An Interview with Sanchia Aranda AM

Sally Parrish interviews Chair and NED Sanchia Aranda AM

In this episode we play an episode from our sister podcast; Non Executive Director Insider Insights where we take you inside the boardrooms of some of Australia's leading Company Directors.

Today we are joined by Sanchia Aranda AM, Chair of Scope Australia. Sanchia’s Professional journey began in nursing and developed into over 40 years of expertise in cancer control. At the time of this recording, Sanchia was a Board Chair for Scope Australia and Deputy Board Chair for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Alliance.

Listen is as she shares her thoughts on what it takes to bring success to Not For Profit (NFP) organisations. 


Find Sanchia on Linkedin:

Click Here to View the Podcast Interview Transcript with Sanchia Aranda AM

Sally Parrish (00:09):
So if you've been following this podcast for a while now, you'd know that every once in a while there's a very special episode, where we release an episode of our sister podcast, the Non Executive Director Insider Insight podcast.
So today, here's another great episode. I hope you're gonna love these hints, tips, and advice from somebody who's out there and doing it. Let's play the recording.
Hello, and welcome to Inside Insights where you get to meet non executive directors and go inside their boardroom. Today we're joined by Professor Sanchia Aranda, who will give us a unique perspective of board life, and offer up some hints and tips to help you to succeed too.
Sanchia, is the former CEO of the Cancer Council Australia, and she is currently the chair of scope Australia, and the inaugural Chair of the City Cancer Challenge Foundation. She's deputy chair of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Center Alliance, and is the director on the Dust Diseases Board of New South Wales.
She's also a part time Professor of Health Services Research at the University of Melbourne. So join me now and let's hear from our insider Sanchia Aranda. Sanchia thanks very much for joining us today.

Sanchia Aranda AM (01:30):
My pleasure, Sally,

Sally Parrish (01:31):
I'm really excited to unpack your story. Because there's a lot of talk right now around clinical governance, there's been a lot of attention in the media about health and community services. In general, there's been a lot of organisations doing a lot of good work. And I don't want to talk specifically about the boards that you're on and the businesses and the work that they're doing. But just to say that it is a very challenging space and very fast evolving. What are your comments around that?

Sanchia Aranda AM (02:03):
I think you're right that often governance roles have focused more on financial governance and appointment of executives and the kinds of perhaps corporate things that probably reflect that many board directors have had backgrounds in banking and business.
And that hasn't always been a good fit for particularly service-oriented organisations. And my background in health meant that from an executive role, I was very focused on clinical governance and practice governance. And that didn't necessarily translate to the board other than through a risk lens.
And then in one of the boards that our chair at the moment, which is a disability provider, we're really focused on practice governance, and how do we as a board ensure ourselves that our customers receive safe, but also effective services.
And I think things like royal commissions really sharpen the appetite to do that. But the vast majority of directors don't really understand it. And so how do you create an environment that lets directors who haven't got a background in practice, really engage with the material without it being boring? And then perhaps not of interest?

Sally Parrish (03:26):
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. The phrase that I've heard is, it's a human-dependent industry. So it's very much about the training and having safe processes and great people. It's not the kind of thing that you can automate by any means is it?

Sanchia Aranda AM (03:46):
No, and we've had a real struggle. So you can do everything at the policy level. So you can write the policy, you can write the procedures, you can put the safeguards and you can put the training, but that actually doesn't give boards assurance, and so our big conversation at the moment is how do you bring alive, both the things that go well, and the things that don't go so well into the boardroom.
We've got a history of doing mission storytelling at the board. But it's nearly always the positive story. And it's nearly always told through the lens of the staff. And I did a fantastic governance course last year with the Center for Social Impact on what's essentially purpose-driven governance or value driven governance.
And it talked a lot about use beneficiary rather than recipients so who benefits from your service? How do you actually make those benefits tangible through the voice of the beneficiaries, and then use that as part of all the evaluation that you do of whether you're getting things right at a board level,

Sally Parrish (04:55):
I love that because it is really hard for an executive management team to come to the board and share the things that aren't working well. And it's such a vital piece of the jigsaw that we need at board level, but we often see that execs, you know, always put in a bit of shine and gloss on whatever's going on.
How do you get the true facts? How do you get to the bottom of what's really going on?

