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The Council is established under section 8 of the ANU Act as the governing authority of the University.


Powers are conferred upon Council to control and manage the entire University under section 9 of the ANU Act. However, save for matters that the Act prescribes cannot be delegated, management control of the University is delegated to the Vice-Chancellor.

Council responsibilities, articulated in the ANU Council Charter, are:

  • Strategic oversight of the University, including:
    • setting the mission, values and strategic direction of the University
    • ongoing review of the success of those strategies.
  • Ensuring effective overall governance and management of the University, including:
    • appointing the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor
    • appointing the Vice-Chancellor as principal academic and Chief Executive Officer of the University, and monitoring his or her performance
    • overseeing and reviewing the management of the University and its performance
    • ensuring that the strategic goals set by the Council are delivered by effective management systems
    • overseeing and monitoring the academic activities of the University
    • establishing policy and procedural principles, consistent with legal requirements and community expectations.
  • Ensuring responsible financial and risk management of the University, including:
    • approving the annual budget, business plan and annual report
    • overseeing and monitoring the assessment and management of risk across the University, including in its commercial undertakings
    • approving and monitoring systems of control and accountability for the University and any entities controlled by the University (within the meaning of section 50AA of the Corporations Act 2001)
    • approving significant commercial activities of the University.