Advocacy & Monitoring

About the ASA Awards

For more than 60 years ASA has been the voice of retailer shareholders through educating investors and standing up for shareholder rights. The ASA could not advocate for retail shareholders without the valuable insights of our company monitors, their voting intentions, and AGM reports. Our local member meetings continue to provide our members with a valuable sense of belonging and community.

The ASA Awards were established in 2022 to recognise the hard work of our company monitors and local meeting convenors and to reward monitored companies for enforcing high standards of corporate governance.

As a not-for-profit organisation ASA stands up for retail shareholder rights and enriches its members’ financial knowledge. Best practice governance standards are at the heart of our mission to advocate for retail shareholders and we wanted to celebrate the ASX-listed companies who are leading governance standards across Australian boardrooms.

The work we do is only possible with the significant contribution from ASA’s monitors and convenors. As our volunteer community is the organisation’s lifeblood and contribute to the ASA’s success, it was vital for us to award our Monitor and Convenor of the Year to acknowledge their work and impact on behalf of Australian retail investors.

See the list of previous winners below

2023 - Award Winners

2023 Winners

Most Effective Shareholder Communication – Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)
Having monitored Woolworths we can speak in detail about our interactions with the board and the quality of reporting. QLD monitors were asked to attend the Woolworths AGM, which was held in Brisbane rather than Sydney. We did not have a lot of time to get up to speed but we both found the annual reports were much easier to comprehend than other companies we have monitored. The remuneration report in particular was very easy to understand and is now a benchmark for clarity and transparency when reviewing other rem reports.

Kate Eastoe, Group Company Secretary & Group Counsel at Woolworths Group, stated:

‘We are thrilled to be recognised by the Australian Shareholders Association for our efforts to provide transparency, clarity and connection for our shareholders. We look to continuously improve our reporting for all stakeholders, and genuinely appreciate the feedback provided by shareholders as we prepare our F24 reporting materials. We are also grateful for our Indigenous partners who welcome us to the lands where we work and present – Shannon and Tommy from Tribal Experiences on Yagara country, Aunty Donna from Tribal Warriors on Gadigal country, and Jason and Trevor from Dalmarri on Darug country’.

Enhanced Company Governance – Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST)

Over a period of months, significant changes occurred on the Northern Star board led by newly appointed Independent Non-Executive Director, chairman Michael Chaney AO who replaced the former Executive Chairman Bill Beament effective 1 July 2021.

The board changes reflected the enlarged merged entity and NSTs low risk profitable growth strategy. New board members brought to the NST board additional high-level mining, financial, risk management & sustainability skills plus experience relevant to the resources & mining sector. 63% of NSTs board of directors are Male & 38% Female. 88% are independent non-executive directors (NED).

A comprehensive annual board of directors’ performance review, including the appointment and input of independent external governance specialists, was completed FY22. Considering the changes at board level, NST now comply with all recommendations under the 4th edition of ASX Corporate Governance Council Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations.

Northern Star Resources Ltd’s Chief Legal Officer & Company Secretary, Hilary Macdonald said:

“Northern Star Resources is delighted to receive the ASA Enhanced Company Governance award from the Australian Shareholders’ Association.

“Like the ASA, best practice governance standards are at the heart of our Purpose, which is to generate superior returns for our shareholders, while providing positive benefits for our stakeholders, through operational effectiveness, exploration and active portfolio management.

“It is pleasing that our focus on the Board skills and evaluation process, the depth of our Sustainability Reporting and the rigour applied to our ESG disclosures has been recognised in this way.“

Convenor of the Year Award – Keith Ready, New South Wales

Keith started a new investor group and ran it very well. He put a lot of work in preparation of each meeting. The meeting was very successful and after it reached 25 members he started another. All are popular and benefit from excellent organisational and communication skills.

Monitor of the Year Award – Peter Gregory, New South Wales
Peter is a very diligent monitor and has dealt with a number of challenging company situations over the past year such as ASX and Link. He is an excellent communicator, both verbally and in writing. His VIs are well considered and well expressed, and he goes to considerable efforts to gather all the facts before coming to a recommendation.

2022 - Award Winners
Best Company Governance – BHP (ASX: BHP)
BHP engaged well with shareholders including Q&A sessions prior to the AGM. They also held special sessions on cultural heritage, climate change, decarbonising steel, and tailings dams, all of which are of pressing interest to engaged shareholders. BHP regularly conducts performance evaluations of its Board and Sub-Committees by an external service provider and has a detailed skills matrix. The annual report contained detailed data on the tenure, composition, and diversity of the Board. Although, they fell below 30% female diversity, they have an objective to re-achieve this by 2023.
Enhanced Company Governance – OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL)
In 2017, OZ Minerals had a new chair and a new chair of remuneration. The board set about a complete overhaul of the corporate governance statement. In the years since, the governance of the company had been exemplary.The remuneration structure has been completely modified. This removal of the importance of share price on the remuneration for executives (heavily influenced by the price of copper) has been partly removed and replaced by hurdles that the executive team could control, such as the cost of extracting the minerals from the ground. In addition, the hurdles are clearly defined and how they are measured is explained.
Convenor of the Year Award – Lorraine Graham, Western Australia

Lorraine was recognised for her excellent management of a local member meeting group in Perth and high member engagement and attendance. Lorraine has managed the Perth city member meetings for 11 years.

Monitor of the Year Award – John Campbell, Western Australia

John was recognised for his outstanding contributions to ASA’s voting intentions for monitored companies, AGM engagement, and the reporting of outcomes to ASA members.

John Campbell and Lorraine Graham from Western Australia were named Monitor of the Year and Convenor of the Year, respectively

Voting Criteria for the ASA Awards

Company Awards: 

Enhanced Company Governance Award:
This company award is attributed to a company that has lifted the quality of its corporate governance. When choosing your nominee, consider whether the company has modified its remuneration structure or shown an ongoing commitment to improving its risk management and performance including Environmental Social Governance (ESG) issues, such as reducing carbon emissions. The nominee might also be more proactive on remedying identified risks or adopting renewable energy technology and undertaking waste reduction, and always working in the best interests of the company over the longer term.


Most Effective Shareholder Communications Award:
This company award is determined by a company’s initiatives to be transparent with its shareholders. When choosing your nominee, we ask you to consider if the company arranged pre-AGM sessions, provided plain-English company reporting, and offered hybrid shareholder meetings to increasing attendance and participation.

 

Individual Awards:

Convenor of the Year Award:
This award recognises a nominee’s ability to successfully organise local member meetings where our members can discuss their passion for investment with likeminded retail shareholders. When choosing your nominee, we ask you to consider how effectively this convenor managed their local member meetings, such as if they arranged highly informative guest speakers, if they persevered under difficult circumstances, attracted high attendee counts, including new potential members, encouraged contributions from all attendees, including inexperience investors, and if they displayed the values of the ASA. 

Monitor of the Year Award:
This award is determined by a nominee’s outstanding contributions to all ASA’s company monitoring activities, including writing voting intention reports, AGM attendance and engagement, and transparent reporting of AGM outcomes to ASA members. When choosing your nominee, we ask Company Monitors to consider how this monitor excelled in providing insights on or engagement with monitored companies.

Lifetime Achievement Award:
A longstanding ASA member will be recognised for their efforts to show leadership while positively impacting our organisation’s culture in a way that continues to promote growth and innovation. The nominee must be a current financial member of the ASA. We will name the winner for this award but not any of the other nominees.