Sanchia Aranda AM (05:21):
So the first thing you have to do is build an extraordinary level of trust between the board and the executive. So you have to remove the culture of blame, and create a culture of inquiry and understanding. So that's, I think, the single most important factor.
And then you need to build the systems and processes that let you hear directly from two groups. One is frontline staff because their experience of your organisation is very telling in how it's working, and whether or not the things that you put in place at a policy level were actually being experienced on the ground. So no blame incident reporting and other things, talking to people about how they feel about reporting errors or mistakes or incidents that have happened.
And the second most important thing, which is of equal importance is hearing directly from the beneficiaries of your service. And that can be done in a number of ways in health, it's often done through what are called customer experience committees. But actually the problem with those is that they're usually people who are way past their experience, and have become, if you like professional voices, they're often white, they're often female. They're often of a particular socioeconomic class, how do you hear from, in my case, in disability, people who are non-verbal people who have profound and complex disabilities.
And so that's a much more challenging way to get a voice. And I think that one of the things that I have seen work really effectively is having people employed who have similar life experiences and lived experience as the people whose voice you're trying to hear. And use that as the conduit.
And we recently had a presentation to our board on a paper we'd submitted to the Royal Commission on Disability, on the aspirations of our customers, and two of the customers came to the board with the individual who had done the report. And there was just like to hear somebody tell us about the absence of accessible dentists, dentists that a wheelchair can get through the door brings alive in a way in the boardroom that a report will never do.

Sally Parrish (07:44):
I absolutely love that, the voice of the beneficiaries and the no-blame incident report. And it sounds like you've got a really good customer focus and stakeholder engagement at board level.

Sanchia Aranda AM (07:58):
I think the organisation had a really strong history in being very focused on beneficiaries. The challenge for the board now is to ensure that that is one uniform across everyone who receives services. And that's often tricky. So that's, that's the test of how penetrating is it.
And then to move beyond a focus on doing just enough to really thinking about, well, how does that translate in the next agenda for the organisation? Because I think beneficiaries and frontline staff are critical to the process of strategic planning. And often the voices that are never heard at that table. So that sense of aspiration is really critical.

Sally Parrish (08:48):
Yeah, you're so right. Can we go to your story, I really want to dive in and hear about how you've got to this level. So take us back to where it all began. Your career began in nursing, is that right?

Sanchia Aranda AM (08:59):
Yeah, so I trained as a registered nurse in New Zealand in 1979. And I came over here on my way to England to meet my grandparents, and hadn't wanted to work in oncology, but got put there.
And that began, what's been a 40 something year journey of working in cancer control in a whole variety of ways. And so very early on, I was engaged in professional organisations.
So our local Victorian cancer nursing group, and I was the chair of that for a while, and I don't think I'd even knew what the word governance was then. So that would have been about 1981. And then I was on the national executive for the Clinical Oncological Society. And I still don't think I really knew what governance was then.
And then in 92, I was appointed to the board of the International Society of Nurses and cancer care. And suddenly, I learned what governance was because I was suddenly engaged in conversations in an organisation that was actually fairly financially viable. That was dependent on sort of a conference and had people around the table who were enthusiastic about their field, but didn't have the skill set to manage the organisation from a governance perspective.
And so you know, that was my first experience and kind of when I was president of that organisation, recreating a skills based board, even that was made up of nurses, we brought them in from different management and financial and other societies. And that got me really interested in governance. And then I started a role as a Deputy CEO, where I was struck by the absence of engagement with the board with anyone other than the CEO.
And so I became very interested in how do other organisations do that. And that's when I did the company directors course and took my then CEO who thought that boards and organisations should be kept apart and then we did the course together.
And that made me really interested in governance. And from there, I took on I chaired the board of another international organisation where I had my first board meeting, before I was chair, I asked a question about, we're being asked to sign off on a deficit budget. And I said, so what are the mitigation strategies if the income generation plans don't come to fruition? And I was told, Well, trust me, we'll make it happen. I said, I think we need a governance framework. And right, and that was when I work with that CEO to write the first sort of governance framework for how a not-for-profit organisation, but work that's then being taken up by others.
As part of my role on that board, we spun off another organisation that I'm still the chair of at the moment till the end of this year. And so it kind of happened professionally. And then when I stopped being a CEO a couple of years ago, I thought, well, actually, I've got some passion in a couple of areas. I love governance. I like the idea of how do you take an organisational frame of how organisations are required to be put together but make that really effective for boards to actually contribute to the value.
And then my other passion is equity. And so that's led me to being in disability as well as in cancer. And I've found the intersections between those two things actually quite remarkable.

