2016 Conference



The National Conference On University Governance has been running since 2001 in a range of locations across Australia

2001  Sydney, Macquarie University
2002  Adelaide
2003  Melbourne
2004  Sydney
2005  Canberra
2006  Canberra
2010  Melbourne – October 12 & 13th at RMIT Storey Hall
2012  Sydney, The University of Sydney, 9th and 10th October 2012
2014  Melbourne, The University of Melbourne as hosts at Sofitel Melbourne.  28th and 29th October 2014
2016  Sydney, October 5th and 6th at Doltone House and Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour
2018  Adelaide, October 3rd to 4th at the Adelaide Convention Centre

2016 Conference Program

Speaker Presentations as supplied are below. Click on title and name.

Advancement Myths and Truths – Nick Blinco

Chancellors conference 6-10-16 Rosalind Ogilvie

The program was designed to focus on concrete issues and will be conducted in a highly interactive format. Many Chancellors will be actively engaged . The discussions will be valuable for Chancellors, Deputy Chancellors and members of governing bodies of Australian universities. Professional staff in governance units will also find the issues highly relevant.

2016 Program Overview

Tuesday 4th October 2016 – pre conference registrations open at Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour from 4pm to 6pm adjacent to hotel reception.

Wednesday 5th October 2016

8am            Registration at venue – Doltone House Darling Island Wharf
9am            Conference Opening
9.15am      Session 1: Governing for disruption
                    Key Note speaker: David Dyer, Partner, McKinsey Australia and New Zealand
                    Session Convenor: Associate Professor Rufus Black, Deputy Chancellor, Victoria University
10.15am    Session 2: Part 1: Perspectives on Governance of a Public Institution :
                     Differences and Similarities to the Private Sector
                     Panel Discussion convened by Graham Goldsmith, Chancellor, Swinburne University
                     The Hon Michael Egan AO, Chancellor, Macquarie University

11.15am    Morning Tea break

11.45am    Session 2 Part 2: Governing Universities : Roles, Relationships, & Realities
                   Panel Discussion convened by Graham Goldsmith, Chancellor, Swinburne University
                   The Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AO SC, Chancellor, Bond University
                    Mr Paul Jeans, Chancellor, University of Newcastle

12.45pm    Lunch

2.00pm     Session 3: Making Industry Engagement Work
                    Catherine Livingstone AO, an industry perspective
                    Emeritus Professor Alan Trounson, case study on ‘making it work’

                    Session Convenor: Adrienne Clarke AC, Chancellor, La Trobe University

4pm            Afternoon Tea

5.00pm        Session 4: Future Directions of Education Policy
                       Presentation followed by discussion with
                       Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training

6.00pm         Close Day 1

7.15pm           Conference Dinner – Doltone House Darling Island Wharf, Pyrmont.

                     Short walk to dinner.

                      Introductory special guest appearance by Tom Burton, Olympic Gold Medallist in the Men’s Laser Class Sailing at RIO 2016

                     After Dinner…

                      Who’s Batman, Who’s Robin? Negotiating the relationship between the Chancellor and the                                                      Vice-Chancellor

                        Discussion                  Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor, Western Sydney University
                                                                 Professor Barney Glover, Vice Chancellor, Western Sydney University

                        Facilitated by              Narelle Hooper, journalist and author

Thursday 6th October 2016

8am                Registration, Arrival tea/coffee at Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour

9am                Session 5: The Power of Philanthropy and the Role of Councils

                       Session Convenor: Dr Paul Hemming, Chancellor, Federation University

10.30am         Morning Tea

11am                Session 6: Leading and managing the message in the Age of Social Media

                          Keynote speaker         Amanda Gome, Head, Notable Media
                          Session convenor       Associate Professor Rufus Black, Deputy Chancellor, Victoria University

12.pm              Conference Summary and Close

12.15pm          Lunch on departure
1.00pm           Chancellors Retreat meeting at Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour – Barossa Room
1.00pm           University Secretaries meeting at Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour – Hunter Room
4.00pm           Chancellors Meeting close
4.15pm            Airport Transfer for pre-bookings

Conference themes:

  • Prospering an age of disruption

–What are the disruptive threats and opportunities for high education that should be on a Council’s strategic agenda?

–How should we govern to manage uncertainty and ensure agility?

–What capabilities to we do require or need to prioritise?

  • Governing well in any era

–How best to translate private sector governance experience to public sector universities

–Recruiting the right council: identifying, selecting, stewarding and engaging

–Managing conflicts of interest and the challenges of stakeholders on the Council

–Making the Chancellor – Vice Chancellor relationship work well

  • Capturing the opportunities of engagement

– Industry: how do we achieve a step change in the relationship with industry and what do Councils need to do

– Philanthropy: a huge opportunity – what is the leadership required by Chancellors and Councils

– Social media: how we capture the opportunities of engagement in a social media age and what role do Chancellors have

  • Navigating the shifting sands of Higher Education policy

Post election: where is higher education policy heading

Conference 2012 – 8th conference in the series

 9th and 10th October 2012

at The University of Sydney

Thank you to our 2012 Sponsor for Lunch on day one.

2010 Conference Archive

7th Conference in the series was held at Melbourne RMIT Storey Hall – 12th and 13th October 2010.

Thank you to delegates who attended the 2010 Conference

The program was designed particularly for members of governing bodies of Australian universities but those with an interest in university governance at any level are welcome.The conference was organised under the auspices of the University Chancellors Council by the Chancellors of RMIT,  Central Queensland University, Southern Cross University and the University of Ballarat.

The conference was managed by Norsearch Conference Services at Southern Cross University. Contact: Julie Burton

Relevant programs and discussion papers from past conference will be listed below if available.

The 2010 Conference Program – Archive

The 2010 conference program had an emphasis on the characteristics of high performing Councils, and on best practice (for example, in appointing Council members; in evaluating the performance and remuneration of Chancellors, Council members, and Vice-Chancellors; in designing agendas and conducting Council meetings; in oversighting controlled entities; etc.) Council functions as set out in the university Act – how to make this operational. There is also a focus on strategy as distinct from management.

 The conference used case studies and scenarios – balance of time in small group discussions (facilitated) rather than being “talked at” in plenary sessions.

Archive Items from the 2010 Conference 

John Phillips  AO, Convenor of the University Chancellors’ Council and Chancellor of UWS Opening Address
Mark McCrindle Key Note Address on A Futurologist’s Twenty Year Vision of Higher Education
Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Kiel Key Note Address on Challenges for University Councils
Conference Evaluation Summary

Keynote Speakers – 2010


 Professor Geoffrey Kiel


Geoff has had a distinguished career as a management consultant, senior manager, management educator and academic researcher. He has extensive personal experience working with clients in areas of strategic planning, marketing planning, marketing strategies, organisational design and development, marketing research and economic feasibility studies and is well known for his work in corporate governance. Geoff is the co-author of the major Australian practical guide to governance, Boards that Work, and Board, CEO and Director Evaluation. He is also a core facilitator for the AICD.

Mark McCrindle

Social Researcher
BSc (Psychology), MA, QPMR.


Mark McCrindle is Principal of McCrindle Research, a full member of the Australian Market and Social Research Society and accredited with their highest qualification: Qualified Practicing Market Researcher. He holds a BSc (Psychology) from UNSW and a Masters degree in social trends. He is bound by the AMSRS ethics, privacy, and professional charter.