Mr Neil Balnaves AO
Chancellor of Charles Darwin University
Mr Neil Balnaves AO is the third Chancellor of Charles Darwin University and took up his appointment on 22 April 2016.
Mr Balnaves has worked in the media industry for over 45 years, previously holding the position of Executive Chairman of the Southern Star Group which he founded. Mr Balnaves was the Chairman of Ardent Leisure Group, one of Australia’s most successful owners and operators of premium leisure assets. He is a Trustee Member of Bond University and in 2009 received an Honorary Doctorate of that University. He is a Director of the Sydney Orthopaedic Research Institute, a member of the Advisory Council and Dean’s Circle of the University of New South Wales (Faculty of Medicine) and in 2010 received an Honorary Doctorate of that University. Mr Balnaves is a Board member of the Art Gallery of South Australia, a Director of Technicolor Australia Limited, serves on numerous advisory and community organisations and is a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
In 2006 Mr Balnaves established The Balnaves Foundation, a philanthropic fund that disperses more than $2.5 million annually in supporting eligible organisations that aim to create a better Australia through education, medicine, and the arts with a focus on young people, the disadvantaged and Indigenous communities.
In 2010 Mr Balnaves was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to business and philanthropy.
Charles Darwin University is a new world university; committed to bringing people together to use knowledge to shape the future. It’s a place where everyone can follow their passion to make things better – however big or small.
The University’s main campus is located in Australia’s most northern capital city of Darwin; a young, multicultural and cosmopolitan tropical city that sits on the rim of South-East Asia. As the only university in the Northern Territory, CDU is uniquely placed to provide education, training and research expertise to match the growing focus on Australia’s north.
The University was conceived to support the economic, environmental, cultural and social development of the Northern Territory. Working in partnership with the Territory and Commonwealth governments, CDU has established a Higher Education, Vocational Education and Training, and Research portfolio strongly focused on Northern Australia and the surrounding South-East Asian region.
The University has grown from local community origins during the past 50 years to become an internationally renowned dual sector university that caters for students across the Northern Territory, Australia and the world.
The University has developed innovative methods of flexible delivery to broaden outreach to students with online learning. Enriched by the social, cultural and natural endowments of the Northern Territory, and a commitment to the advancement and prosperity of the region, Charles Darwin University enables staff and prepares students to be creative thinkers and effective contributors in a complex and changing world.
Driven by the need for students to be educated as specialists and trained to be job ready in fields that benefit the local and national economies, and ranked as one of Australia’s top 3 universities under 50 (Times Higher Education rankings 2015-2016), CDU has cemented their position as a sustainable, innovative, multi-sector tertiary education provider.
Today Charles Darwin University has more than 24,000 students spread across 11 campuses and centres in the Northern Territory, as well as in Melbourne, Sydney and online. CDU also delivers training in more than 170 locations across the Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
Recognised leaders in environmental studies (tropical and desert knowledges), Indigenous education and studies, remote nursing and education, South-East Asian studies and online learning; the diversity of the University’s study programs and delivery methods is rare among Australia’s universities.
To find out more, visit the Charles Darwin University website www.cdu.edu.au
Council of Charles Darwin University
Council assumes stewardship of the University through a set of responsibilities set out in Section 8 of the Charles Darwin University Act 2003 (NT). Council works to:
Monitor the performance of the Vice-Chancellor
Approve the mission and strategic direction of the University
Approve the budget and business plan of the University
Oversee the management of the University, including approving significant commercial activities
Regularly review delegations under the Act
Monitor systems of accountability implemented by the University
Review management practices and performance of the University
Oversee risk management across the University.
Membership of Charles Darwin University’s Council is as follows:
Mr Neil Balnaves AO – Chancellor (to 31 December 2018)
Professor Simon Maddocks – Vice-Chancellor
Dr Aggie Wegner – Chair of Academic Board (to 31 December 2021)
Appointed Members – Administrator
Professor Judith Whitworth AC (to 29 September 2021)
Mr Alan Morris (to 29 September 2021)
Mr Richard Ryan AO (to 18 April 2019)
Mr Ken Davies (to 18 April 2019)
Ms Jodie Ryan (to 18 August 2020)
Mr Raymond Simpson – Academic Staff (to 31 December 2019)
Mrs Leena Kesava Panicker – Academic Staff (to 31 December 2019)
Ms Rachel Jones – Undergraduate Student (to 31 December 2018)
Mr Bryan Baker – Postgraduate Student (to 31 December 2018)
Other Governing Bodies
Other Governing bodies within the University include:
Chair – Dr Aggie Wegner
Finance and Infrastructure Development Committee
Chair – Mr Richard Ryan AO
Audit and Risk Committee
Chair – Mr Alan Morris
Nominations, Honorary Awards and Legislation Committee
Chair – Mr Neil Balnaves AO, Chancellor
Chair – Mr Neil Balnaves AO, Chancellor
Chair – Ms Joanne Schilling