The AIHW was established as a Commonwealth 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.