The SBS Community Advisory Committee is established under section 50 of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Act 1991. The function of the committee, specified under the Act is: 'To assist the SBS Board to fulfil its duty to be aware of, and responsive to, community needs and opinions, by advising the Board on community needs and opinions, including those of small or newly arrived ethnic groups, on matters relevant to its Charter.'
The Community Advisory Committee generally meets three times a year to discuss issues of relevance to SBS and to give advice, raise community concerns and provide feedback on programming and projects to the SBS Board.
The Terms of Reference for the Community Advisory Committee are:
Subject to the priorities determined by the SBS Board, and in accordance with the SBS Charter, the Community Advisory Committee will:
1) Provide advice from time to time in relation to matters referred by the Board;
2) Provide ongoing advice to the Board on the needs, opinions and aspirations of small or newly arrived ethnic groups, as they relate to the Charter and programming policies;
3) Advise the Board on effective community consultation policies and assist the Board in undertaking additional community consultations (see SBS Act s48(1)(e));
4) Advise the Board on the development of strategies for the publicising of the Board's programming policies to audiences and, in particular, to non-English speaking background and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences;
5) Advise the Board on community education strategies to counter prejudice and racism within Australian society, appropriate to the role of a national broadcaster;
6) Promote SBS to our multicultural communities and alert the SBS Board to any developing issues relevant to SBS.
Committee members are appointed by the SBS Board.
In determining appointments to the Community Advisory Committee, the Board considers matters including diversity of backgrounds, geographical spread and specialised skills and knowledge; including ability to reflect the needs and interests of women, youth, the aged, and people with disabilities.