University Council

Role and function

Under the University of Wollongong Act 1989, the Council is the governing authority of the University. The Council acts for and on behalf of the University and controls and manages the University's affairs and concerns.

Section 16(1) of the Act states that, in exercising the University's functions the Council may:

  • provide such courses, and confer such degrees and award such diplomas and other certificates, as it thinks fit,
  • appoint and terminate the appointment of academic and other staff of the University,
  • borrow money within such limits, to such extent and on such conditions as to security or otherwise as the Governor on the recommendation of the Treasurer may approve,
  • invest any funds belonging to or vested in the University,
  • promote, establish or participate in (whether by means of debt, equity, contribution of assets or by other means) partnerships, trusts, companies and other incorporated bodies, or joint ventures (whether or not incorporated),
  • establish and maintain branches and colleges of the University, within the University and elsewhere,
  • make loans and grants to students, and
  • impose fees, charges and fines.

Section 16A of the Act also sets out Council functions in regard to controlled entities.

At their 13 August 2004 meeting, Council approved the following Statement of Primary Responsibilities (Resolution number 2004/53):

University of Wollongong Council: Statement of Primary Responsibilities

Council shall:

  1. appoint a Vice-Chancellor as the Chief Executive Officer to manage the affairs of the University, within the strategic framework approved by Council;
  2. approve guidelines for determining remuneration of the Vice-Chancellor;
  3. monitor the performance of the Vice-Chancellor and approve guidelines for the evaluation of his or her performance;
  4. approve the mission and strategic direction of the University and monitor performance in achieving goals;
  5. approve budgets and review performance against budgets;
  6. function as one body to use the powers conferred under section 16(1) of the University Act for the common good and in the interests of the University;
  7. oversee and review the management of the University and its performance;
  8. establish University policies and procedural principles consistent with legal requirements and community expectations;
  9. oversee University policies and practices to ensure consistency with relevant legislation and community expectations;
  10. approve significant commercial activities of the University;
  11. approve major decisions that have not been delegated to executive management;
  12. approve and monitor systems of control and accountability, including the general overview of controlled entities. A controlled entity is one that satisfies the test of control in s50AA of the Corporations Act;
  13. oversee and monitor the University's risk management policies, practices and performance (including commercial undertakings and audit processes) and monitor regulatory compliance;
  14. oversee and monitor the academic activities of the University;
  15. foster and support links between the University and the community and network on behalf of the University to assist in achieving organisational goals;
  16. oversee the development of the University's physical environment;
  17. oversee appropriate occupational health and safety policies;
  18. manage the Council's own affairs by:
    • establishing procedures to ensure it is in a position to perform its responsibilities;
    • monitoring and managing potential conflicts of interest;
    • effectively monitoring and managing its own operations including proper execution by members of their fiduciary duties; and
    • reviewing and assessing Council's performance through discussion at a confidential session of Council on an annual basis.

Meet the Council members

Michael Still
Warwick Shanks OAM
Professor David Currow
Professor Nina Reynolds
Katherine McConnell
Merran Dawson
David Groves
Nieves Murray
Mike Sneesby
Greg West
Professor Simon Moss
Samantha Peace
Lara Warwick
Susan Zhang
Natalie Piucco

More about the University Council

The Act provides that the Council may by resolution delegate all or any of its powers and functions under the Act, except the power of delegation itself, to any members or to any committee of its members, or to any officer or officers of the University. Committees of Council may decide matters within delegations received from the Council, but otherwise make recommendations to the Council.

The following Council committees are currently in operation:

The agenda is made available to all members, at least one week in advance of a meeting.

The minutes are circulated to members after the meeting for confirmation at the following meeting.

A summary of the non-confidential matters discussed at each meeting is available -- see the "Meeting summaries" section.

The Chief Governance Officer, Alyssa White, is the Secretary to the Council. She is responsible for the preparation and issue of all Council documents. Secretariat assistance is provided by the Governance Unit. To contact the Governance Unit, please email