A NSW Government website

Boards & Committees

Why join a board or committee?

Being on a government board or committee is a rewarding experience. You’ll get to see how the government works and help shape NSW. Here’s some of the benefits from joining:

  • Build your career – gain knowledge and skills, learn about areas of interest, develop as a leader, and expand your network.
  • Grow – challenge yourself, develop new perspectives and ideas, and build your confidence.
  • Earn extra income – many board and committee positions offer remuneration for your membership time and commitment.
  • Serve your community – use your passion in a positive way, inspire others and share your experience, and promote cultural change.

What are public boards and committees?

Public (government) boards and committees help guide and influence many government programs and services. They provide leadership, direction, and accountability across many areas of NSW
Government activity and are a vital link between community needs and government service delivery.
In NSW there are around 360 public boards and committees with different forms, sizes and operational processes.

Boards and committees may report to a Minister or have a governing or advisory function to inform decision making. ‘Governing boards’ will have whole or partial decision-making authority in relation to a government body, while ‘Advisory boards’ will usually have purely advisory functions that support the government to make decisions.

People on boards and committees may hold the position of chairperson or member, as well as deputy chairperson or other specialist member roles. Sub-committees may also be set up with separate chairpersons and membership.

Boards and committees may be established by legislation or by another formal document, such as constitution, charter, or terms of reference. The establishing legislation or formal document will usually specify how often the board or committee will meet and whether positions are paid or unpaid.

You can see more information in the Boards and Committees section of the Guide to the NSW public sector.

What type of boards and committees exist?

There are over 360 boards in NSW, across a wide range of public service areas. Some examples of board areas include land and water, planning, environment, families, aged care, and healthcare, but there are many more.

You can view a list of current boards in NSW and remuneration details on the Public Service Commission website.

What do board members do?

The roles of board members vary. Board members often provide leadership, strategic direction, independent scrutiny and, in some cases, specialist expertise to government departments and ministers.

Key responsibilities of board members may include:

  • agreeing strategy and business plans,
  • overseeing performance targets,
  • making sure the organisation’s budget is spent appropriately,
  • making sure the organisation meets the needs of the public, and
  • representing the views and work of the organisation to ministers, parliament stakeholders, or the public.

The Chairperson of a board or committee is responsible for leading the activities of the board or committee. Their responsibilities may include facilitating meetings and discussions, developing the capability of other members, liaising with Ministers and other government representatives, and ensuring the board or committee performs its functions properly.

What skills and experience do board members have?

People with all different types and levels of skills and experience are on boards. Each board needs people with various skills, abilities, and experiences as the tasks of a board are varied. For example, to be successful, a board may require a mix of members with HR experience, marketing experience, financial experience, administrative experience, community experience and policy experience. Many boards and committees also benefit from the diverse lived experiences of its members as the users of government services.

We want a diverse mix of people to join our boards and committees. Diversity helps NSW boards and committees make more meaningful decisions for our communities.

When joining the register, you can select the areas you have experience, qualifications and interest in which you’d like to be considered for. For some roles, you do not need to have previous board experience.

Contact the boards and committee team

Get in touch with the boards and committee team.