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Woolworths, Northern Star recognised for governance at 2023 ASA Awards

The Australian Shareholders' Association recently held its second annual ASA Awards in recognition of best corporate governance, honouring Woolworths Group for its shareholder communications and Northern Star Resources for improved governance standards.

Woolworths Group and Northern Star Resources were recognised for their governance at the Australian Shareholders’ Association’s 2023 Investor Conference in Sydney on May 11, taking away the ASA Awards for shareholder communications and improved governance standards.

ASA – Australia’s largest retail shareholder association – established the awards in 2022 to highlight companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that have instituted exceptional corporate governance and shareholder relations.

“As a not-for-profit organisation, ASA stands up for retail shareholder rights and enriches its members’ financial knowledge,” the association said in a statement. “Best practice governance standards are at the heart of our mission to advocate for retail shareholders, and we wanted to celebrate the ASX-listed companies who are leading governance standards across Australian boardrooms.”

  • Woolworths received the Most Effective Communications award in recognition of its initiatives to be transparent with its shareholders, beating out fellow nominees Wesfarmers and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

    “Woolworths is a worthy recipient of this communications award given the clarity of its remuneration report,” ASA chair Steven Mabb said.

    “The company effectively outlined remuneration elements, performance metrics, what each executive receives, and the likely outcomes for the business. Well done to those involved with this reporting.”

    Woolworths’ group company secretary and group counsel Kate Eastoe said the company was “thrilled to be recognised by the Australian Shareholders’ Association for our efforts to provide transparency, clarity and connection for our shareholders.

    “We look to continuously improve our reporting for all stakeholders, and genuinely appreciate the feedback provided by shareholders as we prepare our [fiscal year 2024] reporting materials.”

    Northern Star topped AGL Energy and Elders for the Enhanced Company Governance Award, which recognises improvement in corporate governance.

    “Northern Star Resources deserves praise for complying with ASX Corporate Governance recommendations and making changes that have led to a wider variety of skills and experience, including the appointment of independent non-executive directors and the implementation of a low-risk profitable growth strategy,” Mabb said.

    Hilary Macdonald, Northern Star’s chief legal officer and company secretary, said the company was “delighted” to be recognised for its improved governance.

    “Like the ASA, best practice governance standards are at the heart of our purpose, which is to generate superior returns for our shareholders while providing positive benefits for our stakeholders, through operational effectiveness, exploration and active portfolio management,” she said. “It is pleasing that our focus on the board skills and evaluation process, the depth of our sustainability reporting and the rigour applied to our ESG disclosures has been recognised in this way.”

    According to ASA chief executive Rachel Waterhouse (pictured), “Woolworth Group and Northern Star Resources deserve recognition for their transparency towards shareholders and how they have enriched their corporate governance in meaningful ways.”

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