Griffith University Chancellor Henry Smerdon

Mr Henry Smerdon AM DUniv (Griff) BCom BEcom (Qld) FCPA FAICD

Chancellor of Griffith University

Mr Henry Smerdon AM DUniv is the University’s fifth Chancellor and Chair of a number of key University Committees.

Prior to commencing as Chancellor on 1 June 2015, Mr Smerdon was the Deputy Chancellor of the University from September 2000 to May 2015. Mr Smerdon’s association with Griffith dates back to April 1997 when he was first appointed as a Governor in Council member of the University Council.  Mr Smerdon has chaired the Finance, Resources and Risk Committee from 2000 to 2015.

Mr Smerdon’s distinguished finance career dates back to the 1980s. He was a senior executive at Queensland Treasury, where he served as Under Treasurer and Under Secretary from 1989 to 1994.  He was the Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Investment Corporation from 1995 to 1998. He was also the Government Statistician for Queensland from 1990 to 1995.

Mr Smerdon has been a member of and made significant contributions to many boards and committees over several decades, particularly in the finance, education and arts sectors. His extensive contributions were recognised in 2010 when he was appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM). His current directorships include Principal of Strategic and Financial Consulting Services; Director, National Trust of Australia (Qld); Chair, AustSafe Super Ltd; and Chair, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Committee. Previously, his Board memberships have included Chair, Flagship Investments Ltd; Chair, Queensland Education Institute Ltd; Chair, Queensland Performing Arts Trust; Foundation Chair, Q-Invest Ltd; Chair, Government Superannuation Funds; Deputy Chair, Queensland Industry Development; member, South Bank Corporation; member, Suncorp Insurance and Finance; and  board member/CEO, Queensland Investment Corporation, to mention but a few.

Griffith University is one of Australia’s most innovative tertiary institutions and an influential contributor to education and research in the Asia–Pacific region. Since opening in 1975, Griffith has grown from a small single campus of 451 students to a comprehensive university with over 50,000 students across five campuses in South East Queensland and a network of 120,000 graduates spanning the globe.

Griffith University ranks in the top three per cent of universities worldwide and is one of the world’s leading young universities; ranking 37th in the 2015–2016 QS University Rankings Top 50 Under 50, and 48th in the 2016 Times Higher Education Top 150 under 50. In the 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia ratings, Griffith was rated at world standard or above in 54 Fields of Research positioning it as one of Australia’s most comprehensive research universities. Scientific and health research highlights include world-leading research into developing a malaria vaccine, now at human trial stage, the world’s first photo of a shadow of an atom and leading research into using robots to improve the quality of life for dementia patients.

Griffith has a long history of offering new and innovative degrees that meet the ever-changing needs of students, industry and the community. As well as introducing Australia’s first degrees in important fields such as Asian studies and environmental science, Griffith University is a leader in online education.

Griffith University logo


In all major disciplines including Health, Business, Sciences,
Humanities and the Creative Arts.


World-leading research into drug discovery, vaccine development
and the creative application of technologies.


Extensive global mobility opportunities for domestic students.


More national citations than most other institutions, including
three-time recipient of Australian University Teacher of the year.

Today, Griffith University offers over 200 undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees in the disciplines of business and government, criminology and law, education, engineering and information technology, environment, planning and architecture, health, humanities and languages, music, science and aviation, and visual and creative arts.  These degrees are informed by cutting-edge research and delivered by some of Australia’s most highly awarded teachers. Year on year, Griffith features prominently in Australia’s national teaching awards and citations and its academic staff regularly win grants, awards, fellowships and scholarships for their innovation. Griffith is the only university to have three recipients of the prestigious Australian University Teacher of the Year award.

At Griffith, students benefit from an extensive network of industry partners to gain the academic knowledge expected from a world-class university, as well as the skills and confidence that employers want, giving them an edge in the job market. In recognition of this, in 2014 Griffith received five stars in the prestigious QS Stars ratings for graduate employability.

Griffith University is proud to be an Official Partner of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Through this partnership, students will have the opportunity to play a role in the lead up to and delivery of the biggest event in Australia this decade, with new internships, scholarships and unique learning opportunities available. Griffith staff will also lend their expertise in areas such as medicine and allied health, tourism and event planning, engineering, and IT.

To find out more, visit the Griffith University website opens-in-a-new-window

Council of Griffith University

Under the provisions of the Griffith University Act 1998 (QLD), the Council is the governing body of the University. Council provides oversight and leadership, and is responsible overall for the sound and effective governance of the University.

Membership of Griffith University’s Council is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

Mr Henry Smerdon AM DUniv – Chancellor (to 31 May 2018)
Professor Ian O’Connor AC – Vice-Chancellor

Appointed Members – Ministerial

Mr Ian Alderdice (to 30 October 2017)
Mr Clinton Dines (to 30 October 2017)
Mr Mark Gray (to 30 October 2017)
Ms Rachel Hunter DUniv – Deputy Chancellor (to 30 October 2017)
Mr Garry Redlich (to 30 October 2017)
Ms Ann Robilotta-Glenister OAM (to 30 October 2017)
Ms Rhonda White AO DUniv (to 30 October 2017)

Appointed Members – Council

Dr Robert Anderson OAM DUniv (to 31 December 2017)
Ms Sandra Anderson (to 31 December 2017)
Mr Craig Bassingthwaighte (to 31 December 2017)
The Hon. Robert Borbidge AO DUniv (to 31 December 2017)

Elected Members

Associate Professor Liz Jones – Academic Staff (to 27 October 2017)
Dr Arthur Poropat – Academic Staff (to 27 October 2017)
Dr Naveen Sharma – Professional Staff (to 27 October 2017)
Vacancy – Postgraduate Student (to 27 October 2017)
Vacancy – Undergraduate Student (to 27 October 2017)

Other Governing Bodies

Other Governing bodies within the University include:

Academic Committee

Chair – Professor Debra Henly, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Audit Committee

Chair – Mr Ian Rodin

Council Nominations Committee

Chair – Mr Henry Smerdon AM DUniv, Chancellor

Finance, Resources and Risk Committee

Chair – Mr Mark Gray

Honorary Degree Committee

Chair – Mr Henry Smerdon AM DUniv, Chancellor

Gold Coast Advisory Council

Chair – Dr John Kearney

Senior Staff Remuneration Committee

Chair – Mr Henry Smerdon AM DUniv, Chancellor

Griffith University Foundation Board

Acting chair – Professor Ian O’Connor, Vice-Chancellor

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