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Governance update - July 2018

Following an extensive consultation process, the Heart Foundation is concluding arrangements to become a unified legal entity.  These changes will ensure that the Heart Foundation builds on its 59-year history as a sustainable, values‑based organisation.  The changes will allow the Heart Foundation to better coordinate its work in the community and will better enable us to implement our current ‘One Heart’ strategy. 

Importantly, our commitment to people who are socially and economically disadvantaged and affected by heart disease will remain a priority. This focus includes communities in regional, rural and remote areas, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  The Heart Foundation is also committed to ensuring that our important local relationships, programs and activities are maintained, and there will continue to be a strong local presence in each state and territory. 

Governance overview

The Heart Foundation is a National Health Promotion Charity with offices in each state and territory.  The National Heart Foundation of Australia (NHFA) is a Company Limited by Guarantee.  Each state and territory entity is a subsidiary member of NHFA and is chaired by an NHFA Board Member. 

Each state and territory nominates two individuals who become members of the NHFA Company.  Members of the NHFA Company meet with the NHFA Board and attend the Annual General Meeting.  Each state and territory also has a Local Advisory Board to support and advise the local CEO. 

The NHFA Board is a skills-based board of 10 Directors. It has established the following Advisory Committees:

  • Risk, Audit and Governance
  • Heart Health
  • Research Strategy
  • Finance
  • Investment
  • Development
  • Board Executive

The Board Committees are each chaired by a Director of the NHFA Board and comprise at least two other members of the Board and, where appropriate, other relevant technical experts and consumer representatives.  

The Board Committees meet regularly throughout the year and provide advice and recommendations to the NHFA Board.  The NHFA Board is the final authority for approving strategy, the annual budget, Heart Foundation scientific policy papers and guidelines, the annual reports and Heart Foundation organisational policy.  The NHFA Board also assesses and makes decisions about matters relating to reputation and risks.  The Heart Health and Research Strategy Committees have established expert technical advisory groups that assist these Committees to provide advice and recommendations to the NHFA Board. 

The NHFA Board determines strategy, while management is responsible for ensuring our strategy is effectively implemented. The current Heart Foundation Strategy, One Heart 2018-2020, has established the framework for programs and activities delivered by the organisation.  Operational plans detail the specific initiatives and activities that will be undertaken at a national and local level.  Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) approved by the NHFA Board will assist in measuring performance against the strategy.   

Access our annual reports.

Our legal entities

  • National Heart Foundation of Australia


    Mr Chris Leptos AM (President)

    Associate Professor David Colquhoun

    Dr Jenny Deague

    Mr John Etherington

    Ms Diana Heggie

    Prof Leonard Kritharides

    Ms Cynthia Payne

    Ms Alice Tay

    Ms Jennifer Tucker

    Mr Todd Roberts


    ABN 98 008 419 761