Sally Parrish (12:36):
Yeah, absolutely. So you've got this great portfolio now, but they've all got a common theme. They're all around. Is it health? Or is it more specialists? And that would you say?

Sanchia Aranda AM (12:49):
So I think it certainly was about, you know, cancer to begin with. And that led into the equity piece, but I think that really what it is, and my CEO role was, I've been a deputy CEO in government and then CEO and not-for-profit. And I suspect that actually the passion and it's interesting reflecting on this live, so yeah, forgive me if I make crazy statements, but I think my passion is that the governance of for purpose organisations has been substantially hampered by trying to apply business and corporate logic to the way that decisions are made. And that for purpose organisations, yes, they need the rigour and the discipline of governance standards, and you need to be financially stable and other things.
But profit isn't what drives your endpoints, it’s mission or purpose. And so how you govern is quite different to that. And so now my next interest is to find a board that is profit driven, and really say how you bring more of the ESG thinking that is within for-purpose organisations to look at how those for-profit organisations can be more contributing to society. And I think some are doing it really well.
But in the main, particularly in Australia, there's not a lot of corporate social responsibility being lived out. And so I think it's actually about how can purpose be used to drive better organisations for employees, beneficiaries, and shareholders.

Sally Parrish (14:37):
Yeah, I love that. You know, we could talk for hours and compare and contrast for profit and for members. But we often hear a criticism of not-for-profits, that they're not commercial enough. And I love your take on that, that it's not the same commercial framework, it's the same governance rigour that we need. But it's for a whole, it's a whole different lens, isn't it? Like the commercial boards, I've got the four P's that profit the people, the planet, and the purpose and then not for profit have still got the planet, the people, and the purpose, but how they achieved that is completely different.

Sanchia Aranda AM (15:18):
And I think the idea of profit in that context is still applicable, but it's to actually how do you reinvest in purpose, not having distributed it to shareholders, so the disability sectors are a great one at the moment. So the vast majority of providers of supported independent living in Australia are going backward, and very few had any surplus in the last financial year, it doesn't make sense.
And the organisation I'm involved in has a great privilege in having a financial legacy that will see us over this hump. And we have to apply as much rigour to the creation of financial sustainability, we cannot rest on our legacy investment, to prop up the gaps in the funding system at the moment. So we have to become very efficient.
And that's because our board has said, we see this as a once in a generation opportunity to make an investment that produces deep change in the lives of people with disability. And to do that we cannot waste it on just filling our bottom line, we have to become efficient, and so that it's still the same tests of performance and financial sustainability that have to be applied. They're just being done for a very different endpoint that you can, I think it's much easier to mobilise a board and an executive around a purpose objective than a profit object.

