaged at a national level in framing more supportive and practical employment policies. (Article)

Everything has changed in Australian politics, 2 June 2022 – It is up to us to build on that change through our own organisations, writes David Crosbie, who says charities can learn a lot from the approach taken by climate activists in this election.

The more things change… Pro Bono News, 19 May 2022 – Regardless of who wins the election this weekend, it is important to remember that government departments and agencies can be very resilient. If we expect them to change, we need to think about how we can reward the behaviours we want them to adopt, writes David Crosbie. (Article)

Wrecking government – the challenge for us all, Pro Bono News, 6 April 2022 – When a government is no longer willing or capable of fulfilling some of the critical roles of government, where does that leave the charities sector? David Crosbie asks the question. (Article)

Short term sugar hits and missed opportunities, Pro Bono News, 30 March 2022 – David said the budget failed to provide a significant boost in government support to strengthen the work of charities. “Areas like climate change adaptation, refugee support, rates of support for the most disadvantaged, access to affordable housing, environmental protection, the arts, higher education etc. were not really addressed. In terms of charity capacity building, I think it would have been good to see some of the business initiatives that incentivise investment in training and digital transformation extended to charities through some form of government subsidy rather than relying solely on business tax concessions that provide no real benefit for charities.”

More than 1,000 words, Pro Bono News, 23 March 2022 – Charities need to overcome their natural reluctance to advocate during an election campaign and think about the techniques that will have the greatest impact, even if this means herding animals into photos, writes David Crosbie. (Article)

Watering the seeds of change, 24 February 2022 – Charities are finding a way through despite all the challenges.  David takes a look at three big positives for the sector that have come out of the pandemic, positives that we need to acknowledge and build on if we are to change the kind of Australia we live in.

‘Pushing through’ – Charities in 2022, 27 January 2022 – Two years of continually pushing through has left many charities running on empty, but the work is far from over. 

CCA Board and CEO

Claire Robbs 

Deputy Chair CCA 

CEO, Life Without Barriers

Louise Baxter 

CEO, The Starlight Foundation

Marc Purcell

CEO, Australian Council for International Development

George Aghajanian

General Manager and Director Hillsong Church

Mark Pearce

CEO, Volunteering Australia

Suzie Riddell
CEO, Social Ventures Australia

Richard Mussell 

CEO, RSPCA Australia

Deirdre Cheers

CEO Barnardos Australia

(Elected 25 May 2022)

Anna Draffin

CEO Public Interest Journalism Initiative

(Elected 16 November 2022)

Nicola Stokes

CEO Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation

(Elected 25 May 2022)

David Crosbie

CEO Community Council for Australia

Paul Ronalds

CEO, Save the Children

(Resigned 30 June 2022)

Jody Wright


(Resigned 25 May 2022)

Leadership and commitment

CCA’s greatest strength has always been the inspirational, talented and committed leadership we find in our membership and from there, our Board.

Our thanks to CCA Members and Directors for your involvement and support.