Policy Advisory Groups - Information for Applicants

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1 Background Policy Advisory Groups - Information for Applicants National Seniors Australia provides a representative and well-informed voice on issues of concern to people aged 50 and older. The Public Affairs team facilitates the implementation of National Seniors policy agenda and supports the Board, Chief Executive and senior management to advocate on behalf of members to government at all levels, to business and to the broader community. Based in Brisbane, it brings together grass-roots feedback and top level research to form an evidence-based lobbying agenda to drive positive change for the over 50s. The Public Affairs team also plays a central role in building relationships with a range of government departments, peak bodies and national associations in order to further develop practical solutions to address the needs of the over 50s and an ageing population. Members of National Seniors are being invited to express their interest in becoming members of their respective State or Territory Policy Advisory Group to provide a member perspective and advice to the Public Affairs team on issues of relevance to the over 50s. Lodging an Expression of Interest Members of National Seniors who wish to lodge an Expression of Interest should complete the attached Policy Advisory Group - Expression of Interest Form including: Providing the required personal information. Completing a background information statement: o Addressing the role and responsibilities outlined in the Terms of Reference. o Setting out the knowledge, experience and qualities that you would bring to the Policy Advisory Group. Role Policy Advisory Groups Terms of Reference Policy Advisory Groups (PAG) provide a member perspective on issues of relevance to the over 50s and strengthen National Seniors State and Territory based policy expertise. Aims PAGs aim to provide National Seniors with an enhanced knowledge base about the particular issues and circumstances affecting the over 50s in their State or Territory, and to maximise National Seniors advocacy and policy impact by operating in a more strategic framework. Page 1 of 6

2 The PAG is an advisory body, not a decision-making body. The responsibility for National Seniors policy decisions and directions rests with the National Seniors Board. Decisions made by the Board may not necessarily reflect the views of the PAG. Responsibilities The responsibilities of the PAGs are to: Provide policy advice to the Public Affairs team both at the strategic level and at the grass-roots level. Strategic advice provides a State and Territory perspective on national policy issues referred by the Public Affairs team. Grass roots advice identifies State, Territory and national policy issues and proposals, including issues initiated by Branches, Zones or individual members. Consult with the wider State or Territory membership to develop the State or Territory perspective on policy issues. Work collaboratively with the Public Affairs team to develop a State and Territory Budget submission each year, an Election Priority Document and policy submissions, as required. Assist the Public Affairs team in building relationships with State and Territory Governments, at Ministerial and Departmental levels, in relation to public policy issues. Represent National Seniors to all levels of government, the private and not-for-profit sectors including sitting on working groups and committees. Assist the Public Affairs team in identifying appropriate and relevant policy topics for a local community forum that would raise awareness of the relevance of National Seniors at the State and Territory level and encourage community debate and the consideration of policy issues. Assist the Public Affairs team in organising and conducting member forums. Membership Composition PAGs will comprise a minimum of three members and a maximum of seven members, to be appointed by the National Seniors Board, following consideration of expressions of interest submitted by members. From time to time, PAG members may wish to co-opt other individuals with specific knowledge and/or relevant expertise to assist with a specific policy issue as appropriate. If co-opted members are in place, the PAGs must have no more than 10 members. Selection Criteria The selection of members will be on the basis of: Current National Seniors membership. Good understanding of and interest in issues affecting the over 50s. Ability to constructively participate in an advisory capacity. Page 2 of 6

3 Strong community networks and standing in the community. The National Seniors Board will appoint members whose contribution the Board believes will enable the Policy Advisory Group to best meet its objectives. Term of Appointment Members will appointed for a term of one, two or three years for the first appointment period only and thereafter appointed for three years. It is anticipated that no more than 50 per cent of members will have their terms renewed, to allow new members to be appointed. This approach will enable continuity and retention of knowledge, while providing opportunities for fresh input. However, the Board has discretion to extend PAG members terms of appointment if they deem it necessary. Chair Arrangements The Chair of each PAG will be appointed by the National Seniors Board, with the Deputy Chair elected by the Group. It is anticipated that the role of the Chair will be renewed every 3 years. However, the Board has discretion to extend the Chair s term of appointment if they deem it necessary. The Chair may be required to provide state-based media comment in liaison with the Public Affairs team. The Chair will be the first point of contact for State politicians and government agencies. The Chair will also be a member of the National Policy Congress. Conflict of Interest Members of the PAG must declare to the Chair (or in the case of the Chair, to the Public Affairs team) any interest, potential or apparent conflict of interest in matters that may be considered by the Group. Members may need to stand down for periods as appropriate. Working Arrangements Meetings It is anticipated that the PAGs will meet at least four times a year, with the agenda prepared by the Chair in consultation with the Public Affairs team. The Public Affairs team will provide an update on the National policy strategic issues and specific issues affecting the PAG s State or Territory and an aggregated listing of the policy issues from the State and Territory Branches and individual members for feedback and advice. The ability of the Public Affairs team to assist the PAG will vary depending on National policy commitments. The preparation of minutes, any other agenda papers, and their distribution will be the responsibility of the PAG. All minutes of the PAG meetings must be provided to the Public Affairs team within two weeks of the meetings closure. At a minimum, minutes are to be in the form of dot points summaries of the discussion. Page 3 of 6

4 If they intend to represent National Seniors, PAG members are required to seek preapproval from the Public Affairs team to participate on any group or committee. Pre-approval is also required to use the National Seniors branding on any group documentation, media statements or submissions. Lodging an Expression of Interest Members of National Seniors who wish to lodge an Expression of Interest should complete the attached Policy Advisory Group - Expression of Interest Form including: Providing the required personal information; and Completing a background information statement: o Addressing the role and responsibilities outlined in the Terms of Reference. o Setting out the knowledge, experience and qualities that you would bring to the Policy Advisory Group. Expressions of Interest can be posted, ed or faxed to the following address: Policy Advisory Group Membership Public Affairs National Seniors Australia GPO Box 1450 BRISBANE Qld 4001 Fax: Page 4 of 6

5 Policy Advisory Group - Expression of Interest Form 1. Personal details: Name: Address: Phone: Membership Number: 2. Areas of Interest: Aged Care Employment Planning Age-friendly Cities Environment Retirement Income Assistive Technologies Finance Rural & Regional Issues Consumer Protection Health Social Inclusion and Social Welfare Cost of Living Housing Superannuation Community Services Human Rights Tax Reform Education Information Technologies Transport Other (please specify) 3. Having regard to the Policy Advisory Group Terms of Reference, please set out in a separate statement (over page) the knowledge, experience and qualities that you would bring to the Policy Advisory Group in your State or Territory (max 500 words). Page 5 of 6

6 4. Declaration: I have read and understood the Policy Advisory Group Terms of Reference. I understand my background information statement may be distributed to members of the National Seniors Australia Board of Directors. All information included as part of this Expression of Interest is true and correct. Signature: Date: Background information statement: Page 6 of 6

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