The art of governance

One of two new vice-presidents of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Ellen Hodgetts is an artistic director of a different ilk.

Ellen Hodgetts

Currently dividing her time between her role as the IoD’s DirectorRem specialist and her practice as an artist, Ellen’s first directorship is a blend of the two.

She explains, “I joined the NZAFA as a practicing artist member a few years ago and as an emerging artist, I was encouraged by the opportunities to submit work to member exhibitions.  When the Academy invited members to be involved in a focus group, I saw the chance to give a little more support, and my involvement eventually led to a role on the council.”  

Ellen says that while her role in the Board Services team has given her a good grounding in governance, there’s always more to learn. Recognising that non-profits often face a unique set of challenges, she recently undertook the IoD’s Not-for-Profit Governance Essentials course.

“It was great to hear real-life examples of situations that come up in NFPs - the nature of these sorts of organisations mean you are often doing non-governance activities as well, just to survive as an organisation – and it was encouraging to hear that other attendees are facing similar challenges.”

“I’d like to see our council work together to develop a board charter, which will really help focus on our role, responsibilities and processes. From here, we also need to review our governance policies and strategic plan.”