The Harvard Club of Australia is structured as a ‘distributed leadership’ model for carrying out its mission.
Our team is comprised of the following:
Board (President & five VPs)
Council (~40 Program Leaders)
Administrator (Paid part-time position)
Nominations Committee (Succession)
Governance bodies (HCA Foundation & HCA Philanthropy)
Selection panels (Scholarships)
The Board comprised of a President and five Vice Presidents. Each VP leads a Mission Team of Program Leaders to carry out part of the Club’s mission “to made a difference for Harvard, for Members and for Australia”.
The Board oversees the Club including approving strategy and budgets, monitoring financial health, attracting members into leadership roles, ensuring good governance and role modelling Club values.
Board positions are elected at the Annual General Meeting. The President serves a 2-year term and the VPs serve 3-year staggered terms. The Board meets four times per year plus if/as needed.
The Council is comprised of the Board plus Program Leaders (PLs). PLs are the core of the ‘distributed leadership’ model. Under each VP there are a number of PLs (~40 in total) who are empowered to design and execute the activities, programs, functions of the Club. Any member with a good idea can propose it to the Board and, if approved, become the PL for their idea. PLs are appointed, not elected, and they do not have term limits, although rotational leadership is encouraged after about five years. The Council meets twice during the year plus an end-of-year Planning Summit.
The Club has a paid administrator who also serves as our Public Officer. The administrator supports the Board in its strategic oversight and PLs in their operational execution. The administrator is the first point of contact for members and alumni. In particular, the administrator manages the website/social media platforms, issues weekly communications, maintains the membership database, handles day-to-day finances, publishes the Club calendar, supports event logistics, assists with scholarship and local program admin, organises Board and Council meetings, submits reports to the Harvard Alumni Association.
The ‘Noms Com’ plays a vital role in the succession and talent management of the Club. It identifies and nurtures candidates for the President and VP roles, and recommends a slate to the President at election time. It also generates and maintains a list of members who are interested in contributing to the Club through any formal position. The Committee is chaired by the past President and reports to the President. It is comprised of a few appointed members who collectively know the Club’s membership well. It meets on an as-needed basis during the course of the year.
The HCA Foundation oversees the endowment fund, provides tax-deductibility as a DGR2 for individual and company donors, makes investment decisions, handles regulatory compliance, and donates at least 5% of its capital each year to charitable causes, namely Club scholarships. The Foundation has two trustees – HCA Philanthropy and Perpetual Trustees. Perpetual manages the Foundation. The Foundation trustee representatives are appointed without term limits. The Foundation meets twice per year. There is also an Advisory Group associated with the Foundation for the purposes of educating members about investment management in general as well as grooming successors for the trustee rep spots.
HCA Philanthropy is a tax-exempt entity established to manage the Club’s various local Harvard-taught leadership programs, to provide financial protection to the Club through limited liability mechanism, and to distribute any surpluses earned to the HCA Foundation, Australian National University and any scholarships where there’s no tax advantage from funding through the Foundation. HCAP Board members include the HCA President and Treasurer plus a other appointed members. There are term limits to the appointed members. The Board meets twice annually plus if/as needed.
Each of the Club’s scholarships and fellowships have a disciplined application-selection-acquittal process and a formal selection panel. The panel shortlists candidates, interviews them and selects a winner(s). Panel members are appointed by the Scholarship Program Leader and serve without a term limit.