Thank you to the Industry Leaders Fund for the generous grant to assist me in attending the Company Directors Course.
After more than 20 years in the mining industry working for large multinationals in technical, operational and middle management roles, I recently took on a role with Hillgrove Resources, a smaller ASX listed mining company, as General Manager of their Kanmantoo Copper mine, located in South Australia. In this role I report through to the Managing Director, and regularly find myself preparing material for, and presenting to the company board. As this was a new experience for me, I was keen to further develop an understanding of the needs of the MD, the board and the company so as to service them better.
I had been researching the content of the Company Directors Course (CDC) offered by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) for some time and was interested in the focus of the course in servicing the needs and reinforcing the standards of company directorship.
A colleague recommended that I apply for an Industry Leaders Fund (ILF) grant as a way of creating the opportunity for me to take my personal development to the next level. The application process alone was an excellent experience. The two step application process plus the selection panel interview encouraged me to explore the vision I had for my career, and also understand how I could best build on the foundations of my life experience to date.
The CDC is updated annually, and I would recommend it to any senior manager who reports to a company board, or to any current company director who has not attended it.
The delivery of the course includes significant pre-reading and contact classes that are delivered in many different formats to match the student’s personal circumstances. I attended the residential delivery of the CDC because it best suited my limited time availability. My course was delivered over five consecutive days and the residential delivery included evening presentations plus the opportunities to discuss the subject matter with other course participants. I found this particularly helpful. The course concluded with an exam following the final day. Additionally, an assignment is to be completed in order to be eligible to receive the course graduate award.
The course gave me significant insight into the functions of directors and boards in regards to contemporary corporate governance, including directors’ and officers duties and legal responsibilities. The course content outlined the board’s key role in developing a culture that is appropriate for the risk tolerance of the organisation, and also the board’s role in developing and executing strategy for the organisation.
I gained a significant amount of practical knowledge from the financial modules, and I am pleased to know that I can now confidently read financial statements and assess the financial performance of an organisation.
The course maintained practical links to current issues with significant reference to recent case studies including HIH Insurance Limited, James Hardie Industries and the Centro Properties Group.
There were 27 participants in the course from a range of industries, including both large and small organisations, finance, engineering, media, a trade union, government organisations, not-for-profits, and of course mining.
I am extremely grateful to the ILF and the Board for providing me with the opportunity to take my personal development to the next level and to acquire valuable knowledge to assist me in my current role and future career opportunities. I hope I will have the opportunity to give something back to the ILF sometime in the future.