CQUniversity, and its Council, are established by the Central Queensland University Act 1998 (Qld).

The Council is the University’s governing body. The Council’s functions, powers and membership are prescribed in the Central Queensland University Act 1998. Council members are duty-bound to act honestly and with integrity; exercise due care, skill and diligence in their duties; make appropriately informed decisions; and to act always in the University’s interests. The Council Charter (available from our Policy Site) governs Council operations, sets out the responsibilities and duties of Council members, and requires members to comply with the University’s employee Code of Conduct.

Responsibilities of Council

  • To appoint the University's staff; in particular the Vice-Chancellor and President as the chief executive officer of the University and to monitor their performance.
  • To manage and control the University's affairs and property, principally by approving the strategic direction of the University.
  • To manage and control the University's finances, by approving the annual budget and operational plans.

Council committees

Council is supported by the following committees. Terms of Reference for these committees are available from our Policy Site.

  • Academic Board
  • Audit, Risk and Finance Committee
  • Ceremonial and Honorary Awards Committee
  • Chancellor's Committee
  • Strategic Planning and Projects Committee

Council membership

The maximum period for a member's service on the Council is normally 12 years.

Mr Graeme Innes AM, Chancellor

Official Member, 6 December 2022 to 5 December 2027

LLB Syd, HonDUni Canberra, HonDSocSc RMIT, HonLLD UNSW, HonDUni ECU, FAICD

Graeme is a lawyer, author and company director. He was Australia's Disability Discrimination Commissioner from 2005 to 2014, and also Race and Human Rights Commissioner for periods during that time. He is a lifelong advocate, leading public inquiries on same sex: same entitlements, work on making buildings and public transport accessible for people with disabilities, and inspections of Australia's Immigration Detention Centres.


Official Member, 11 April 2018 to 10 April 2024

BAppSc(Biol) Curtin, BSc(Hons) Murdoch, PhD Glasgow, AdvMgtProg Harvard

In his role as Vice-Chancellor and President, Nick drives the strategic planning, financial and external affairs of the University across its network of campus and teaching locations in Australia. Nick also represents the University to government, industry, the wider community and internationally. Nick is passionate about student engagement in learning, excellence in teaching, and research with impact. He has been presented with a teaching excellence award, has been nominated for awards in the promotion of science, and is recognised internationally for his research in applied ecology and environmental science.

sandra lawrence similing at camera

Appointed Member (appointed by Governor in Council), 27 May 2022 to 26 May 2026

GradCertOpenDistL USQ, GradCertEd, MLInnov QUT

From an early career in secondary school, university and TAFE teaching, Sandra’s professional focus has always remained on accessible, engaging, and quality education and training. This focus has anchored her work in strategy and planning, learning technologies, partnerships, course development, learning design, business and systems improvement, innovation, evaluation and mentoring. Her special interest is in vocational education and training because she has seen it transform the lives of so many graduates, as well as those of their families and communities.


Appointed Member (appointed by Governor in Council), 27 May 2014 to 26 May 2026

BBus(Acct) CIAE, BA(CompSt) Canberra, HonDUni CQU, FCPA, FCAANZ, FIPAA, GAICD

Ian is a company director, a member of a number of audit committees, and has undertaken a range of strategic governance reviews. Ian has held a range of senior executive positions in the Australian Public Service, including Deputy Secretary, Financial Management Group, Department of Finance, and Auditor-General for Australia from 2005 to 2015. Following his accounting studies at CQU, Ian has had a close involvement with the accounting profession during his career, having served as a member, Deputy Chair or Chair of several Standards Boards. He is currently a member of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants. Ian is a Fellow (and Life Member) of CPAA, CA ANZ and IPAA, and a graduate of the AICD. Ian was awarded an honorary First Class Medal of Honour by the Government of Indonesia in 2009, the honorary degree of Doctor of the University by CQUniversity in 2012, and is currently a Distinguished Honorary Professor at the Australian National University.


Appointed Member (appointed by Governor in Council), 8 December 2011 to 26 May 2026

CertGovPrac GIA, BAppSc(MLS) RMIT, GradDipScsComm CQU, PhD London, AGIA

Robyn’s career foundations were in haematology & blood transfusion diagnostic & research laboratories in Australia & Europe. Following an ‘academic immersion’ (Senior Lecturer in Haematology at RMIT), she was appointed as Chief Scientist for the QLD Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service.  In the newly nationalised Blood Service, she was R&D Executive Manager for Australia-wide research teams & was appointed Passive Immunity Program Leader in the CRC for Vaccine Technology with CSL Ltd. She is an expert strategic & risk management advisor for complex, regulated environments (TEQSA, TGA, NATA). A dedicated health consumer representative, Robyn is also a regional and rural advocate. To her CQUniversity roles, she brings a sound background in executive leadership & governance, with an interest in organisational ethics. Her passion is for mentoring students, early career research scientists & women transitioning to leadership roles. 

