deborah di natale

As a lawyer, I’m not afraid to admit I had a bit of arrogance coming into the Company Directors Course (CDC). My attitude was: how hard can it be — I have three degrees and sit on a national board?

After my fourth weekend in the office working on the assessment and studying for the exam, I realised the course was no walk in the park. Now, if I see an AICD qualification hanging in someone’s office, it’s a bit like the secret Harvard handshake!

Jokes aside, this course is one of the most valuable lessons around. In light of the banking Royal Commission, we’re reminded how critical good governance is. Catching up with colleagues for drinks, I hear how practical the course has been for their new and existing board positions. Good governance is needed in the Territory and this investment will be one of the best you make to reach this goal.

After completing the CDC, I was appointed an independent director of the Marra Worra Worra Aboriginal Corporation in Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia. It’s a member-elected board that represents five language groups across the valley. My first board meeting involved flying from Darwin to Kununurra to Broome, then driving 400km. Now I’m transferring the skills I’ve learned to locally elected board members and traditional owners.

The North Australian Aboriginal Family Legal Service (NAAFLS) serves 44 remote Indigenous communities. In completing the CDC, Deborah Di Natale was supported by the NT government scholarship program for NFPs.

Read further coverage on Indigenous governance here.