The Hon. Gareth Evans AC QC

Chancellor of Australian National University

The Hon Gareth Evans AC QC took up his appointment as Chancellor of the Australian National University on 1 January 2010, and was appointed Honorary Professorial Fellow in 2012.

Born in September 1944, he went to Melbourne High School, and holds first class honours degrees in Law from the University of Melbourne and in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford. Before entering the Australian Parliament in 1978, he was an academic lawyer specialising in constitutional and civil liberties law and a barrister specialising in industrial law. He became a Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 1983.

A member of the Australian Parliament for 21 years, he was Senator for Victoria from 1978 to 1996, serving as Deputy Leader (1987-1993) and then Leader (1993-1996) of the Government, and was a member of the House of Representatives from 1996 until September 1999, serving as Deputy Leader of the Opposition (1996-1998). He was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments for 13 years, in the posts of Attorney General (1983-84), Minister for Resources and Energy (1984-87), Minister for Transport and Communications (1987-88) and Foreign Minister (1988-1996).

Gareth Evans was one of Australia’s longest serving Foreign Ministers, best known internationally for his roles in developing the UN peace plan for Cambodia, bringing to a conclusion the international Chemical Weapons Convention, founding the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and initiating the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

From 2000 to 2009 he was President and CEO of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation.

He has written or edited 12 books – including Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015 (co-author), Inside the Hawke-Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary (2014), and The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All (2008); has published many newspaper articles and over 100 journal articles and chapters on foreign relations, human rights and legal and constitutional reform; has honorary doctorates from Melbourne, Sydney, Carleton and Queen’s Universities; and has lectured at many universities around the world, including Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Yale, Stanford and the Central European University.

He has co-chaired two major International Commissions, on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2000-01), and Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2008-10), and has been a member of a number of others. He currently Co-Chairs the International Advisory Board of the New-York based Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and is Patron and Emeritus Convenor of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

In 2010 he was awarded the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute Four Freedoms Award for Freedom from Fear, for his pioneering work on the Responsibility to Protect concept and his contributions to conflict prevention and resolution, arms control and disarmament. He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2012 for his “eminent service to international relations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as an adviser to governments on global policy matters, to conflict prevention and resolution, and to arms control and disarmament”, and in the same year was elected an honorary Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia (FASSA). In December 2015 he was made a Companion of the Order of O.R. Tambo by South African for his contributions to the anti-apartheid movement.


University Profile

The Australian National University (ANU) was established by an Act of Federal Parliament in 1946 for the purpose of giving Australia a unique research institution that would advance the cause of research and learning, and take its place amongst the great universities of the world. In 1960 ANU began offering undergraduate degrees and accepted responsibility for research-led education at the same high standards. As the nation’s university, ANU has a special relationship with government, providing expert scholarship and advice to politicians and policy makers that contributes to advancing the Australian nation.

By international standards ANU is a relatively small university; it has, however, developed an enviable reputation. ANU is a global university that consistently ranks amongst the world’s finest institutions. The University recently ranked 19th in the QS World University Rankings, and is the first Australian university to be ranked in the world’s top twenty. ANU leads the nation in 10 discipline areas and ranks in the top 30 globally in 18 fields. The University has produced half of Australia’s Nobel Prize winners as well as a winner of the prestigious Japan Prize. ANU is also a member of the Group of Eight, a coalition of Australia’s eight leading research universities.

Australian National University is Australia’s most research intensive university. Since its establishment, ANU researchers have fundamentally changed the world for the better including advancing human understanding of the nervous system, led the successful effort to eradicate smallpox, and shed new light on the expansion of the Universe.

ANU is recognised for educational excellence that is characterised by a high quality curriculum and leadership in developing distinctive approaches to education. This distinctiveness is expressed in three areas: double degrees; research-led education; and online education. ANU is transforming the understanding of these areas by exploring and challenging the boundaries between the curricula and extra-curricular, between research and education, and between the global the national and the local.

ANU is located in Canberra, the national capital, in the Australian Capital Territory. The primary campus is spread over 145 hectares in the heart of Canberra. Its outstanding facilities include a wide range of laboratories and Australia’s most powerful supercomputer. Researchers are also based at observatories at Mount Stromlo in the ACT, Sidings Springs in NSW and the Northern Australian Research Unit in Darwin.

Students are drawn to ANU from across Australia and around the world. With a student population of around 23,000 (16,500 EFTSL), ANU also offers a unique residential experience to 5,000 students who live on the University’s campus. Close to 55 per cent of the ANU student population is enrolled at postgraduate level. ANU student satisfaction is the highest among the Group of Eight universities based on the overall satisfaction percentages from the 2013 Course Experience Questionnaire.

Australian National University alumni make up many of Australia’s business, industry and government leaders. Our alumni include a former prime minister, a number of Federal and State ministers and parliamentarians, Justices of the Courts, diplomats, leaders in the humanities and arts and world renowned scientists.

To find out more, visit the Australian National University website   



Australian National University Council

The Council of the Australian National University is established by the Australian National University Act 1991 (Cth), with 15 members who are appointed by the Council, the Federal Minister for Education and Training or elected by staff and students of the University.

The Council is the governing authority of the University. It has general oversight of the University, and is responsible for its general direction. The Council’s primary functions are to set the mission, values and strategic direction of the University; and to ensure the overall effective governance and management of the University, particularly its responsible financial and risk management.

Membership of the Australian National University’s Council  is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

Professor the Hon. Gareth Evans AC QC – Chancellor (to 31 December 2019)
Professor Brian P. Schmidt FC FAA FRS – Vice-Chancellor (to 31 December 2020)

Appointed Members – Ministerial

Ms Naomi Flutter – Pro-Chancellor (to 30 June 2022)
Mr Graeme Samuel AC (to 31 July 2019)
Dr Doug McTaggart (to 30 June 2020)
Professor Suzanne Cory AC (to 30 June 2022)
Ms Anne-Marie Schwirtlich AM (to 30 June 2021)
Mr Peter Yu (to 30 June 2020)
Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AM (to 30 June 2020)

Elected Members

Professor Catherine Waldby – Dean/Head of a Research School member (to 29 September 2018)
Vacancy – Academic Staff (to 29 September 2018)
Professor Tim Senden – Academic Staff (to 29 September 2018)
Mrs Claire Shrewsbury – Professional Staff (to 25 May 2020)
Ms Alyssa Shaw – Postgraduate Student (to 18 August 2018)
Ms Eleanor Kay – Undergraduate Student (to 30 November 2018)


Other Governing Bodies

Other Governing bodies within the University include:

Audit and Risk Management Committee

Chair – Mr Geoff Knuckey

Campus Planning Committee

Chair – Professor the Hon. Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor

Finance Committee

Chair – Mr Graeme Samuel AC

Honorary Degrees Committee

Chair – Professor the Hon. Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor

Nominations Committee

Chair – Professor the Hon. Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor

Remuneration Committee

Chair – Professor the Hon. Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor