Rethinking the Community Sector

Lecture series web

Rethinking the Community Sector

The quarterly lecture series hosted by the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA).

Each quarterly lecture is presented by a high-profile national and international thought leader addressing a pressing topic relevant to the community sector. Each speaker brings novel, ambitious, and challenging ideas aimed at improving and expanding the way you perceive your role as a community leader. Speeches are available for live viewing, exclusively for ICDA members, as well as in a written publication after the event.

Upcoming Lecture

Fixing the Culture: What is the board's role in dealing with toxicity in the workplace?

Dr Simon Longstaff AO FCPA, executive director at The Ethics Centre

Simon Longstaff

A poor workplace culture is bad for business, bad for people and bad for society.

While some may argue that the board can do very little to lead and create an organisation's culture on the day-to-day level, culture is directly influenced by the boardroom, and directors must engage in behaviours that will steer the culture in the right direction.

From hiring an appropriate CEO and regularly evaluating the CEO's performance through a cultural lens, to engaging in discussion about culture and overseeing executive team appointments, the board has a significant role to play.

Dr Simon Longstaff AO is the Executive Director of The Ethics Centre, a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on bringing ethics to the centre of personal and professional life. In 2018, The Ethics Centre was appointed to conduct an independent organisational review of Cricket Australia, following the ball-tampering scandal on the South African tour of the same year.

When poor culture begins to rear its ugly head, what is the board's responsibility in fixing it?

What steps must the board take to ensure that toxicity is removed from the workplace?


This lecture will take place live on Thursday, March 3, 2022 from 2.30pm to 3.30pm AEDT. ICDA members have free access to the lecture, and the recording will also be made available to ICDA members for free.

Non-members can still access the live lecture, and the recording, for a fee of <strong>$80</strong>.

Past Lectures

The Leading Edge: Dream big, spark change and become the leader the world needs you to be

Holly Ransom, speaker, commentator, author

What does it mean to ‘be a leader’? What does true leadership look like in the 2020s, when we’re facing complexity and challenges in every direction – from climate disaster to political division, and inequality to consumer mistrust? And how can we be part of the solution, while crafting a meaningful and satisfying career?

The answers aren’t simple, but Holly Ransom is closer to finding them than most. Barely into her thirties, since chairing the G20 Youth Summit in 2014, Holly has been working with and learning from the heads of countries, companies and charities to help them disrupt what they do and change the world for the better. In her fearless and widely-researched manifesto, this innovative young thinker shows how it is within everyone’s reach, everyone’s ability and everyone’s power to be an effective leader – in business and beyond.

Through three principles – mindset, method and mastery – you’ll discover how to first lead yourself, then others. And you’ll benefit from the wisdom of the luminaries Holly has interviewed, from Susan Cain and Condoleezza Rice to Barack Obama and Malcolm Gladwell. This is the path to the leading edge – and becoming the leader the world needs you to be.


This lecture took place live on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 from 2.30pm to 3.30pm AEDT. The recording is available free for all members of the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA). Only ICDA members will have access to the recording.

Mission over reputation: The case for a merger in times of crisis

Paul Ronalds, chief executive officer, Save the Children

Community organisations are driven by one goal: achieving their mission. But over the past 18 months, this goal has begun to feel out of reach. The COVID-19 crisis has left organisations struggling, competing with one another for a piece of the shrinking funding pool.

Many already cash-strapped organisations have been forced into increasing costs just to compete in an overcrowded space. This is unsustainable, and for many, there is a simple choice: merge with their competitors or die out.

But whether out of pride, or an unrealistic belief that the tide will turn, many are still refusing to merge. Is it time for the sector to get back to prioritising the achievement of the mission over the brand and reputation of the organisation?


This lecture took place live on Monday, September 20, 2021 from 2.30pm to 3.30pm AEST. This recording is available free for all members of the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA). Only ICDA members will have access to the recording.

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