Board member and Treasurer – Position Description

This is a volunteer position for a First Step board member with who will hold the position of Treasurer


Overview of First Step

First Step is a not-for-profit mental health, addiction and legal services hub in St Kilda.  In operation since 2000, First Step now has 2,500 patients, 26 staff, revenue over $2M and a strong reputation for outpatient, whole-of-person care for the most vulnerable Victorians.  Situated at 42 Carlisle St, First Step provides a very welcoming environment, for many a “home away from home”, and believes that everybody deserves every chance to turn their lives around.  First Step is looked to by the health and community sectors as a leader in multi-disciplinary care across mental ill-health, addiction and other related complications such as homelessness and social isolation.  First Step’s uniquely skilled workforce (GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health nurses, care coordinators, group therapist, drug and alcohol therapist and more) includes the only criminal and family violence law program embedded within a health practice in the entire country.  At First Step we believe that everybody deserves every chance to turn their lives around, and we provide a free, compassionate and excellent service as we strive for that goal.


Overview of Treasurer Role
The Treasurer role is suitable for an accountant with senior manager, director, partner or Chief Financial Officer experience.

The Treasurer has responsibility for the financial management of the organisation, and must make sure those payments due to, or by, the organisation, are paid, that the financial records are kept correctly, and that the organisation is working within an agreed financial plan.

As a First Step Board however, the group as a whole must share responsibility and decision-making and it will therefore be an important part of the Treasurer’s role to ensure that other Board members understand the information that is being presented and the implications of this information.

The Treasurer must attend monthly board meetings (see below), bimonthly Finance and Risk Subcommittee meetings (see below) and fulfil all obligations listed below.


General members of the First Step Board:

  • Attend meetings as required (monthly from January to November. Usually 4th Friday of each month at 8am at 42 Carlisle St, St Kilda). If a Board member fails to attend consecutive meetings over a 6-month period without leave of absence from the Board, the office of the Director is terminated.
  • Unless the Board member is ill, on leave or has special circumstances that apply, it is expected that they will attend in person or by telephone conferencing.
  • Actively participate and contribute constructively to the productivity and outcomes of meetings.
  • Declare any personal interest that might conflict with the interests of the organisation or your duty as a Board member.
  • Act in accordance with the Code of Conduct/Code of Ethics.
  • Keep informed about the organisation’s business.
  • Act as a spokesperson for the organisation when requested by the Board/senior staff member.
  • Be a member of and/or chair of sub-committees/working groups as required.
  • Sign letters or documents on behalf of the First Step as required.
  • Exercise delegation of authority and expenditure as determined by the Board.



Note: First Step is supported by a pro bono accounting team from KPMG who provide approximately 0.4 EFT per week (2 days).  First Step’s onsite administrative team works with the offsite KPMG team to ensure bookkeeping tasks are completed such as invoicing/payment of invoices, payroll etc.


The Treasurer must:

  • Attend Finance and Risk Subcommittee meetings (bimonthly)
  • Ensure the Board understands its financial obligations.
  • Ensure the organisation complies with tax regulations, such as GST, payroll tax and fringe benefits tax.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of financial management policies and procedures.
  • Ensure the organisation has appropriate procedures to protect against fraud and theft. Review all internal processes and reporting methods relating to financial management at least annually.
  • Ensure financial record keeping meets Australian Accounting Standards and provides financial reports that will inform Board decisions.
  • Oversee the development of an annual budget.
  • Provide regular financial reports on year to date expenditure against the budget including analysis comparing actual financial performance against predicted financial performance.
  • Ensure that Board members understand the financial reports.
  • Manage investments and monitor fund balances, main sources of income, main areas of expenditure, amounts owed.
  • Ensure funds are available to cover cash flow.
  • Ensure the financial requirements of funding bodies and other contractual obligations are met.
  • Oversee the preparation and lodgment of returns with authorities such as the Office of Fair Trading, Australian Securities Investments Commission and the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
  • Ensure an audit of the books is prepared each year and that the accounts of the First Step, showing the financial position at the end of the preceding financial year, is submitted to members at the Annual General Meeting. Identify and bring to the attention of the Board any areas of financial risk to the centre.
  • Exercise delegation of authority and expenditure as determined by the Board.


If you are interested in this role please email your curriculum vitae and explain your interest in the role to  (Patrick Lawrence CEO)

For more information on First Step, please visit


Prof Patrick McGorry: “At First Step the approach is exactly right to tackle the tenacious co-existence of mental ill-health & drug and alcohol problems.  Its integrating drug and alcohol expertise with mental health and physical health expertise all under the one roof and it’s having really great results”

Tim Costello (foundation Chair and patron): “Twenty years ago we started First Step really for a simple reason: to save lives. Over twenty years the community’s attitude to mental illness thankfully has changed.  First Step is leading in changing those attitudes”


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