The University recognises the importance of effective governance in enhancing outcomes for all stakeholders, including the community at large, in the pursuit of the University's legislated functions.

Our system of governance features a Council of 16 members (10 external to the University and 6 internal). External members (including the Chancellor) are appointed to Council on the basis of their expertise and commitment to the mission of the University. Internal members are:

  • the Vice Chancellor

  • two students

  • one general staff

  • one academic staff

  • Chair of Academic Board.

A supporting structure of subcommittees assists Council to fulfil its role.

The Council is committed to continuously improving its effectiveness in carrying out its primary responsibilities, and in adding value to the University.

Some aspects of the good practices currently in place in Council operations are:

  • An induction program for new members of Council conducted by the Chancellor, which includes discussion of its code of conduct and the legal obligations of members of Council to attend to their duties as Council members in good faith and with a responsibility to act in the best interests of the University as a whole.

  • A program of seminars held throughout the year to provide council members with in-depth information on areas of the University's operation.

  • Endorsement of a document highlighting the role and responsibilities of members of Council, together with a position description for the Chancellor.

  • An annual review of Council operations which includes reviews of the performance of Council and its subcommittees, the quality of information provided by management and subcommittees, the achievement of planned objectives, and establishment of new goals.  The review process includes periodic confidential surveys of all Council members.

  • A Council Handbook that provides relevant information to Council Members about Council business, procedures and matters related to the Universities management and legislative environment.

  • Participation in strategic planning discussions relating to the future directions of the University.  Together with regular briefings on various aspects of University operations, this enables members to gain a fuller appreciation of planning priorities while providing them with the opportunity to give constructive feedback to management.

  • Adoption of a corporate Risk Management Policy with regular reviews of its implementation.  At least annually, the Council receives information through the Audit Committee on the University's risk profile.  Information on the status of internal controls is received from auditors.

  • Council monitors its membership profile to ensure that it has the necessary breadth and diversity of experience to perform its functions and add value.

  • Periodic internal audit reviews of Council performance, benchmarked against best performance guidance.

  • Council reviews and approves the University's annual Corporate Plan which contains detailed plans, priorities and a budget for the next year, together with plans, priorities, targets and indicative budgets for the next three to five years.

The process for Council appointments includes:

  • consideration by the Governance and Nominations Committee of the nature of appointments required at the time

  • broad consultation to develop a substantial list of potential candidates.