The University of Queensland Chancellor Peter Varghese

Mr Peter N Varghese AO

Chancellor of The University of Queensland

Mr Varghese took up his position as the fourteenth Chancellor at The University of Queensland on 11 July 2016.

Prior to this appointment Mr Varghese was Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 3 December 2012 to 1 July 2016. His diplomatic appointments include High Commissioner to India (2009-12), High Commissioner to Malaysia (2000-02) and postings to Tokyo, Washington and Vienna.

From 2004-09, Mr Varghese was Director General of the Office of National Assessments, a statutory office which reports directly to the Prime Minister and also coordinates the Australian intelligence community.  In 2003, Mr Varghese was the senior international adviser in the office of Prime Minister John Howard.  He also headed up the international division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1998-99.

In 1996-97, Mr Varghese headed up the secretariat which drafted Australia’s first White Paper on foreign and trade policy.

Mr Varghese was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in 2010 for distinguished service to public administration, particularly in leading reform in the Australian intelligence community and as an adviser in the areas of foreign policy and international security. He was awarded a Doctor of Letters honoris causa by The University of Queensland in July 2013 in recognition of his distinguished service to diplomacy and Australian public service.

Mr Varghese is a graduate and university medalist in history from The University of Queensland.  He is married to Margaret Varghese.  They have one adult son and a grandson.

The University of Queensland is one of Australia’s leading teaching and research universities. For more than a century, we have educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world.

The University has more than 50,000 students, including more than 13,800 postgraduates and approximately 12,600 international students from 140 countries who study across UQ’s three campuses in South-East Queensland: St Lucia, Gatton, and Herston. UQ has one of Australia’s largest PhD enrolments and has graduated more than 12,600 PhDs. UQ has an annual operating budget of $1.71B and a dedicated team of almost 7000 staff.

UQ has a global network of over 236,000 alumni, which include a Nobel laureate, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, an Academy Award winner, and leaders in government, law, science, public service, the arts and sport.

UQ is one of only three Australian members of the global Universitas 21, a founding member of the Group of Eight (Go8) universities, and a member of Universities Australia.

Emboldened by a record of success and the prospect of contributing answers to the world’s greatest challenges, UQ people are aiming to deliver benefits to society and the environment worldwide.  UQ again topped the nation, and was one of the strongest Asia-Pacific institutions in the prestigious Nature index, which rates institutions and countries according to the number and quality of research publications.

University of Queensland logo.


One of Australia’s leading teaching and research universities.


UQ’s teachers share a passion for excellence in education,
receiving more Australian Awards for University Teaching than
any other Australian university.


Tens of millions of women and girls have been protected against
cervical cancer by the UQ-invented Gardasil® vaccine.


UQ is proud to collaborate with research institutions and
industry in 49 countries around the world.

The third Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment, conducted in 2015, reaffirmed the exceptional quality of research at UQ, with 100 per cent of UQ’s research – evaluated across all 22 broad fields of research and 97 specialised fields of research – rated as being at world standard or above. Ninety-five per cent of UQ’s broad fields of research were rated above or well above world standard, with 55 per cent receiving the highest rating – well above world standard.

UQ’s internationally significant research institutes are drawcards for an ever-expanding community of scientists, researchers and commercialisation experts.

UQ is a pacesetter in discovery and translational research across a broad spectrum of disciplines, ranging from bioscience and nanotechnology to mining, engineering, social science and humanities. UQ‘s world-class commercialisation model continues to bring innovative and unique research to the world.

Teachers at UQ share a passion for excellence in education that has led to them receiving more national teaching awards than any other Australian University. UQ has a strong focus on teaching excellence, with the goal of developing the next generation of global citizens with the skills and understanding to change our world.  UQ achieved the highest five-star rating for student demand, staff qualifications and getting a job in the Good Universities Guide 2016.

Currently, more than 152 UQ staff (including honorary and adjunct appointments) and professors emeriti are fellows of Australia’s learned academies, which include the Australian Academy of Science, Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

* for a list of UQ’s current rankings, visit The University of Queensland’s World Rankings opens-in-a-new-window page.

To find out more, visit The University of Queensland website opens-in-a-new-window

The University of Queensland Senate

Senate is the peak governing body of the University as constituted by The University of Queensland Act 1998. The 33rd Senate began its four-year term on 1 January 2014.

The primary role of Senate is to exercise oversight of the University and its affairs. In particular, Senate ensures that the appropriate structures, policies, processes and planning are in place for UQ to effectively manage its activities and achieve its goals. Senate reviews and approves the strategic direction of the University as outlined in The University of Queensland’s Strategic Plan.

Membership of The University of Queensland’s Senate is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

Mr Peter N Varghese AO – Chancellor
Professor Peter Høj – Vice Chancellor and President
Professor Fred D’Agostino – President of the Academic Board

Appointed Members – Governor-in-Council

Mr Tim Crommelin (to 31 December 2017)
Justice Martin Daubney (to 31 December 2017)
Mr Phil Hennessy (to 31 December 2017)
Dr Zelle Hodge AM (to 31 December 2017)
Mr Jamie Morrick (to 31 December 2017)
Mr Grant Murdoch (to 31 December 2017)
Mr Charlie Sartain (to 31 December 2017)

Appointed Members – Senate

Mrs Margaret Brown (to 31 December 2017)
Ms Tonianne Dwyer (to 31 December 2017)
Ms Michelle Tredenick (to 31 December 2017)

Elected Members

Associate Professor Greg Hainge – Academic Staff, elected by Academic Board (to 31 December 2017)
Associate Professor Tony Roberts – Academic Staff, elected by Academic Staff (to 31 December 2017)
Mr Mark Starkey – Professional Staff (to 31 December 2017)
Ms Kathy Hirschfeld – Graduate (to 31 December 2017)
Dr Carla Tromans – Graduate (to 31 December 2017)
Mr Michael Zivcic – Graduate (to 31 December 2017)
Mr Thomas Mackay – Postgraduate Student (to 31 December 2017)
Mr Dylan Kerr – Undergraduate Student (to 31 December 2017)

Other Governing Bodies

Other Governing bodies within the University include:

Academic Board

President – Professor Fred D’Agostino

Campus Infrastructure Committee

Chair – Ms Tonianne Dwyer

Equity, Diversity and the Status of Women Committee

Chair – Dr Zelle Hodge AM

Finance Committee

Chair – Mr Phil Hennessy

Governance Committee

Chair – Mr Peter N Varghese AO, Chancellor

Honorary Awards Committee

Chair – Mr Peter N Varghese AO, Chancellor

Nominations and Remuneration Committee

Chair – Mr Peter N Varghese AO, Chancellor

Risk Committee

Chair – Mr Grant Murdoch

Senate Student Appeals Committee

Chair – Professor Joanne Wright

Senate Discipline Appeals Committee

Chair – Justice Martin Daubney

Copyright © 2016 – 2017 The University of Queensland.