Reserve Bank Board

The role, responsibilities and composition of the Reserve Bank Board are laid down in the Reserve Bank Act 1959. Over and above the legislated requirements and in recognition of their responsibility for maintaining a reputation for integrity and propriety on the part of the Board and the Reserve Bank, members have adopted a Code of Conduct.

Role of the Reserve Bank Board

The ‘mandate’ or ‘charter’ of the Reserve Bank Board is contained in section 10(2) of the Reserve Bank Act:

...the Reserve Bank Board has power to determine the policy of the Bank in relation to any matter, other than its payments system policy, and to take such action as is necessary to ensure that effect is given by the Bank to the policy so determined.

It is the duty of the Reserve Bank Board, within the limits of its powers, to ensure that the monetary and banking policy of the Bank is directed to the greatest advantage of the people of Australia and that the powers of the Bank under this Act and any other Act, other than the Payment Systems (Regulation) Act 1998 and the Payment Systems and Netting Act 1998, are exercised in such a manner as, in the opinion of the Reserve Bank Board, will best contribute to:
  1. the stability of the currency of Australia;
  2. the maintenance of full employment in Australia; and
  3. the economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia.

The main focus of discussions at the Reserve Bank Board's meetings is on monetary policy. This discussion occurs against the background of papers prepared by Reserve Bank staff about developments in the domestic and foreign economies, and in financial markets. These papers are supplemented by staff presentations at each Board meeting.

The relationship of the Reserve Bank Board with the Government is set out in section 11 of the Reserve Bank Act. Thus, the ‘Government is to be informed ... from time to time, of the Bank's monetary and banking policy’. In practice, this occurs through regular contact between the Governor and other senior executives and the Treasurer, usually by way of regular discussions.

The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 specifies that the Governor must prepare an annual report by 15 October, for presentation to the Treasurer and tabling in the Parliament.

The Reserve Bank Board has an Audit Committee and a Remuneration Committee.

In addition to the Reserve Bank Board, the Reserve Bank has another board, the Payments System Board, which is responsible for the Reserve Bank's payments system policy.

Meetings of the Reserve Bank Board

The Board meets eight times a year, following the release of key economic data on inflation and economic activity. Board meetings are usually held at the Reserve Bank’s Head Office in Sydney. The Board has also met regularly in other Australian cities.

Five members form a quorum for a meeting of the Reserve Bank Board, which must be chaired by the Governor or, in their absence, the Deputy Governor. Consistent with the Reserve Bank Act, the Board makes decisions by a majority of the members present, with the Chair having a casting vote, if necessary. Minutes of the monetary policy meetings of the Board are published two weeks after each meeting. The Governor and Deputy Governor do not participate in deliberations of the Board related to the terms and conditions of their employment. Meetings are usually held in the Boardroom of the Reserve Bank's Head Office in Sydney or a similar facility in one of the Bank's State Offices when meetings are held interstate (a secure location is used in Australian cities where the Bank does not have its own premises).

The Board meetings start on a Monday afternoon and conclude the following day. The outcome of the meeting will be announced at 2.30 pm on the second day. Meetings held interstate are followed by a dinner with the local community.

Members of the Reserve Bank Board

The Reserve Bank Board comprises nine members: three ex officio members – the Governor (who is Chair), the Deputy Governor (who is Deputy Chair) and the Secretary to the Treasury – and six non-executive members, who are appointed by the Treasurer. The Governor and Deputy Governor are appointed for terms of up to seven years, and are eligible for reappointment. The non-executive members are appointed for terms of up to five years. There is no limit on the number of terms a member may serve. A list of previous and current members of the Reserve Bank Board is also published on this website.

In terms of section 17(1) of the Reserve Bank Act, members of the Board may not be a director, officer or employee of an authorised deposit-taking institution for the purposes of the Banking Act 1959.

The current members of the Reserve Bank Board are:

Photograph of Michele Bullock

Chair: Michele Bullock

Governor since 18 September 2023
Present term ends 17 September 2030

Chair – Payments System Board
Chair – Council of Financial Regulators
Chair – Financial Markets Foundation for Children
Member – Bank for International Settlements Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures
Member – Chief Executive Women
Member – Financial Stability Board
Member – Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision
Director – The Anika Foundation

Photograph of Andrew Hauser

Deputy Chair: Andrew Hauser

Deputy Governor since 12 February 2024
Present term ends 11 February 2029

Photograph of Ian Harper AO

Ian Harper AO

Member since 31 July 2016
Present term ends 30 July 2026

Member – Reserve Bank Board Remuneration Committee

Chair – Australian Statistics Advisory Council
Chair – Clergy Remuneration and Working Conditions Committee, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne
Director – Harper Associates Australia
Director – Robert Menzies Institute

Photograph of Carolyn Hewson AO

Carolyn Hewson AO

Member since 30 March 2021
Present term ends 29 March 2026

Member – Reserve Bank Board Audit Committee

Non-executive director – CSL Limited
Non-executive director – Infrastructure SA
Ambassador – Impact 100 South Australia
Member – The Council, Opportunity International Australia

Photograph of Steven Kennedy PSM

Steven Kennedy PSM

Member since 2 September 2019

Secretary to the Australian Treasury

Ex officio member – Board of Taxation
Ex officio member – Council of Financial Regulators
Member – Centre for Market Design Advisory Board
Member – Melbourne Institute Advisory Board
Member – Sir Roland Wilson Foundation
Member – Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision

Photograph of Iain Ross

Iain Ross AO

Member since 7 May 2023
Present term ends 6 May 2028

Member – Reserve Bank Board Remuneration Committee

Adjunct Professor – The University of Sydney Business School

Photograph of Elana Rubin

Elana Rubin AM

Member since 31 August 2023
Present term ends 30 August 2028

Chair – Australian Business Growth Fund
Chair – Victorian Managed Insurance Authority
Non-executive director – Dexus Funds Management Limited
Non-executive director – Telstra Corporation Limited

Photograph of Carol Schwartz

Carol Schwartz AO

Member since 14 February 2017
Present term ends 13 February 2027

Chair – Reserve Bank Board Remuneration Committee

Founding Chair – Women's Leadership Institute Australia
Chair – Climate Council
Chair – Equity Trustees
Chair – Our Community
Director – Trawalla Group

Photograph of Alison Watkins

Alison Watkins AM

Member since 17 December 2020
Present term ends 16 December 2025

Chair – Reserve Bank Board Audit Committee

Chancellor – University of Tasmania
Non-executive director – CSL Limited
Non-executive director – The Centre for Independent Studies
Non-executive director – Wesfarmers Limited