Facts, figures and visuals on public sector boards

How to read this page

Unless stated otherwise, this workforce data shows you numbers as at June 2020.

For most visuals, we give you a break down in 3 ways:

  • Victorian Public Service (VPS): the 8 departments and 43 authorities and offices defined to be public service employers under the Public Administration Act 2004
  • Public entities: all other public sector bodies outside the VPS that have a public function
  • Overall public sector workforce: public entities and VPS combined

At the end of this page, find an Excel dataset for June 2018 to June 2020.

Read more about how we define the public sector or see the full list of public sector agencies.

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Key facts

  • 3406 public sector boards
  • 32,011 board directors
  • 82% of board members volunteer their time, excluding members of school councils
  • 55% of members on major boards are women
  • 78% of board members reside in regional and rural Victoria, excluding members of school councils

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Role of public sector boards

Public sector boards are responsible for the strategic direction, governance and risk management of Victorian public sector entities in line with the relevant legislation.

They can include boards of governance of public entities and advisory bodies.

Board members are senior leaders of the public sector.

Read more about the role of boards

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Gender breakdown of board members as a percentage


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Women on major boards

In the past, women were under-represented on Victorian public sector boards.

So in March 2015, the government set a 50% target that all new appointments to major boards be women.

Major boards are the 311 larger public entity boards and exclude:

  • boards with only members who are elected or who are ex officio members (a person who is on a board because of their role)
  • equality portfolio boards
  • most advisory boards
  • school councils
  • small cemetery trusts
  • small rural hospitals
  • small Crown land committees of management

From 2015 to June 2020, women on major boards have gone up from 39% to 55%.

Based on a portfolio breakdown, women’s representation has improved in most portfolios. Women remain under-represented only in boards of the Planning and Local Government portfolio group, where 40% are women.

See the portfolio break down in our data set.

Women on all boards

Women on all boards have gone up from 36% at June 2018 to 39% at June 2020. This doesn’t include school councils, as the data is unavailable.

There are low rates of representation of women on boards at:

  • cemetery trusts at 29%
  • Crown land committees of management at 37%

These 2 categories make up 1,486 or 44% of all boards and 10,757 or 34% of all board members. These contribute to the overall representation of women on boards.

Most cemetery trust and Crown land committee of management boards:

  • are based in rural areas
  • don’t employ staff
  • have members nominated from local communities or are long-term members
  • manage small assets

From June 2018 to June 2020:

  • women on cemetery trusts boards have gone up from 27% to 29%
  • women on Crown land committees of management boards have gone up from 33% to 37%

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Age distribution of board members as a percentage


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The age of 81% of all board members, mainly from school councils and small committees of management, isn’t available.

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Percentage of boards members by diversity group, location and volunteer status


↑ Select Get the data to download as a .CSV

Diversity data, location and volunteer status aren’t collected for school councils.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander data and culturally and linguistically diverse status data aren’t collected for small committees of management.

We define culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) if a person is:

  • born in a country other than Australia
  • has one or more parents born in a country other than Australia
  • speaks a primary language at home that’s not English
  • speaks another language at home that’s not English
  • self-identified as CALD

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Data set

This data set covers June 2018 to June 2020.

We publish board and board member profile data from over 3400 boards and about 32,000 board members.

We source this data from the Government Appointments and Public Entities Database (GAPED).

Board and board member profile

This file shows the number of Victorian public sector boards and the number of board members for each portfolio department and ministerial portfolio.

The file also has a list of Victorian public sector boards showing:

  • classification
  • status as a major board
  • status as an employer
  • number of board members

It also has a profile of board members for each department and ministry portfolio from June 2018 to 2020 showing numbers by:

  • gender
  • age
  • residential location of metropolitan Melbourne or regional Victoria
  • volunteer status
  • diversity groups of board members who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, have disability and are culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD)

In the file, we’ve grouped school councils, small cemetery trusts and small land management committees together.

Download board and board member profile data (XLS, 166KB)

 

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