Media release: auDA Welcomes Federal Government Review

Posted by auDA on 18 April 2018

.au Domain Administration (auDA) today welcomed the findings of a comprehensive review by the Federal Government into the management of Australia’s top level domain.

The review, undertaken by the Department of Communications and the Arts, has identified the need for urgent reform to modernise the management and governance framework at auDA.

auDA is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for administering the .au domain, which includes more than 3 million domain names and is critical to the nation’s digital economy.

The review makes a range of recommendations for change to be implemented by auDA within 24 months and includes new Terms of Endorsement. 

CEO of auDA Cameron Boardman, welcomed the report and said work had already begun on the implementation plan for reform.

“The review outlines a roadmap for a series of important reforms that require comprehensive engagement with auDA members and broader stakeholders over the next 24 months,” Mr Boardman said. 

“A number of the issues identified had been raised in two governance reviews commissioned by the current CEO and the Board.

“We are committed to working with members and other stakeholders to transform auDA into an organisation that is better equipped to meet the challenges of a vibrant and evolving namespace. It is a vitally important public asset that needs to be administered in the best interests of Australia’s 21 million internet users and the wider community.“

The review found: 

  • The current membership model, and its relationship to corporate governance, is impeding auDA’s decision-making and is contributing to ongoing organisational instability
  • The membership class structure is not reflective of the Australia’s internet community nor auDA’s stakeholders
  • The current process where the majority of directors are appointed from the membership does not support effective governance outcomes 
  • Directors can be appointed to the Board with little regard to the skills required to effectively govern a modern domain administrator. Directors are not required to meet probity, security or conflict of interest checks.  


The review includes 29 recommendations covering the purpose of auDA, its management framework, transparency and consultation, membership, expectations and the role of the Government, stakeholder engagement, and trust and confidence in .au.

It calls for a new membership model, and the development of a larger and more diversified membership base that better reflects Australia’s diverse and evolving internet community including consideration of a new membership model.

The report also recommends new processes to appoint Board directors, using a new Nominations Committee comprising representatives from industry, the business sector, consumers, the Commonwealth and an auDA member representative. The Board would be selected to ensure an appropriate skills mix, and structured so that the majority of the Board is independent of the membership.   

For more information:  Michelle Edmunds 0413 120 342