National Data Advisory Council - Terms of Reference

Role of the National Data Advisory Council

The National Data Advisory Council (‘the Council’) will provide advice to the National Data Commissioner on ethical data use, trust and transparency, technical best practice, and industry and international developments.

This includes, but is not limited to, assisting the National Data Commissioner to find the optimal balance between streamlining the sharing and release of data and ensuring the protection of privacy.

The National Data Commissioner may also request advice from the Council on specific issues relating to the broader data environment.


The Council will have up to ten members including the National Data Commissioner. The Council will comprise members from the Australian Government (including independent statutory office-holders), business and industry, civil society groups and academics.

Initial members were appointed by the Government for two-year terms.

Government members attend in the capacity of the position they hold, including as independent statutory office-holders.  The Australian Statistician, Chief Scientist and the Information and Privacy Commissioner each have a key role to play in ensuring the Australian government data is effectively and safely managed. 

Non-government members attend in their individual capacity, based on their skills and understanding of the data ecosystem. They will draw on their knowledge and networks in providing advice to the National Data Commissioner. They will be paid sitting fees and costs related to meeting attendance. New non-government members will be sought through an Expression of Interest process (conducted by the Office of the National Data Commissioner) with appointments confirmed by Government.


The Council will meet between two and four times per year. Meetings will be chaired by the National Data Commissioner.

Meetings will take place in Canberra, or in other state capitals. Teleconference facilities will be made available to members who are unable to travel to Canberra, or other locations, for a meeting.

Meetings will be held at times which ensure the Council’s advice can support existing governance and decision structures and key decision points.

A summary of each meeting will be published on the website.

Members will also have access to an online forum to discuss matters between meetings.

The quorum for Council meetings will be at least six members, including the Chair.


The Council will be supported by the Office of the National Data Commissioner.