The Hon. Hendy Cowan AO

Chancellor of Edith Cowan University

Hendy Cowan was elected to the Western Australian Parliament in 1974.  He held the rural seat of Merredin-Yilgarn, later renamed Merredin, until he retired in 2001.  He served as the Leader of the National Party for 23 years.  In the period from 1993 to 2001, he was the State Deputy Premier, Minister for Commerce and Trade, Regional Development and Small Business.

Since retirement, his principal interest is farming, although he has a small number of company directorships and is also active in not-for-profit organisations.  He joined the board of the Cancer Council Western Australia in 2001 and was elected President in 2003.  He retired from the presidency in 2008, but remains on the board.  In 2003, Hendy was elected Western Australia’s representative on the board of the Cancer Council Australia (CCA) and in 2010 was elected President of the CCA for a three-year term.

In 2004, Hendy was appointed to the Governing Council of Edith Cowan University and in 2005 he was appointed Chancellor. His term is due to run until 31 December 2018.

Hendy has two honorary doctorates, one from Edith Cowan University and the other from Murdoch University.  He is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and in 2004 won the Governor’s Award for Regional Development in the Citizen of the Year Awards.  In June 2014, Hendy was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.


University Profile

Edith Cowan University (ECU) provides the ideal learning environment for people who want to reach their potential.

Located in Western Australia, ECU’s industry-relevant teaching and research, supportive study environment and award-winning facilities enable ECU students to do more than just survive in this world – they thrive in it.

Established in 1991, ECU took the opportunity to reshape the way higher education is delivered in a distinctive and inspiring campus environment.

Edith Cowan University courses are developed in consultation with industry, and teaching staff have extensive industry experience and networks. It’s why ECU students can expect placement opportunities, fieldwork, practicums and networking events as part of their studies.

This approach has been rewarded with five-star ratings for teaching quality over the past seven years, along with consistently high ratings for graduate satisfaction and generic skills, as reported in the Good Universities Guide.

ECU’s world-class research strives to make a difference to the community in Western Australia and beyond. ECU focuses on working with our communities, business and government organisations to solve real-world problems.

The University was named after Edith Dirksey Cowan, the first woman to be elected to an Australian Parliament. Her life was dedicated to the belief that education was the key to growth, change and improvement in society.

ECU received five-stars for our teaching quality in the Good
Universities Guide 2016 for the seventh year in a row.

Her example informs Edith Cowan University’s values as we pride ourselves in developing capable graduates who lead engaged and productive lives in the communities in which they live and work.

ECU has more than 27,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. We also annually welcome over 4,000 international students, originating from more than 100 countries.

ECU’s eight Schools collectively deliver more than 300 diverse courses across Health & Medical Sciences, Engineering, Education, Arts & Humanities, Business & Law, Nursing & Midwifery, Science and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Courses are offered on our three campuses – Joondalup and Mount Lawley in metropolitan Perth and the South West Campus at Bunbury, 200km south of the capital city. ECU also offers a comprehensive suite of online study options.

Edith Cowan University incorporates the world-renowned Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, the oldest and most popular School of Education in Western Australia, the largest Nursing program in the State, and Kurongkurl Katitjin, our Centre for Australian Indigenous Education and Research.

To find out more, visit the Edith Cowan University website 



Edith Cowan University Council

The University Council is the governing body which controls and manages the operation, affairs, concerns and property of the University, in accordance with the Corporate Governance Statement. The University Council and the senior management team work together to ensure that the University achieves its goals.

Membership of Edith Cowan University’s Council is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

The Hon. Hendy Cowan AO – Chancellor
Professor Steve Chapman CBE – Vice-Chancellor

Appointed Members – Governor

Mr Eddie Bartnik (to 11 June 2018)
Dr Pamela Garnett (to 19 September 2018)
Mr John Cahill (to 8 August 2020)
Ms Denise Goldsworthy (to 29 April 2019)

Appointed Members – Minister

Ms Dorothy Collins (to 7 June 2018)

Appointed Members – Council

Ms Kelly Hick – Deputy Chancellor (to 17 March 2018)
Mr Brian Piesse (to 11 September 2019)
Ms Janet Curran (to 19 September 2018)
Ms Janelle Marr (to 24 September 2019)

Elected Members

Associate Professor Mark McMahon – Academic Staff (to 30 September 2018)
Associate Professor Ute Mueller – Academic Staff (to 30 September 2018)
Vacant – Professional Staff
Mr Done Boben – Student (to 10 October 2017)
Mr Samuel Martyn – Student (to 10 October 2017)
Mr Brad McManus – Graduate (to 21 December 2017)


Other Governing Bodies

Other Governing bodies within the University include:

Council Executive Committee

Chair – The Hon. Hendy Cowan AO, Chancellor

ECU Foundation Board

Chair – Mr Brad McManus

Governance and Nominations Committee

Chair – The Hon. Hendy Cowan AO, Chancellor

Honorary Awards Committee

Chair – The Hon. Hendy Cowan AO, Chancellor

Legislative Committee

Chair – The Hon. Hendy Cowan AO, Chancellor

Quality, Audit and Risk Committee

Chair – Ms Denise Goldsworthy

Resources Committee

Chair – Mr John Cahill

South West Campus (Bunbury) Advisory Board

Chair – Mr Brian Piesse

Advisory Board of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts Board

Chair – Vacant