Independent (External) Director
(voluntary/expenses paid)

Speech Pathology Australia (the Association) is seeking an individual of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background, to be appointed as a volunteer External Director. The successful applicant will join our existing Board of Directors.

Who we are:

Speech Pathology Australia is the national professional peak body for speech pathologists and represents more than 11,000 speech pathologists across Australia. Speech pathologists are university-trained allied health professionals who provide services to people with speech, language, and communication disorders and swallowing difficulties, and work with their family, carers and the community.

Speech Pathology Australia is recognised by government as the national scientific and professional standards organisation for speech pathologists in Australia. The Association has established and monitors the educational, clinical and ethical standards required for practising membership and holds functions of assessing those with overseas qualifications and accrediting university programs.

Speech Pathology Australia has seen significant growth in its membership, resources and activities over recent years, with the Board of Directors seeking to expand the knowledge and experience base of its governance structure, through the introduction of External Directors.

Speech Pathology Australia has a strong ethical and values base and is committed to innovation and professional leadership.

About the role:

The Board of Directors governs Speech Pathology Australia and is the Association’s ultimate decision-making and policy-setting body. The Board of Directors has overall responsibility for:

  • Pursuing the Association’s vision and mission
  • Determining the strategic plan and priorities, and monitoring its implementation
  • Ensuring a resource base to support the Association’s activities.

The Association's Board of Directors currently consists of seven General Directors. The appointment of the Association’s first External Director is currently underway, with this position to be in place shortly.

The Association is additionally seeking to appoint an appropriate individual, of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander background, to an External Director position, for a two-year term. The successful applicant may re-nominate for subsequent terms.

The skills and attributes required of Directors are included in a skills matrix and can be broadly categorised into 3 areas:

Director Governance Skills (Board Directors should have a balance of these skills and they should be held collectively by the Board as a whole.)

Industry Specific Skills (Industry-related and/or member organisation/association experience, creating a mix of backgrounds)

Diversity and Non-Skills based criteria (diversity is valued by the Association)

Whilst appointments to the Board are based upon merit, the Board of Directors as a collective will encompass diversity in experience, skills and perspectives.

At this time, the experience and skill set sought in External Directors, and therefore are highly valued, include:

  • Strong experience in consumer engagement
  • Knowledge of and experience in public policy and advocacy
  • Experience in marketing and communications strategy development
  • Business and financial acumen
  • Alignment with the organisation’s culture and values
  • An interest in making a difference in the lives of people with communication disorders and swallowing difficulties.

Some knowledge of the speech pathology profession and/or users of their services, as well as experience serving on not-for-profit Boards and Committees is desirable, but not essential. Graduates of the AICD Company Directors course or other governance training and experience would also be highly regarded.

The Governance and Risk Committee will review Applicants against the Association's skills matrix, giving high regard to the above skills, and the complement of the Applicant’s skill base against the current Board of Directors.

The successful candidate’s expected commitment will include attending Board of Director meetings, held quarterly on a Friday afternoon / evening and Saturday. Subject to health restrictions, meetings will be held face-to-face at Speech Pathology Australia’s National Office in Melbourne CBD. (Travel and Accommodation and related expenses will be funded by Speech Pathology Australia, as required.) Additional meetings are scheduled virtually, where required.

How to apply for the position of External Director:

Applications must be submitted on the Application Form and include a CV and a brief covering letter highlighting your suitability for the role and particularly the skill set you believe you offer at this time.

Applications must be received by 5:00 pm AEST on Friday 21 May 2021 by emailing The Governance and Risk Committee will review Applicants against the Association's skills matrix, giving high regard to the above skills, and the complement of the Applicant’s skill base against the current Board of Directors.

Shortlisted Applicants will be invited to attend an interview.

An Appicant Information Package is available (on the Association's website). For further information about the role, please email Speech Pathology Australia, and the National President and/or the CEO will respond to you.

Speech Pathology Australia is committed to equity and inclusion and welcomes applications from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people of all abilities, and people from LGBTQIA+ communities.