The CBF’s Structure & Governance Review


The Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF), an independent non-profit funding agency that seeks, secures and distributes funding to support the development, creativity and sustainability of community broadcasting in Australia, has been undertaking a review process throughout 2014 and 2015. This has included engaging a consultancy firm, Nous Group, to make recommendations on the future structure and governance arrangements to meet the needs of the sector now and into the future.

The CBAA champions community broadcasting by growing the capability and sustainability of stations and by building a cohesive and supportive environment in which community broadcasting can thrive. In its role in building a healthy sector environment, the CBAA undertakes rigorous consultation and evidence-based research guided by our policy framework to form considered positions representative of its membership, which includes stations of all licence types and communities of interest. This meticulous approach supports the CBAA’s considerable influence in shaping matters of interest to the sector.

In the case of the CBF’s Structure & Governance Review, the CBAA:

  • Intervened to seek a more realistic timeframe for feedback, extending the CBF’s consultation period by a month.
  • Undertook consultation with stations via our discussion paper in October 2014 and open forum at the 2014 CBAA Conference in November.
  • Discussed the proposal with Board members, which include representatives across a diverse range of stations in terms of both licence type and community of interest.

These mechanisms for feedback and discussion were designed to give all of the CBAA’s members an opportunity to contribute and inform the CBAA’s submission.

In the resulting submission, the CBAA provided a thorough break down of each of the 34 recommendations  in the Nous Review report and the CBAA’s position on each. The submission shows that the CBAA Board has maintained a position broadly supportive of change throughout the whole CBF review process. The CBAA believes that all professional organisations have the right and responsibility to review their governance systems regularly. In light of the significant changes occurring in media, and broadcasting, in particular, the CBAA maintains that change to the CBF is necessary if the sector is to maintain and grow its position as a key pillar in Australian broadcasting for the benefit of communities across the country.

The CBAA does not accept the proposed changes in their entirety.  Given the significance of this reform and the need to fully understand the implications of each of the proposed changes, the CBAA made a further PDF icon submission.pdf to the CBF in July 2015 to seek clarification on a number of matters (see the CBF's consultation paper). CBAA members were encouraged to provide the CBAA feedback to contribute to this, and were also able to engage directly with the CBF in their consultation process.


A short timeline outlining the Community Broadcasting Foundation's review process.

CBAA submission - CBF review

The CBAA welcomed the opportunity to comment on the report prepared by the Nous Group in October 2014.

CBF logo

The CBAA made a submission in response to the CBF's June 2015 consultation paper on changes to its structure and governance.

CBF Review December 2015

The CBAA submitted its positions on the CBF Structure and Governance Review Consultation paper 2, Embracing change – a stronger future for Community Broadcasting, to ensure that the reforms were in the interest of community broadcasters and listeners.