Key facts

  • 3,519 public sector boards
  • 31,289 board members
  • 82% of board members volunteer their time (excludes members of school councils)
  • 55% of members on major boards are women
  • 77% of board members reside in regional and rural Victoria (excludes members of school councils).

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

Number of board members by portfolio department and portfolio group


Gender of board members

In March 2015, the government made a Women on Boards commitment to increase the number of women on boards. The scope of this commitment was expanded in 2018 and again in 2021.

The refreshed commitment states that:

  • over 50% of new appointments must be women for boards and portfolios that have less than 50% women
  • boards and portfolios with 50% women must maintain that number with future appointments.

The commitment applies to Victorian courts and all boards except:

  • statutory offices or officers
  • small Crown land committees of management
  • unpaid cemetery trusts
  • school councils.



Women on major boards

Major boards are the 333 larger public entity boards and exclude: 

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

From 2015 to June 2022, women on major boards have gone up from 39% to 55%. 

Women’s representation has improved in most portfolio groups. For major boards, women remain under-represented only on boards in these groups: 

  • Planning at 36% 
  • Transport and Ports at 42% 
  • Premier and Cabinet at 45% 
  • Treasury and Finance at 48% 
  • Agriculture at 48% 
  • Racing Tourism, Sport and Major Events at 48%. 

See the portfolio breakdown in ourdata set. 

Women on all boards

Women on all boards have gone up from 36% at June 2018 to 40% at June 2022. This doesn’t include school councils where the data is unavailable.

There are low rates of representation of women on boards in these ministerial portfolio groups:

  • Cemeteries at 31%
  • Planning at 37%
  • Transport and Ports at 37%
  • Committees of Crown Land Management at 37%.

These 4 categories make up 1,590 or 45% of all boards and 10,653 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 2022:

  • women on cemetery trusts boards have gone up from 28% to 31%
  • women on Crown land committees of management boards have remained at around 37%.

Age of board members

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


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

Percentage breakdown of board members:

  • 2% identify as a person with disability
  • 2% identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 19% identify as culturally or linguistically diverse
  • 77% are regional and rural residents
  • 82% are volunteers.

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) when a person:

  • was 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, or
  • self-identified as CALD.

Data set

This data set covers June 2018 to June 2022.

We publish board and board member profile data from over 3,500 boards and about 31,000 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 2022 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 (XLSX, 249KB)