The Council of Single Mothers and their Children is a non-profit organisation founded 50 years ago by single mothers to secure a better life for themselves and their children. We achieve change by championing the voices and needs of single mother families and providing specialist support services. CSMC has over 3400 single mother members (for whom membership is free) and more than 3000 contacts per year with single mothers.
Established in 1969, CSMC has a long history of social and political action. One of CSMC’s early achievements was successfully lobbying government to introduce the Supporting Mothers’ Benefit. CSMC continues to fight for the rights and interests of single mother families, focusing on financial security, social security, child support, family law, and housing.
Council of Single Mothers and their Children is current recruiting a Treasurer to join the Board for the new term, starting January 2020. Each member of the Board plays a part in ensuring good governance of the organisation, overseeing the policy direction, and ensuring compliance with legal requirements. Members assist with the leadership and general promotion of CSMC in support of the organisation’s mission and needs.
CSMC works from a feminist perspective and is committed to processes of self-help, empowerment, and mutual support for single mothers. Working from a self-help model, all CSMC volunteers (including Board members) and employees are women who are or have been single mothers. This falls within the exception contained in section 28 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.
- Review and approve the organisation’s annual budget
- Monitor financial performance
- Ensure the financial structure is adequate for the organisation’s current needs and long range strategy
- Be assured the Board and its committees are properly and adequately informed of the condition of the organisation and its operations
- Be assured published reports properly reflect the operating results and financial condition of the organisation
- Ascertain appropriate conflict of interest policies are in place and are monitored and enforced
- Appoint independent auditors, subject to approval by members
- Review compliance with relevant legal requirements
- Ensure appropriate risk assessment and risk management procedures are in place
- Approve the mission and values of CSMC
- Review and approve the strategic plan designed to ensure CSMC is meeting its objectives and business risk is managed
- Approve organisation policies and monitor the organisation’s performance against policies and the strategic plan
- Select, monitor, appraise, advise, support, reward and when necessary, change the CEO
- Contribute to effective Board recruitment and succession planning
- Foster a positive working relationship with other Board members and organisation staff
- Review the performance of the Board annually and take steps to continually improve its performance
- Review results achieved by management compared with the organisation’s mission and strategic plan
- Provide candid and constructive criticism, advice and comments
- Approve major decisions such as major program and service changes and capital expenditure
Advocacy and marketing:
- Promote the organisation’s interests and activities within the broader community
- You must be, or have at one time been a single mother
- Align with feminist principles including a commitment to gender equality, and have a passion for achieving a fair and equitable future for single mothers and their children
- Financial management experience and relevant qualification (e.g. Chartered Accountant)
- Have a high level of commitment to the work of CSMC with reasonable attendance at Board meetings and at events of the organisation, including the Annual General Meeting
- Knowledge and skills in relevant areas such as governance, accountability to members, social policy, program delivery and evaluation, finance, achieving change
- Willingness to invest in developing governance skills
- Willingness to serve on a sub-committee and participate actively in its work
- Be informed of the services provided by CSMC and support our work publicly
- Prepare for and participate in the discussions and the deliberations of the Board
- Be aware of and abstain from any conflict of interest.
All CSMC Board members commit to being available for Board duties with a total time commitment of 4-6 hours per month. This includes:
- 2 to 2.5 hours per Board meeting, held every seven weeks after business hours (currently 5.30-8.00pm Wednesdays)
- Pre-reading for each board meeting.
- Providing mentoring and occasional support to the CEO regarding financial management
- Serving on at least one committee per year (e.g. finance, fundraising, campaign action), and actively participating in any other discussions, approximately 4-6 hour total commitment over a limited time period
New board members will serve a three-month probation period on the Board at the start of their formal appointment and commit to serve a two-year term. There is an annual re-election process for all Board members at the organisation’s AGM (generally held in November).
A full position description is attached below.