Skip navigation
The Australian National University

About ANU


The University is governed by a 15 member Council under the Australian National University Act 1991. The Council is to act in all matters concerning the University in the way it thinks will best promote the interests of the University.

What Council members do

The primary responsibilities of Council members are to:

(a) appoint the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor

(b) appoint the Vice-Chancellor as the chief executive officer of the University and monitor his/her performance

(c) oversee the strategic direction of the University

(d) oversee and review the management of the University and its performance

(e) establish policy and procedural principles, consistent with legal requirements and community expectations

(f) approve and monitor systems of control and accountability, including general overview of any controlled entities, that is, those which satisfy the test of control in s.50AA of the Corporations Act

(g) oversee and monitor the assessment and management of risk across the University, including commercial undertakings      

(h) oversee and monitor the academic activities of the University

(i) approve significant commercial activities of the University

(j) ensure the effective operation of Council including the induction and professional development of Council members and the evaluation of the performance of Council and its committees.      

The Council may delegate functions and powers under the Act to a member of the Council or a member of the staff of the University, or to the members of a committee consisting of members of Council or members of the Council and other persons; however, the Council may not delegate its power to

  • make Statutes
  • appoint the Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor
  • approve the University's annual budget or its business plan
  • approve the annual report of the University
  • monitor its commercial activities, and its subsidiaries and any other entities it controls, to the extent required to ensure they do not have any adverse impact on, or pose an unreasonable risk to, the University's finances and operations
  • review and monitor the management of the University as a whole or the University's performance as a university (as defined by the Higher Education Support Act 2003).

As part of responsible governance, Council has delegated day-to-day management responsibilities and other functions to the University's executive and other senior staff in order to be able to focus on the broader policy and strategic issues. View details of delegations.


The membership of the Council is set out in section 10 of the Australian National University Act 1991.

» See current members


Meetings & agendas

The Council usually meets about six times a year, presided over by the Chancellor. Up to 15 observers may attend the meetings, drawn from staff, students, graduates and media professionals.  

» more on meeting procedures & dates



Representatives of academics, general staff, undergraduates and postgraduates are elected to Council every two years. .

» more on elections



The Australian National University is a body corporate established by the Australian National University Act 1991.

The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (PGPA) Act 2013 provides a set of core planning, performance reporting and auditing requirements and sets out standards of conduct for directors, officers and employees of Commonwealth corporate entities. Many of these requirements are modeled on comparable areas of corporations legislation.

Updated:  30 June 2014/Responsible Officer:  Director Marketing/Page Contact:  Webmaster