Mr David Flanagan AM CitWA

Chancellor of Murdoch University

Senate approved the appointment of Mr David Flanagan AM CitWA as its Chair and new Chancellor on 8 August 2013.  He was re-appointed for a further three-year term to 7 August 2019.

Mr Flanagan is a geologist with more than 25 years’ experience in the multi commodity mining and mineral exploration industry in Australia, Indonesia and Africa.

Mr Flanagan has a BSc Mining & Minerals Exploration Geology, undertaken at Curtin University, School of Mines in Western Australia. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

During 2014, Mr Flanagan was named the Western Australian of the Year and Western Australian Business Leader of the Year. He was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship in 2013 and remains active in the not for profit sector.

In January 2018 Mr Flanagan was awarded the prestigious Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia Award.


University Profile

Since it opened its doors in 1975, the University has delivered many outstanding achievements and grown to become a world-class, research-led university with over 23,000 students, including 2,000 overseas students from 90 countries studying in Perth and another 8,000 studying offshore at our campuses in Singapore and Dubai, and approximately 2,000 staff.   Over 70,000 people have graduated from Murdoch, including hundreds of Indigenous students.

The University’s Strategic Plan 2017-2027  sets  the purpose of the University  to be a creative force for current and future generations.  This is underpinned by two core goals – to provide an outstanding education experience for every student leading to our graduates being innovators fully prepared for their future careers; and to provide life changing solutions to complex world challenges.

Murdoch University is distinguished by a long and proud tradition of delivering quality research expertise across multi- and trans-disciplinary areas, with a commitment to fostering ongoing research partnerships and collaborations. While, by world standards the University is comparatively small, many of its academics are world leaders in their areas of expertise, and thus it is well placed to meet its vision as a leading international research-led university pursuing excellence in select fields of expertise.  The University has international standing as a leading institution in grain research, animal health and biosecurity and has established joint Australia-China research centres in these areas.  Murdoch University has been recognised as a world-leader in agriculture, medical research and physical chemistry.

The University has a long tradition of delivering high quality learning and teaching to a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds and ages.  The student body at Murdoch is diverse, comprising approximately fifty per-cent mature-age students and many students who are first in family to attend University.  The University has developed a reputation for flexible learning, innovative curriculum and supportive learning environment aimed to deliver well-rounded graduates with the 21st century skills required for the global knowledge society.  Murdoch University consistently works to provide an excellent, vibrant and diverse learning experience for students.  The University serves a global audience of learners on three continents.  High quality learning and teaching lies at the heart of our mission.  The learning and teaching strategy sets an ambitious vision for continued improvements to infrastructure, curriculum, delivery of learning and teaching and support services.

Murdoch University is active in local, regional and international community engagement to cultivate knowledge partnerships.  These collaborations aim to promote discussion and debate on matters such as food security, sustainability, health futures and cultural enrichment through the arts, humanities and social sciences in line with the University’s Strategic Plan.

To find out more, visit the Murdoch University website 



Murdoch University Senate

The Senate’s role and responsibilities:

2.2.1  The Senate’s role and responsibilities are derived from the Murdoch University Act 1973 (WA) Section 17 and specific resolutions that the Senate has passed.

2.2.2  The Murdoch University Act permits the Senate to delegate any of its functions (other than its power of delegation and making statutes, by-laws and regulations).

2.2.3  The Senate has resolved that it will have the following, primary responsibilities:

  1. The appointment and performance management of the Vice Chancellor

  2. Setting strategic directions for the University

  3. Monitoring University  performance  against  strategic  objectives,  including, through the Vice Chancellor and Academic Council, the academic activities of     the University

  4. Setting risk management policy and critically monitoring the management of risk across the University, including commercial undertakings

  5. Setting policy on strategic matters and on other matters reserved for Senate

  6. Setting and monitoring broad budget and planning frameworks, approving the annual budget and business plan, ensuring that the University finances are sound and taking major financial decisions

  7. Oversight of management

  8. Overview of any incorporated entities with limited liability, and of which the University has majority ownership or control (“Controlled Entities”)

  9. Legislative role, including ensuring that the University is acting ethically and in conformity with all legal requirements.

  10. Setting risk management policy and critically monitoring the management of risk across the University.

Membership of Murdoch University’s Senate is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

Mr David Flanagan – Chancellor (to 7 August 2019)
Professor Eeva Leinonen – Vice-Chancellor
Professor Parisa A. Bahri – President of Academic Council

Appointed Members – Governor

Mr Peter Kerr (to 21 December 2018)

Appointed Members – Senate

Mr Gavin Buckingham (to 17 August 2020)
Ms Ricky Burges PSM (to 10 March 2021)
Mr Ross Holt – Deputy Chancellor (to 9 June 2020)
Mr Ross Hughes (to 1 September 2020)
Mr Glen Kelly (to 23 May 2021)

Elected Members

Dr Gerd Schroeder-Turk – Academic Staff (to 11 March 2021)
Ms Julie Whitlock – Non-academic salaried staff (to 8 April 2021)
Mr Jordan Barham-Shepherd – Undergraduate Student (to 31 December 2018)
Mr Roland Belford – Graduate of the University (to 31 December 2020)


Other Governing Bodies

Other Governing bodies within the University include:

Audit & Risk Committee

Chair – Mr Gavin Buckingham

Chancellor’s and Nominations Committee

Chair – Mr David Flanagan, Chancellor

Honorary Awards & Ceremonial Committee

Chair – Mr David Flanagan, Chancellor

Resources Committee

Chair – Mr Peter Kerr

Academic Council

Chair – Professor Parisa A. Bahri