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.


University Profile

At ACU we pride ourselves on offering a welcoming environment for everyone. At the same time, we are a university committed to standing for something clear. We stand up for people in need and causes that matter.

The world is our campus

We’re young, but we’re making our mark. We’re ranked in the top 50 of Generation Y universities worldwide* and in the top 10 Catholic universities** – alongside Georgetown University and Boston College in the US. We put our students and staff at the centre of a vibrant global network of scholars, partnerships and opportunities. ACU has seven campuses around Australia ­– in Brisbane, North Sydney, Strathfield, Canberra, Ballarat, Melbourne and Adelaide – and a campus in Rome, Italy. Our students have the chance to study overseas with one of more than 200 partners around the world.

Engaged with industry and society

We’re closely integrated into our communities and industries, working with them to answer the big questions, and to create tangible results. All our students enjoy extensive opportunities for practical placements, and community engagement is a core part of their university experience. When they graduate, our students are ready to work.

We see the whole person

Everyone is welcome at ACU. We’re inclusive and supportive of everyone, every day, and our students feel it – giving us five stars for full-time employment, overall experience, learner engagement and skills development.***

From academic skills to career and counselling services, we have a range of support services to help our students succeed, and we offer nearly 400 scholarships.

Education with a bigger purpose

ACU offers programs in allied health, business, creative arts, early childhood education, global studies, humanities and social sciences, inclusive education and disability studies, information technology, law, nursing, midwifery and paramedicine, nutrition and biomedical science, philosophy, psychology, public health and administration, sport and exercise science, teaching and education, and theology.

Our research programs tackle enduring and pressing issues in society, in Australia, and around the world.

At ACU, it’s education, but with a bigger purpose.

* Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2018

** Times Higher Education World University Rankings 18/19, IFCU members

*** Good Universities Guide 2019

To find out more, view the Australian Catholic University Constitution  or visit the Australian Catholic University website



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 2020)
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 2020)
The Hon. Justice James Douglas – Queensland (to May 2019)

Elected Members

Dr Josephine Ryan – 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)
Michael Benson – Undergraduate Student (to December 2018)


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 – The Hon. John Fahey AC (Acting)