Benjamin Brown

Additional member (appointed by Council), 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2024

BEng (Civil) CQU, GAICD, CPEng, MIEAust

Ben is Senior Engineering consultant and project manager based out of Bundaberg. His primary focus is delivering private development and infrastructure projects from concept to construction throughout Queensland. Ben strongly believes that graduates from our University are an asset to the communities they work in and is driven to seeing growth of these communities through association with the University.


Additional member (appointed by Council), 10 November 2016 to 9 November 2024


Joel is the Principal of Pimlico State High School in Townsville. He has taught and held leadership roles in a range of public schools in rural, regional and metropolitan settings as well as within remote Indigenous communities. Joel has also held a number of advisory and board roles with a focus on youth, education and regional development. He is one of twelve Queensland Plan Ambassadors appointed by the Premier to lead community engagement and provide strategic advice in relation to the state's 30-year strategic plan. Joel is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Council of International Schools and he has previously served as the Deputy Convenor of the National Advisory Council for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


Additional member (appointed by Council), 27 June 2018 to 30 June 2025

BGenBus Wichita, GAICD

Deputy Chancellor (6 July 2023 to 30 June 2025)

Shelia has been actively involved in the field of International Education for over 25 years. She has extensive experience successfully leading large, complex and diverse global organisations, including one of the world's largest study abroad companies. Shelia is also passionate about philanthropy and is helping students in need through her Foundation for Global Scholars.


Additional member (appointed by Council), 13 May 2014 to 12 May 2024

BA Macq, LLB Sydney, MSc Oxf, FAICD, CMgr FIML, CAHRI

Mark has practised as a Lawyer for over thirty years in the UK, NSW and Queensland. He has a strong background in commercial litigation and now practises solely in employment law and workplace relations. He has a passion for good corporate governance, particularly in education, having held board positions in one of Queensland's largest group training apprenticeship schemes, and a leading independent school in North Queensland where he was Chairman for over 12 years.

Kate Ames

Elected Member (Academic and Teaching Employees), 1 February 2022 to 31 January 2026

BBus(Comm) QUT, MLitt(CultSt) CQU, PhD Sydney

Kate is Director, Learning Design and Innovation. She has an academic background as a cultural sociologist, and has been nationally recognised for excellence in leadership and teaching over a long career as an educator. She leads a unit that develops innovative online courses and academic capability in teaching online and on-campus. Kate has served in the Australian Army (Reserve) since 1997, and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel where she is instrumental in developing and delivering training for joint public affairs capability in the Australian Defence Force. Kate has directorship experience as Director of not-for-profit youth organisation Fearless Towards Success which aims to improve the transitional experience for youth detainees. Kate is an experienced mentor and coach across tertiary and business sectors, and the author and co-author of books including Will to Live (2014), which is a memoir on her brother Matthew Ames, a quadruple amputee. She is committed to equity, access, and diversity in education to build student confidence and enable success, with a particular interest in regional and remote students.


Elected Member (Professional Employees), 5 January 2017 to 5 January 2025


Bruce is the elected Professional Staff member on Council. Bruce is a Senior Systems Engineer in the Digital Services Directorate. Bruce is an Alumnus and long-standing staff member of the University and has been part of the journey from the days of the Capricornia Institute to the diverse locations and offerings we have today. Bruce has a strong family bond to the University with his wife, both of his parents and his brothers also being alumni. Bruce has strong community ties in Rockhampton, particularly with sporting affiliations in basketball and Australian Rules Football.

Abhinav (Abby) Agrawal

Elected Member (Student), 1 February 2023 to 31 January 2025

CertIVTrainAssess IFAP, DipOHS HBA, DipBldgConst Techskill, AdvDipHospMgt AlexColl, BBus(IS&HospMgt) ECU, GradDipHRM, MBA Murdoch, GAICD, MAHRI.

Abby is a highly regarded business leader who brings a varied range of experience with him from multiple industries where he formed part of diversified functions leading and managing complex projects and teams. Abby has extensive people and network management experience and has held responsibility for the development of stakeholder engagement plans for the operational and service delivery of workplace functions for more than 15 years. Abby has been involved in establishing and planning the long-term strategic goals, corporate and management plans, and long-term policy direction towards providing constructive, objective and unbiased recommendations to multiple teams deployed within the functions and projects. Abby was previously a member of the Senate and various sub-committees at Murdoch University. Abby is in the final year of his Bachelor of Laws at CQUniversity. Abby joined Council with the vision to drive learning enhancement with his passion for education and reconciliation while committed to creating opportunities for individuals from all environments and backgrounds to pursue their ambitions and dreams in a way that can have a global impact.

Ms Kylie White, CertGovPrac CSA, BMmSt CQU, GradCertQA, MTertEd(Mgt) Melb

University Secretary / Director Governance