CLAANZ Conference 2018 - Melbourne

Charity Law Today: What does the future hold?

2 August 2018

2018 is an interesting moment for charity law, policy and regulation in Australia.  Major law and policy reforms have been achieved: the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission now looks secure; the Charities Act 2013 has been in place for several years; important tax reforms continue to be pursued.  However much remains unclear and undone.  The ACNC’s regulatory approach evolves and changes over time and the much-anticipated five year review of the ACNC Act is imminent.  The Charities Act remains uninterpreted by the courts.  And the political landscape continues to deliver surprising (and not so surprising) twists and turns, as demonstrated by recent efforts to restrict charity advocacy via reforms to the electoral law.  It seems as important as ever to reflect on the question: what does the future hold?

Speaker biographies can be viewed here and download a copy of the programme here

View below presentations, audio recordings and gallery of photographs



Welcome and acknowledgement of country


  • Professor Matthew Harding (Chair, CLAANZ board of directors)



Testing Charitable Purpose and Public Benefit


  • The Hon Dr Gary Johns Commissioner, ACNC
  • Finding a place to test public benefit in charity law speech – The Hon Dr Gary Jones - view here



The Past, Present and Future of the ACNC Review


  • Elizabeth Shalders (Lewis Holdway)
  • Sue Woodward (Justice Connect)
  • Murray Baird (ACNC)
  • Facilitator: Prof Matthew Harding (University of Melbourne)



SESSION 1: Advocacy: The Never-Ending Story


  • Andrew Phillips (Charities Services, Department of Internal Affairs, New Zealand)
  • Simon Miller (Save the Children)
  • Miriam McDonald (Maddocks)
  • Alex Milner (Prolegis)
  • Facilitator: Sue Barker (Sue Barker Charities Law)
  • Simon Miller (Save the Children) speaker notes - view here
  • Controversial charities and public benefits - Jane Calderwood Norton - view here
  • Justice Glazebrook speech at 2018 Sir George Turner Public Lecture at Melbourne Law School - watch here



SESSION 2: The Interface of Government, Regulation and Charity


  • Dr Ian Murray (University of Western Australia)
  • Krystian Seibert (Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University)
  • Peter Hills-Jones (Public Fundraising Regulatory Association)
  • Facilitator: Vera Visevic (Mills Oakley)
  • Dr Ian Murray (University of Western Australia) - view here
  • Krystian Seibert (Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University) - view here
  • Peter Hills-Jones (Public Fundraising Regulatory Association) - view here



BREAKOUT SESSION 1: Protecting Charity Assets


  • Alice MacDougall (Freehills)
  • Suhanya Mendes (ACNC)
  • Facilitator: Darren Fittler (Gilbert and Tobin)


BREAKOUT SESSION 2: Governance Challenges: Best Practice and Controversies


  • Anne Robinson (Prolegis Lawyers)
  • Lucas Ryan (AICD)
  • Dr Rosemary Langford (University of Melbourne)
  • Facilitator: Libby Klein (Prolegis Lawyers)
  • Dr Rosemary Langford (University of Melbourne) - view here


BREAKOUT SESSION 1: So Much Housing Innovation: What’s Charitable and What’s Not?



  • Mark Fowler (Prolegis Lawyers)
  • Hayley Parkes (Housing Choices Australia)
  • Lesley Dredge (Community Housing Industry Association Victoria)
  • Facilitator: Murray Baird (ACNC)
  • Mark Fowler (Prolegis Lawyers) - view here
  • Hayley Parkes (Housing Choices Australia) - view here
  • Lesley Dredge (Community Housing Industry Association - view here Victoria)
  • Facilitator: Murray Baird (ACNC) - view here


BREAKOUT SESSION 2: Charities and Redressing Historic Wrongs


  • Garth Blake AM SC (NSW Bar)
  • Michael Shand QC (Victorian Bar)
  • Andrew Lind (Corney & Lind Lawyers)
  • Sam Burnett (Prolegis Lawyers)
  • Facilitator: Seak-King Huang (Prolegis Lawyers)


PLENARY SESSION: Charity Litigation


  • Justice Michael Sifris (Supreme Court of Victoria)
  • Jennifer Batrouney QC (Victorian Bar)