Board of Identity

Terms of Reference


The Australian Catholic University (ACU) Board of Identity has been established to provide objective and independent advice and guidance on issues relevant to the Catholic identity and mission of the University.

Under these Terms of Reference, the Board will undertake an annual review of the progress of the University in terms of its Catholic character and will also undertake from time to time more focused examinations of particular areas of the University’s activities, academic or otherwise, either on its own initiative, or at the request of Company or Senate.

The Board of Identity is intended to serve as a principal means of enhancing the internal Catholic identity of ACU, strengthening the University’s external Catholic focus and promoting greater understanding of the mission of the University as a Catholic University.

The ACU Board of Identity has been designed to complement the regular review and evaluation work within the University and will, therefore, undertake to improve the University’s Catholic character.

Under the Constitution of the Corporation of the University, Company retains full responsibility for the Catholic character of the University. Company typically meets only annually and the creation of the Board of Identity should greatly assist it in discharging its responsibilities.


The Board is to be constituted so as to focus assurance of the Catholic character of the University at the highest and most appropriate level, with its composition being as follows:

  • Archbishop of Sydney, and nominee;
  • Archbishop of Melbourne, and nominee;
  • Archbishop of Brisbane, and nominee;
  • Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, or nominee;
  • Bishop of Ballarat, or nominee
  • Archbishop of Adelaide, or nominee
  • Bishop of Parramatta, or nominee;
  • Two episcopal nominees of the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference; and
  • The Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor and President (ex officio, and non-voting)

The Archbishops of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be accorded membership and the right of nomination, both on the basis that they comprise the Metropolitan membership of the Corporation of the University and to allow their effective representation in face of their numerous obligations and responsibilities.

The two nominees of the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference represent the interests of Bishops who are neither members of the Corporation of the University, nor possess campuses of the University within their Diocese, but whose Diocese nevertheless has significant engagement with the work of the University.

A total membership of fourteen allows the Board to effectively constitute sub-committees and working parties from time to time.


The Board will choose its own Chair, who will be supported by the University administration in:

  • Setting the agenda;
  • Ensuring the minutes of Board of Identity meetings are recorded;
  • Reviewing the minutes before they are distributed to members.


The Directorate of Governance will provide secretariat support to the Board of Identity and will be responsible for:

  • Arranging meetings with members
  • Preparing and distributing the agenda and discussion papers for each meeting at least one (1) week before the meeting
  • Preparing and distributing the minutes of each meeting to members within 14 working days of the date of the meeting of which they are a record
  • Preparing briefings, reports and correspondence


The Board of Identity will meet twice per year (ie once per semester). The duration of meetings will be two to three hours, and each meeting will commence with Mass. The committee may rotate locations for its meetings between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Given the strategic nature of these meetings, participants are asked to attend in person. However, teleconference facilities will be available if a member is unable to attend in person.

Date of Establishment: 3 March 2014 (inaugural meeting)

Meeting frequency: 2 times per year

Responsible Officer: Director of Identity and Mission

Executive Officer: Governance Officer, Directorate of Governance