Australian Catholic University Chancellor John Fahey

The Hon. John Fahey AC

Chancellor of Australian Catholic University

The Hon John Fahey AC has been a figure in public life for more than 30 years. He has shown exemplary leadership and integrity at the highest level of government, sport, community organisations and business.

Mr Fahey was New South Wales Premier from 1992-95 before entering federal politics, and serving as the Minister for Finance and Administration in the Howard government until 2001. He was instrumental in securing the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, acting as Chairman of the bid team. In 2002 Mr Fahey was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for his work in the political arena, and facilitation of industry growth and industrial relations reform.

Five years later he became President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, a position he held until November 2013. In this role Mr Fahey was a driving force behind moves to increase and enhance drug testing in sport around the world.

Mr Fahey currently chairs the Australian Government Reconstruction Inspectorate, and is the fourth Chancellor of Australian Catholic University.

Australian Catholic University (ACU) has grown rapidly over the past few years. It is a vibrant university with excellent new facilities, award-winning buildings and renowned academics. It is known for its supportive and nurturing learning environment.

ACU empowers students to think critically and ethically, and to bring about change in their communities and professions. It is a publicly-funded university and welcomes students and staff of all beliefs and backgrounds.

ACU is globally connected and has relationships with more than 190 universities and educational institutions around the world. The University has seven campuses around Australia – in Brisbane, North Sydney, Strathfield, Canberra, Ballarat, Melbourne and Adelaide – making it Australia’s only truly national university. It is also one of few Australian universities with a presence in Europe, having recently opened the Rome campus in Italy.

ACU students have the chance to undertake professional placements throughout their studies, ensuring that they are work-ready upon graduation. Community engagement is a core part of every student’s experience and is embedded within most courses.

There is a wide range of scholarships available to undergraduate and postgraduate students.

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All ACU courses offer work placements or internships or
volunteering opportunities.


ACU students have the chance to travel world and study with
one of 190+ partner institutions or at ACU’s Rome Campus.


94% of ACU's research is classed as above or at world standard.

The University also has a rapidly increasing reputation in research and has seven new research institutes aligned with the four priority research areas: Theology and Philosophy; Health; Education; and the Common Good and Social Justice.

ACU conducts research that makes a difference. Whether it be award-winning stroke studies or investigations on how the world population will find food in the future, ACU research aims to improve social, health and living conditions, influence public policy and improve knowledge in specialist fields.

To find out more, view the Australian Catholic University Constitution opens-in-a-new-window or visit the Australian Catholic University website opens-in-a-new-window

Australian Catholic University Senate

ACU is a public company limited by guarantee in addition to a public university under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth). The governing body of ACU, as prescribed in Section 13 of the Constitution of the University, is the Senate.

The objects of the Senate are as follows:

  1. Review and endorse strategic directions and priorities; and monitor progress against agreed goals.
  2. Oversee the establishment and effective operation of key policies.
  3. Ensure adequate risk management procedures and associated internal controls are established and effectively maintained.
  4. Oversee the effective and prudential operation of the University, including approval and monitoring of budgets and financial plans.
  5. Require and monitor compliance with statutory and regulatory obligations.
  6. Ensure the University’s assets and resources are properly managed.
  7. Effectively manage its own operations with due concern for proper and appropriate accountability.
  8. Appointment of the Vice-Chancellor and President.
  9. Ensure a clear definition of Senate’s role and the delegated responsibilities and authorities it assigns to the Vice-Chancellor and President, other officers, and the Senate Sub-Committees and the Academic Board.

Membership of Australian Catholic University’s Senate is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

The Hon. John Fahey AC – Chancellor
Mr Julien O’Connell AM – Pro-Chancellor
Professor Greg Craven – Vice-Chancellor and President
Professor Margot Hillel OAM – Chair of Academic Board
Most Reverend Christopher Prowse DD (Archibishop of Canberra and Goulburn) – Cleric nominated by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Elected by State Chapters

Ms Annette Schmiede – New South Wales (to May 2018)
Mr Stephen Elder OAM – Victoria (to May 2017)
Ms Margaret Vider – Queensland (to May 2019)
Ms Moira Najdecki – Australian Capital Territory (to May 2019)

Elected from Panel

Mr Tim Kirk – New South Wales (to May 2020)
The Hon. Barbara Perry – New South Wales (to May 2019)
Ms Bernadette Steele – Victoria (to May 2017)
The Hon. Justice James Douglas – Queensland (to May 2019)

Elected Members

Professor Donald Ross – Academic Staff (to May 2020)
Dr Bill Franzsen – Academic Staff (to May 2019)
Associate Professor Michael Ondaatje – Academic Staff (to May 2019)
Ms Danielle Leahy – Professional Staff (to May 2020)
Ms Sarah Lye – Undergraduate Student (to December 2017)

Other Governing Bodies

Constituted under Sections 1-12 of the ACU Constitution, ACU Limited (Corporation) consists of 24 Members, divided according to Bishops and their nominees and Congregational Leaders. There are 24 Member in total. The President of Corporation is Most Reverend Denis Hart DD, Archbishop of Melbourne.

State based Chapters serve as conduits between the University’s multi-State campuses and the respective dioceses with respect to the application of the University’s teaching, research, mission and social engagement initiatives in the dioceses.

Reporting to the Senate are the following:

Standing and Finance Committee

Chair – Mr Julien O’Connell AM, Pro-Chancellor

Audit and Risk Committee

Chair – Mr Robert Baker (external to University)

Nominations and Remuneration Committee

Chair – The Hon. John Fahey AC, Chancellor

Honorary Awards Committee

Chair – The Hon. John Fahey AC, Chancellor

Academic Board

Chair – Professor Margot Hillel OAM

Ceremonial and Protocols Committee

Chair – Professor Pauline Nugent, Provost

Board of Identity

Chair – Most Reverend Denis Hart DD, Archbishop of Melbourne

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