What public board members do

If you’re thinking about joining a public board, it’s good to know what kind of work you may do.

And don’t worry if you don’t have experience yet. Many people who serve on boards for the first time didn’t have any when they started.

With more than 32,000 board directors serving on over 3,400 boards there's a lot of opportunities.

How joining a board benefits you

Serving on a board is great for your career and can be personally rewarding.

You’ll develop new skills, networks and a deeper understanding of the needs and concerns of Victorians.

Our public boards need skilled people from a range of backgrounds to bring ideas and expertise to the table.

If you're interested in serving on a board, search board vacancies and apply.

Types of roles

Victorian public boards generally only include:

  • board directors, who make up an entity’s board
  • board chair, who leads the board

All board members must comply with the Code of Conduct for directors(opens in a new window).

What you'll do

Board members oversee the management of the public entity but don't participate in its day-to-day operations.

As a board member, you'll use your skills and experience to support the board's work and demonstrate Victorian public sector values.

You'll do things like:

  • set the entity's strategic direction
  • oversee risk and compliance activities
  • manage stakeholder relationships

What you'll bring to the role

Each board member brings a unique mix of skills, qualities and experience to meet the rewarding challenge of being on a board.


  • strategic thinking
  • planning and leadership
  • governance, risk management and audit
  • ability to read and understand financial statements
  • legal, financial and other professional skills
  • marketing and communication
  • industry-specific skills and knowledge
  • stakeholder management


  • integrity and standing in the community
  • demonstrated commitment to the public sector values and employment principles
  • openness to different views
  • a track record of acting in good faith and in the best interests of an organisation
  • ability to listen, analyse, think clearly and work with others
  • a willingness to prepare for and attend meetings, ask questions and take responsibility for decisions


  • performing at high levels in relevant fields of expertise
  • networking and dealing with stakeholders
  • working in a regional, rural or remote location
  • prior experience as either a board chair or director, depending on the appointment being made

Read more

Find a range of board advice and information(opens in a new window):

  • Integrity advice for new board directors
  • Board induction checklist for organisations
  • Welcome to the Board induction pack
  • Code of Conduct for Board Directors