Sally Parrish (16:53):
Absolutely, absolutely. And that's a great point there, because one of the mistakes we see executives make, and you're a shining example of why not to do this, but one of the mistakes we see is that they think that the first step to their board career is getting experience.
And the way to do that is to jump on a not-for-profit. And what we see is a lot of you know, high-performing professionals that move from a standing start onto a not-for-profit board, it's never going to be a board of the size of the organisations you're on right now. It's always a small local cause type Community Interests project.
And they get onto those boards. And it doesn't give them any training or experience whatsoever for the real world. Because it's not how we do things on a commercial board. And it's not how we do things on an established and well-run not-for-profit board, either.
And this, this kind of autopilot move that we make from executive to volunteer for a board and that will launch a board role. I think it's a very selfishly made move. I think it's all about you know, what am I going to get out of this rather than what can I contribute to this cause and how can I give back.
And I love that you have that missing piece that I'm always talking about. And that's the passion for it. So I don't care where you volunteer if you're going to volunteer for your first step. But make sure it's something that you love and that you've got a lot of experience in that you can contribute, we can make a difference, because these commitments are long commitments or three-year commitments. They're long board meetings, particularly when there aren't that many resources in the business.
You tend to be the resource and it's a big investment in time and energy. So I love that you've always led with your purpose, your passion and you can see how that has kind of fueled the rest of your career, you know, one step has led to another.
Whereas if I jump off of an executive role into a not-for-profit board that has no alignment that I'm not passionate about, well, what happens at the end of that tenure, you know, I'm still not knowing where I'm going or what I'm doing, you know?

Sanchia Aranda AM (19:18):
I get a little, you know, that sort of sense of a shiver up your back when people will use the Give Back concept. I think there's a lot of good sides to that. So I've got a lot of skills, I'd like those skills to be utilised and accessible. That's fantastic. But in my experience, having worked with a number of board directors, who are there to give back is particularly not-for-profits, they come with a lack of respect for the skill set in the not-for-profit sector for purpose-driven leadership.
And I remember speaking to somebody at Harvard University, who used to run a lot of courses on governance and basically tried to make not-for-profits for profit-type organisations.
And then they developed another course on not-for-profit leadership, because they realised they needed to undo the damage that had been done by trying to, you know, foil bankers and others, onto organisations.
And I feel like one of the really critical things in that, I can give you a really tangible example, in a previous role, there's been a really strong argument or disagreement about whether or not an organisation in cancer should or should not support costs raise the rate campaign, which is the, you know, the job seeker rate, which is used for sickness benefits.
And this is in the context of people in the lowest socio-economic group having a 37% higher mortality from cancer than those in the highest socio-economic group. And we were hearing stories about families who were choosing to eat once a day versus by the medication.
And so there was a whole debate, and in fact, was ultimately lost, in that the organisation didn't, as a whole, support the campaign, because it was saying that it would be against our best interests with our political masters in government.
And so that's a situation where you care more about the money you might get for something in a program, than a principle repurpose about the beneficiaries of what you do. And I think that for purpose organisations must be really clear that purpose is first, and we're having a similar conversation at the moment about to what extent do we take a position as an organisation, on a First Nations voice to Parliament, given the terrible health disability, everything inequalities, if you are a for purpose, organisation, in any space related to these outcomes?
Should you not see this as part of reconciliation? And why would you not? And I think those are really important conversations for boards to hear that seem not to be a problem for the big ones. The big profit organisations just take a stand because it doesn't affect them politically. Yeah, but it can for not-for-profits.

Sally Parrish (22:15):
Yeah, I can really see how that could roll on and impact the organisation, much, much deeper conversation than, you know, just the balance sheet.

Sanchia Aranda AM (22:27):
Yep. And so being clear that purpose is for financial sustainability, obviously, is first because you can't go broke, you can't benefit any beneficiary if you're insolvent. Ultimately, purpose all things being equal, shouldn't drive most of your decision-making.

Sally Parrish (22:46):
There's a lot of grey matter at the board level, right? But generally speaking, a for-profit organisation, has the black and white of the, you know, the financials, are they balanced? So are we making enough profit? You know, are our shareholders loving us? And are we paying them enough? And are they paying us enough?
But for purpose, I should imagine that it's much much greyer, because, you know, ultimately, what is for the benefit of the member? Because, you know, one member's interests are different from another member's interests, whereas shareholders are all there for profit, right? We all want the returns. But, you know, how does the needs of a white male in a wheelchair differ from a person of colour in another state? It's really hard, isn't it?

