First Nations Advisory Group Terms of Reference

First Nations Advisory Group Terms of Reference


Orygen’s First Nations of Australia Advisory Group is an important pillar in our recognition of the need to embed the wisdom and knowledge of First Peoples into our work to ensure that all young people can enjoy optimal social and emotional wellbeing.

The Advisory Group provides strategic advice to Orygen, based on the collective experience and knowledge of current and emerging realities, and needs in First Nations communities.

The group aims to promote First Nations collaboration in the development and implementation of Orygen’s initiatives, programs and policies that may affect the lives of First Nations young people.

The First Nations of Australia Advisory Group operates in accordance with these Terms of Reference and is not a decision-making body.


  • Provide strategic advice to Orygen to meet the guiding principles of the Statement of Commitment, the Cultural Strengthening Action Plan, or any other complementary or superseding documents that describe Orygen’s commitment, priorities and actions as it relates to First Nations communities.
  • Provide strategic input into the national work of Orygen particularly as it relates to First Nations communities Australia-wide.
  • Provide advice to Orygen in relation to the organisations overall approach to and engagement with First Nations communities particularly when considering operational policies, employment strategies, research, further development and the enhancement of Orygen’s Statement of Commitment, training, and development.

Membership and Terms


The First Nations Advisory Group will comprise only of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander people. This includes a provision for two members being First Nations young people between the ages of 18 and 24 years.

There will be a minimum of seven and maximum of nine members.

Membership will be consistent with gender equality and aim to provide opportunities to both listen to the wisdom of elders as well as build capacity in emerging leaders and geographic spread to reflect the diverse views Australia- wide.

A Chair that is independent of Orygen will be appointed to the First Nations of Australia Advisory Group and they will be responsible for the effective running of the group, provide support to the members of the group and attend key Orygen Board meetings when required.

Meeting Frequency attendance and terms

It is expected that at a minimum the Advisory group will meet as follows:

  • Quarterly meetings for 1 hour
  • Up to 2 face-to-face meetings per year

There will also be other opportunities for informal engagement with First Nations staff in identified and non-identified roles (such as joining in yarning circles).

Members will be appointed for a defined term.

Members are required to commit to two yearly consecutive terms. In the event of a casual vacancy a recruitment process to replace this member can occur.

Contact at least twice a year the Orygen Executive team will meet with the First Nations Advisory Group.

Contact at least once a year the Orygen Board will meet with the First Nations Advisory Group


A quorum for the meeting will be 50% + 1 and must include, the Chair or the Deputy Chair at a minimum.

Code of Conduct

All Members of the Advisory Group are expected to comply Orygen’s values, standards of conduct and the following expectations to ensure safe, respectful, and effective conduct of meetings:

  • Prepare for each meeting and be active participants.
  • Regularly contribute to discussions during meetings, provide advice and opinions on topics of discussion and respond to Council requests for input or feedback.
  • Treat others with respect, dignity, and courtesy always. Harassment, intimidation, abuse or any behaviour deemed offensive or hurtful will not be tolerated. Any Member displaying these behaviours will be asked to stop immediately. Should this continue, the person can be asked to leave the meeting.

Management of Conflicts of Interest

At the time of appointment all proposed members of the Advisory Group are required to declare any conflicts of interest in line with good practice and Orygen’s policy. Where real, potential or perceived conflicts of interests arise in undertaking the work of the group, these should be raised with and managed by the Chair.


Advisory Group Members must hold all information discussed at the Advisory Group as confidential unless otherwise stated.


Remuneration is payable to all members of the Advisory Group and reasonable travel costs will be covered for any interstate members (for up to two face-to-face meetings).

Payment for attendance and teleconference will cover one hour for pre-reading minutes and one-hour for meeting participation in line with other national organisations.


Orygen Advisory Committees have no formal delegation. Their role is to provide advice to:

  • the Organisation through the Executive; or
  • a nominated member/s of Orygen staff.


The record of meetings and communications regarding the Advisory Group meetings, will be managed by the designated Secretariat Staff member.

  • The agenda and any papers will be distributed ahead of the meeting.
  • Draft minutes will be circulated prior to the meeting for review and then presented for confirmation at the start of each meeting.
  • Papers and minutes of the Advisory Committee will be available to members attached to the relevant meeting invite.
  • Papers containing confidential must be kept confidential and not shared beyond the Advisory Group unless otherwise agreed.

Review of Terms of Reference

The terms of reference will be reviewed annually from the date of approval. The terms of reference may be altered to the needs of Orygen and this review will take account of all members feedback on how the structure and function of the advisory group can be improved.

Special Requirements

  • A current National Police Check will be required.
  • Any offer of appointment to the Advisory Group is conditional upon receipt and maintenance of a satisfactory Working with Children Check.
  • Appointees will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to commencement.


FIRST NATIONS: A person who is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent, who identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and is accepted by the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community as such.