Vivien Wong assists City West Lottery House with Governance Manual

City West Lottery House (CWLH) is a community service organisation that provides affordable office accommodation for not-for-profit organisations in a prime central location on the fringe of the Perth CBD. Located at 2 Delhi Street in West Perth, it is currently home to 17 NFP tenant organisations providing social, disability, environmental and community services to the WA community.

The Board of CWLH comprises of 7 tenant representatives who meet monthly. It acts as a Trustee for the Property and for funds invested in the property by LotteryWest. The Board has previously operated as a Committee and had been involved in operational matters. More recently, an Executive Officer was appointed to manage day-to-day operations and implement strategic decisions, freeing up the Board to focus on strategy and oversight. To support their new focus, the Board developed a Governance Manual, but needed a skilled volunteer to review this in light the Board’s current needs and provide recommendations for the way forward. CWLH needed a volunteer with experience developing policies and procedures to review the format, structure, contents and priorities for action within the Governance Manual.

Vivien Wong, HSEQ Business Manager at Woodside, was keen to offer her time and skills to a good cause. Vivien had the right mindset, determination and understanding to make this project a success. Her advice to others considering volunteering was to “approach it with an open mind”, as she did with this project. Vivien gave it everything she could, drawing upon her own skills and experiences as well as reaching out to colleagues and conducting additional research to ensure she delivered the very best she could for CWLH.

Jane and Vivien

Vivien referred to the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) principles for NFP governance to assess the Board Governance Manual and identified areas for improvement. She reviewed all current documents for CWLH and reported back with recommendations on which documents to revise and what missing documents needed to be produced. She also recommended phases for the development of the other governance documents

“ As a result of the assessment, we now have some well-considered recommendations for restructuring and updating the Manual so that it is more relevant and useful.”

Jane Mason, CWLH Board Chair

Vivien’s recommendations have given the Board a clear way forward and priorities for action, helping them on their way towards becoming a strategic Board and being more effective in its governance role, while also assisting the Executive Officer in making decisions. It has also helped them to follow a policy governance model, which will help ensure they have current and relevant policies in place. This will enable CWLH to continue contributing towards Sustainable Development Goals #9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Vivien stated the experience was a great opportunity to challenge herself to think outside the box, which she highly valued. She also got to develop her engagement skills and learn to balance multiple deliverables, skills she will definitely be able to apply to her role at Woodside. Great work, Vivien!