Sanchia Aranda (23:40):
Yeah, it is. And I think that many organisations that are for purpose have come through that sort of membership. Often so in disability, it's often parent groups, and ultimately over time As some of those organisations have grown into 100, half a billion dollar type of organisations, what they need at the board level is very different than a committee of management by a group of parents.
And managing that transition carefully is, I think, really, really important. And finding a way that creates a voice for a point of engagement for people who would have traditionally been members but are more about the wider network both have beneficiaries and they're interested in others.
And seeing that as part of that separate to the delivery of the organisation's long term viability and impact on purposes is critical. And lots of organisations are going through that transition, as they move away from traditional membership structures, to modern governance structures with skills-based boards, but not wanting to lose a connection with the people who established them, because you want to keep that. That voice of purpose and experience, you want to honour it at the same time.

Sally Parrish (25:05):
Yeah, so much to think about there. So, so many great reflections

Sanchia Aranda AM (25:10):
We've been having that conversation about. So as a disability provider, how do we set the ambition for lived experience presence around the table?. And in the past, I think that sort of lived experience, presence has been a token, so you have a person with a disability on your board.
And it doesn't really matter whether or not they’ve got governance skills. So we want both we want people with lived experience, to also be supported to develop governance skills, and bring those together.
And we've been actually asking the question of whether we should set a quota? And should we have a five year ambition to be that our board is 30-40% people with lived experience?
Yeah. And, you know, you need an ambition in that space to be true.
Sally Parrish (25:58):
Yeah. And I find one of the barriers to entry, as you often see on a board vacancy must have GAICD must be a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. And I have this professional opinion that there are people that are being kept out of boardrooms that have a lot to offer and a lot of value there that could learn that governance as they go. And it's such a big jump from here to GAICD. I mean, it's a massive, massive, massive step.
So if more organisations were to provide pathways for these people to come on to boards, where they can learn governance in the chair, and then get qualified as they go, I think it would just open up the boardroom.
Sanchia Aranda AM (26:43):
I know I think I 100% agree. So we support our board directors to do the course if they haven't done it. So we don't select on that basis. And the reason for that is if you're particularly if you're looking for people from from a disability background, people who are in the cancer world, people who've had cancer experience may have had career disruption.
They've got you know, people who perhaps have lower socioeconomic group, the 10,000 plus dollars to do the course is not accessible. So you must actually, first of all, commit to what levels of diversity and capabilities you want across your board. And then you find ways to support that if you're true to that ambition.
You don't just expect people to come really may Yeah. So we've just made some appointments to our committees as a starting point, to get more representation of lived experience. We've appointed two people with disabilities, we're hoping to have more, we're still doing the interviews, and use that as a training ground.
And not just for our own board. Because it might be that in fact, we put their names forward and recommend them to other providers or other organisations, but it's about what the opportunities that you're creating. And those individuals go and be directed somewhere else. That's fine, too. It's still about the representation.,

Sally Parrish (28:12):
Oh God, I just want to acknowledge you for that. That's such incredible work to give opportunities on committees so people can learn how the boards work, you know, how, how do they operate? What's the, you know, the cadence on these boards?
How often do they meet? What's the workload around this and get a real feel for it before they dive in and the fact that you're willing to train these people up and share those resources? It's just it's something that you don't see often enough in our industry.

Sanchia Aranda AM (28:47):
I think the mantra in disability is all about aspirations and opportunities. And I'm very strongly of the view that you can't wish for that for others, you can say it and then expect others to live it out. You need it from the boardroom to the frontline all in into that belief. I mean, I don't know if you in the disability if you listen to ListenAble, which is Dylan Alcott’s podcast that, you know, one of the first episodes that I listened to was a woman who's essentially in a wheelchair, but like, quite immobile, she can speak but she's a lawyer who runs her own law firm in South Australia. Possibilities are all about opportunity, and often privilege. And so how do we make sure that everybody gets that opportunity?
Sally Parrish (29:46):
Absolutely. Let's just ask a few questions about you Sanchia while you're on. I'm really keen, there's a conversation at the moment about generalists, and can they be too broad in their skill set. So it's absolutely brilliant to have one that specialised in one field for so long and gone so deep. What do you think the opportunities are for the specialists in your field?

