Plain language statement: Melbourne Law School

Dear participant

Thank you for your interest in participating in this research project, Governance and regulation of charities, which is being carried out by researchers at Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne. The researchers are Associate Professor Rosemary Langford and Ms Miranda Webster. The project is being funded by the Australian Research Council under a competitive grant scheme.

Project Overview
The purpose of this research is to investigate governance and regulation of charities in Australia and in England and Wales. This will enable us to develop a clearer understanding of the practical issues that arise from governance and regulatory frameworks for persons who govern charities — to allow us to develop effective options for law and policy reform, as well as practical measures to assist office-holders of charities. Aside from the potential inconvenience of giving up your time to complete the survey, we do not consider there to be risks associated with participating in this survey.

Survey Overview
If you agree to participate the survey will be conducted via SurveyMonkey and will take approximately 20 minutes.  This survey asks for your opinions about your governance duties and your approach to conflicts of interest. We very much value your personal views. Participation is completely voluntary. You can withdraw at any time.

Concerns and Complaints
This research project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of The University of Melbourne. If you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of this research project, which you do not wish to discuss with the research team, you should contact the Manager, Human Research Ethics, Research Ethics and Integrity, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010. Tel: +61 3 8344 2073 or Email: All complaints will be treated confidentially. In any correspondence please provide the name of the research team or the name or ethics ID number of the research project (2057799).

Further Information and Results
The results of the survey will form the basis of journal articles, working papers, research reports, presentations and, potentially, a book. If you would like more information about the project or would like to receive a copy of any publications resulting from the survey please contact Rosemary Langford by email at or visit

Confidentiality and Data Use
SurveyMonkey will provide us with your responses to our survey in an anonymised, aggregated format. It will not be possible for any member of the research team, or others, to match this data to specific participants. The data will be stored electronically, on password-protected computers.  It will only be circulated to the named researchers, to a professional statistician we employ to process and analyse the data, and, if necessary, to an additional research assistant.  The data gathered from this survey will be retained indefinitely, for use by the above-named members of the research team, in this project and in future projects in the same general area of research. Should any of the named researchers leave the university, the data will be utilitised in this manner by a new researcher selected to take the place of the departing researcher.