Board Member, 2 x positions (voluntary)

WaterAid Australia is seeking expressions of interest to fill two Non-Executive Director positions on our Board. We are looking for one Director with a background in Aid and Development, and one Director with a background in Governance and Risk Management.

WaterAid Australia is on an exciting journey - we have undertaken a strategic process to reflect on how we make decisions at a governance level and how we lead the organisation. We’ve been thinking about whose voices are heard and whose aren’t. To that end we have decided that we would like to complement our already collaborative leadership practice with board members who are grounded in their communities and who are passionate about delivering our mission. We have identified the need for WaterAid Australia increase the diversity of our Board and to ensure that we have leadership teams that come from the regions in which we work. The Board is approaching the current Director recruitment process through this lens. As this journey continues, we have a strategic process underway to continue to learn and hold ourselves accountable.

WaterAid Australia is committed to having a balanced Board in terms of gender and with a diversity of experience, backgrounds and personal attributes including race, disability, age, gender identity and sexual orientation. We welcome applications from women, from First Nations people, from people from the regions in which we work and from people with disabilities. We also strongly encourage applicants who have lived experience of the issues WaterAid Australia works on.

Applicants are not required to be Australian citizens or live in Australia, and we especially encourage applications from people who live in or are from WaterAid Australia’s program countries, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Cambodia, or Pacific Island countries.

Who we are

WaterAid is an international not-for-profit organisation. Our vision is a world where everyone everywhere has access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. Our mission is to transform lives through sustainable and safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

Everything we do is shaped by six values:

Respect, Accountability, Courage, Collaboration, Innovation, and Integrity

These values define our culture and unite us across the many countries in which we work. They are at the very heart of WaterAid – who we are, what we do and how we do it.

WaterAid International

WaterAid Australia is a member of the WaterAid International federation, which is made up of the following self-governing national member organisations: Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Sweden, the UK and US. Members share the same values, ambition, passion, culture and standards. To have the greatest impact, we share the same global strategy, which is available at:

Each member organisation mobilises support in its home country, engaging individuals, companies and institutions to raise funds and influence policies to support our mission. To make change happen on a global scale, members collaborate on regional and global advocacy and campaigns to influence governments, companies and international institutions.

Australia, India, the UK and US manage programs in over 30 countries on behalf of the global WaterAid network.

WaterAid Australia and the Board of Directors

WaterAid Australia has an office in Melbourne and supports country programs in Timor-Leste, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea. Our Senior Executive team includes the Country Directors from the three country programs.

WaterAid Australia’s Board has ten Directors, made up of:

  • three Directors from the Australian water industry
  • three Directors with experience in aid and development
  • four Directors with specific skills in areas including fundraising, communication and governance.

WaterAid Australia is a Company Limited by Guarantee and a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

For further information, please see:

Requirements of Directors

WaterAid holds quarterly Board Meetings with a mix of hybrid and in person opportunities for gatherings and connection.

In addition to Board meetings, Directors are required to serve on and attend the quarterly meetings of one or two of the Board’s Committees (Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee; Programs and Advocacy Committee; Governance and Nominations Committee).

Directors are expected to commit time to studying papers, preparing for and attending meetings, following up on specific tasks with other Directors and liaising with the Chief Executive or other staff at the Chair’s or Chief Executive’s request. Directors are also expected to be active advocates of WaterAid’s work.

In total, this commitment is likely to take 10 to 15 days per year. Board and Committee meetings are held on Thursdays (the schedule of meetings for 2022-2023 is available upon request).


Board members work on a pro-bono basis and are not entitled to any remuneration for their role as Director. However, WaterAid Australia will meet or reimburse Directors for any reasonable travel and accommodation expenses incurred as part of that Director performing their duties on behalf of the organisation. If a Director is not based in Australia, we would also assist with any visas required to attend meetings in Australia in person.

Vacancies on the Board

As stated above, we are looking for one Director with a background in Aid and Development, and one Director with a background in Governance and Risk Management.

The term of the appointment for both positions is for three years, beginning in August 2022, with the possibility of renewal for a further three years.

Previous board experience is not essential.

General selection criteria for both positions:

Candidates must bring the following:

  • a commitment to WaterAid’s vision, mission and values
  • knowledge and experience of the gendered dimensions of access to and decision-making about water, and the advancement of women’s rights in this context
  • demonstrated capability to collaborate and embrace diversity of thought, identity and experience
  • understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, liabilities and responsibilities of Directors in Australia and of the difference between governance and management functions
  • experience of strategy development and effective implementation
  • an understanding of the context in which WaterAid works and the challenges of working appropriately and sustainably with partner organisations in our country programs
  • the ability and willingness to devote the necessary time to the role of Director.

It is expected for candidates to bring relevant and diverse networks, with the ability to engage with contacts to support our programs, policy, influencing and/or fundraising work.

Specific selection criteria for Aid and Development Director

It is anticipated that the successful candidate for this role will be a member of the Board’s Program and Advocacy Committee, as well as one other committee.

In addition to the above general criteria, candidates for the position of Aid and Development Director should have skills and/or experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Health
  • Urban WASH
  • Development finance

It would be desirable for the candidate to have Policy Experience.

Specific selection criteria for Governance and Risk Management Director

It is anticipated that the successful candidate for this role will assume the role of Chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee (GNC) and be a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee. As part of its functions, the GNC is responsible for the review of, and drafting of any amendments to, WaterAid Australia’s Constitution and Governance Manual.

In addition to the above general criteria, candidates for the position of Governance and Risk Management Director must possess skills and/or experience in:

  • Governance
  • Risk Management
  • Reviewing and drafting key governance documents and policies.

Please note that having a law degree is not essential for this role.

Application process

Applications should be addressed to Ms Alexandra Owens, Chair of the Board’s Governance and Nominations Committee, at [email protected] by 5pm (AEST) on Thursday 19th  May 2022.

In your application, please clearly state the role for which you are applying.

Applications must include:

  • completion of the attached application form; and
  • a CV of no more than 4 pages.

The Governance and Nominations Committee will review applications and interview shortlisted candidates via ZOOM, before making recommendations to the Board.  Unsuccessful candidates will be notified they have not been shortlisted.

All applications will be treated confidentially and for shortlisted candidates, permission will be sought before contacting referees.

Child Safeguarding and Code of Conduct

WaterAid is a child safe organisation. We recognise that we must meet community expectations and the trust placed in our personnel to maintain the highest standards of conduct with children. Therefore, all roles within WaterAid are required to comply with our Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct.

WaterAid is committed to protection from sexual exploitation and abuse in everything we do. The values and standards we uphold are highlighted in our Global Code of Conduct available at All roles within WaterAid are required to comply with our Global Code of Conduct.

Successful candidates will also be asked to undergo police and other integrity checks.

Contact details

For further information, please contact Ms Maria Woodend, Executive Assistant and Office Manager, WaterAid Australia, [email protected]