Sanchia Aranda AM (30:09):
So I'm in so obviously, I cut my governance teeth in cancer. And that's been incredibly important for me personally, because it is something that I'm passionate about, I've devoted a career to it, and to have the opportunity to have an ongoing role in shaping the future of the field is great. And so what I do in the specialist field is just really encourage the next generation of people coming through to find the opportunities to be at the tables where decisions are made.
So rather than talking about governance, I talk about decision-making bodies, and that you get your first experiences of governance, often through that lens of a table where decisions are made.
And that often it can feel, I think one of the mistakes that I see people make is they go on to everything, much of which is talk fest, not really getting anywhere, just in order to be at the table.
Whereas I've just been encouraging a colleague to Marie Kondo her commitments, and saying, do it with your wardrobe, but let's do it with your committees, you're on all these committees, which ones are the ones where you're able to really influence the decisions that are made, and delegate the to some of your other colleagues, I think, starting with decision making tables, gets you noticed, and leads to wider opportunities.
And in cancer control it's always been about finding a way to make a difference on a wider platform. And then the question is, can you be too specialised? And do those skills translate? And I think they really do so the general governance skills really translate?
So you know, I've got, I've developed lots of skills in, you know, how do you pick good governance, roles, criteria for new directors, you know, thinking about the balance of generalists versus specialists.
But I think there's also some things across sectors that translate. So in the equity agenda that I've had in cancer translates really nicely into disability. But so do a whole lot of the connections that I've made in areas like advocacy and policy development and those kinds of things.
We're the health economics, the skills translate, and I've been able to make connections for our executive team with people who don't have anything to do with disability, but have a lot to value add to disability if they had a, an entry in

Sally Parrish (32:56):
Yeah, what a great opportunity to learn from other people in the field with skills just slightly outside of your own.

Sanchia Aranda AM (33:03):
Or let alone what I'm learning. Because I think that's the other thing about that give back thing is the give back thing that makes me anxious is the idea that you've got it and you're going to give it to someone else versus that is to weigh you know.
I have learned as much from the disability sector about the criticality of self-determination and lived experience and, you know, a whole range of things that I would never have thought about that are now valuable, really valuable parts of who I am as a person and how I live my life, which is critical.

Sally Parrish (33:40):
So your role truly has shaped you. On paper, it looks like you've had this natural kind of progression from one to the other. Was there any kind of standout moment you remember as being the board break into the boardroom for you?

Sanchia Aranda AM (33:55):
So probably the UICC role where I had that experience of being told to trust me, was probably the first experience of an organisation that was going through a transformation that was truly a transformation of its governance, and how it operated. And part of that was also about bringing it directly back to the membership organisation and doing it.
So that was probably the point at which I thought I could see myself doing more of this and would like to seek opportunities. And then the other, I guess the next thing was, we like gave up being a CEO, I probably wasn't quite ready, but I wanted to come back to Melbourne because my kids are here, and I kind of looked for another CEO role, and, so I have a really good mentor in this area. And they encouraged me to really think about a board portfolio.
So the advice was, choose something that you're really strong in. So that was the sort of cancer thing, something that you really feel passionate about. So that was the sort of equity and disability piece, and then choose something that will stretch your capabilities.
And so the disability organisations done that as well. So that you kind of see your adventure into not any day as a learning experience for you for rounding off your governance capability, so that you're learning, which is the opposite of that giving back thing, right?
Deliberately thinking about the next, from the perspective of how that develops you as a better governor.

Sally Parrish (35:51):
And that reframe seeing it as a learning experience. takes away all the negative self belief and the imposter syndrome, and oh my god, am I good enough for this? Can I do it? Because it's just lighter, right? This is so that I can learn. And I love that what a great reframe, absolutely love that.
Sanchia Aranda AM (36:12):
And it was very helpful because I actually did get quite a lot of approaches from particularly smaller not-for-profits. And it was quite difficult to say no because that would have just been filling up the space as opposed to really thinking about if I'm going to have a 10-year contribution to make in this space, I need to be better at it, and I’m now thinking that I'm probably ready to take up a small not for profit. Having embarked on a learning journey that's put me in a better position to be a better governor for that.

