The AIHW was established as a Commonwealth Government statutory authority in 1987. The composition, functions, powers and obligations of the Institute are set out in its enabling legislation, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987 (AIHW Act).

Here are some other Australian Government Acts and regulations that affect our work:

The AIHW Act establishes a Board as our governing body. The Board is accountable to the Parliament of Australia through the Minister for Health. The Act specifies the composition of the Board, which is headed by a Chairperson. The AIHW Charter of Corporate Governance describes the roles and responsibilities of the AIHW Board, including the CEO, and codifies Board operating practices and procedures for the benefit of Board members and management to allow them to best manage the requirements of the organisation.

AIHW Ethics Committee

The AIHW Act requires the AIHW Board to appoint an AIHW Ethics Committee. Its functions and membership are prescribed in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (Ethics Committee) Regulations 2018). 

The main functions of the committee are to consider ethical matters relating to Institute activities or Institute-assisted activities and to advise any body or person on ethical matters concerning the collection and production of health- and welfare-related information and statistics. It may impose any conditions it thinks appropriate in performing its functions.