Sally Parrish (36:50):
I love that story. And there are so many things in there that are parallels from the work that I'm doing with clients. So turning down the wrong role is absolutely important. The wrong role is a shortcut to failure, right?
If you're not planning out your entire career, and you're just taking the next role that comes up because someone's asked you, and we get asked a lot we get asked a lot to join, particularly not for profit boards.
But I also have a thing we talked about getting onto a not for profit board as your first step. It's not that I'm against volunteering, I'm really not. And there's so many causes that need our support here in Australia.
I really feel like you build your career, you build your board skills, and you give back at the end of your career. That's the true give back piece. You know, when you've developed your skills, you've got the experience, you've got the contacts, that's when you're in a position to give back not only your first role.

Sanchia Aranda AM (37:50):
No, I think I think that's exactly. I agree with that. And I think it also dovetails into the question of should not-for-profit boards be remunerated. Right. So that's a tricky, really tricky question. If I use my disability example, it's a multi, nearly half a billion dollar organisation.
I probably spend between one and one and a half days a week on it. If it wasn't remunerated, I'm not sure that it would even be possible to put a level of effort in, back in the days before it was remunerated, which is pre-me. The meetings were always at night because people were working and that was unfair on the executive.

Sally Parrish (38:39):
They're tired, right? They've done a day's work before they even get there.

Sanchia Aranda AM (38:43):
And they've been expected to service their governance through the night and all those sorts of things. So we've moved all our board meetings into the daytime, you have that conversation with new directors? How are you going to commit the time?
And you can do that when you remunerate much harder to extract that commitment. Yeah. And everybody's on a committee, which also is, you know, meeting time. And so I do think it is worth, you know, obviously worth , depending about the size, but once you start getting into the level of governance compliance that is required through the ACNC, these days as well as other areas, you can't do this without seeing it as a job.
Even if you're a volunteer, it's not like handing out soup at a soup kitchen, or, you know, doing that sort of volunteering, there are obligations, and personal risks associated with these roles. That means, you have to commit the time to the role, but also to the learning.

Sally Parrish (39:51):
And they don't go away, right, you might have one meeting a month, but the other 29 days of the month, you're still thinking about this board, you're still reading about this for just still send emails, it's never,

Sanchia Aranda AM (40:03):
And I speak to the CEO, or the company secretary pretty much every day, and you know, spend one whole day really with them , so it's, you know, haven't quite set up my own office. Job, you know, to run the organisation, but you've got to be accessible

Sally Parrish (40:22):
Sanchia, I've really enjoyed today, you give me so much food for thought, I've got a page of notes here that I'm going to have a real brainstorm around, I really want to acknowledge your contribution to the cancer cause we didn't talk about some of the awards that you've won. So let's just finish by acknowledging some of the awards that you've achieved through your career.

Sanchia Aranda AM (40:49):
Somebody the other day was in something with me and said, at the end of it, oh, I knew her. But I didn't know she was famous. And I think the awards said, particularly the international ones and international recognition in those things in particular, is, it's a really good acknowledgement of the contribution that you've made.
But actually, for me, it's always been about seeking those opportunities to make a difference. And when you get recognized for that, that's great. But hopefully what that does is also encourage others to follow the path.
And to see, I've never thought about work, as you know, Monday to Friday, nine to five, when you're in something about which you are passionate. You do it whenever it occurs. And you know, my international stuff is usually there like 5am to 9 am Board meetings.
I'm always up at 11 o'clock at night or so you do that because you're passionate. And then if somebody acknowledges that that's just sort of extra icing.

Sally Parrish (41:58):
I've really enjoyed spending time with you today. Thank you so much for coming on and recording this episode of Insider Insights today.

Sanchia Aranda AM (42:09):
My pleasure, Sally, thanks.

Sally Parrish (42:16):
Thanks very much for tuning in. I'd love to know what you thought of this episode and what you took away from it. I'd also love to know what topics you're interested in hearing about in the future, and which experts you think should be featured on this board success podcast.
If you enjoyed listening, please share with your colleagues who might also have an interest and make sure you click to follow us subscribe to be advised about upcoming episodes.
In the meantime, if you're a leader or a successful executive, and you're looking to launch your board career, or if you're an established non exec director, and you're ready for the next level, check out the resources we have available for you on the website at Until next time, here's to your board success.

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