The University of Tasmania is governed by the University Council, chaired by the Chancellor, and assisted by its committees, including Academic Senate.

The University of Tasmania is a statutory corporation, continued under the University of Tasmania Act 1992, governed by University Council chaired by the Chancellor and advised by Academic Senate and a number of other committees.

A Governance Instruments Framework provides guidance and accountability in decision-making under the Act and includes the University’s ordinances, by-laws, policies and procedures.


The University Council is the governing body of the University of Tasmania. It is established by the University of Tasmania Act 1992.

University Council is chaired by current Chancellor, Ms Alison Watkins AM, who is elected by Council members.

The role of the Chancellor is to chair Council, confer degrees and to work with the Vice-Chancellor as chief academic and executive officer of the University to ensure that major decisions of the University are sound. This means that the Vice-Chancellor will consult with the Chancellor and Council and seek guidance or input as is appropriate and keep the Chancellor informed of developments in the University that may have strategic significance.

Alison Watkins

Alison grew up on a farm in regional Tasmania. She attended Sorell Primary School and St Michael’s Collegiate in Hobart and studied at the University of Tasmania.

She is an experienced CEO and member of executive boards. She is a member of the Reserve Bank of Australia Board, a director of CSL Limited and a non-executive director of Wesfarmers Limited. She is also a director of the Business Council of Australia and the Centre for Independent Studies.

Alison’s previous roles include Group Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil, Chief Executive Officer of GrainCorp Limited and Berri Limited, and Managing Director of Regional Banking at ANZ. Alison spent 10 years at McKinsey & Company from 1989-1999 and became a partner of the firm in 1996 before moving to ANZ as Group General Manager Strategy. Alison has been a non-executive director of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Woolworths Limited and Just Group Limited.

University Council

The University Council is required to act in all matters of the University in the way it considers will best advance the interests of the University.

It has the power to do all things necessary to fulfil its role as the University's governing authority.

It is advised by its committees, its working parties, and (in relation to academic matters) the Academic Senate.

Find out more about the constitution, functions and powers of the University Council

Ashley Townsend

Ashley Townsend is a co-Director of the University of Tasmania’s Central Science Laboratory, with internationally recognised expertise in the field of Atomic Spectrometry.

Born and raised in Burnie, Ashley progressed through the public school system and completed his first year of university studies on the NW Coast (prior to the inception of the Cradle Coast Campus). He completed a Science degree with First Class Honours (1990) and a PhD (1994), both in Chemistry, from the University of Tasmania.

During his time as an instrumental analytical scientist with the Central Science Laboratory, he has made extensive contributions focusing on the analysis of elements and isotopes at the lowest levels in challenging samples from local and other pristine areas (for example Antarctica and the Southern Ocean). In particular Ashley has worked in teams developing monitoring procedures and analytical strategies leading to improved understanding of complex environmental situations. The quality of this work was recognised through receipt of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s Environmental Chemistry Medal, as well as a prestigious opportunity to address the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, both in 2013.

With a strong commitment to service and aptitude for leadership and governance, Ashley has contributed to many senior University of Tasmania committees including: Council (2000-01; 2023-), North West Advisory Board (2002-05), Alumni Committee (2004-16; Chair 2011-16), Academic Senate (2008-19) and University Foundation Committee and Board (2017-). Externally, he has also served multiple terms on the Board of Directors of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. Ashley is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Term expires:
    31 December 2024
Karina Groenewoud

Karina Groenewoud is the Director Governance and Compliance at the University of Tasmania with responsibility for providing leadership, advice and guidance to the University on its governance instruments framework, decision making and the University’s diverse managerial compliance function. In 2020 she led the transformation of the University’s outdated suite of governance instruments to a modern and effective framework; a project which was awarded the 2020 Vice-Chancellor’s Transformation Award and the 2021 ATEM Best Practice Award for Excellence in Governance and Policy.

Karina has held various governance and general management roles at the University over the last 11 years and prior to that, spent 16 years in the Tasmanian public sector in governance, management and project roles in the education and vocational education and training sectors. She started her working life as a researcher, first at the CSIRO and then in the School of Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania.

An experienced Company Secretary, Karina holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Tasmania. She is a graduate and current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Certificate IV in Competitive Systems and Practices (Lean Management).

  • Term expires:
    31 December 2024
Sheree Vertigan

Based in Devonport, Sheree Vertigan AM was appointed to Council in 2021.

Sheree was born in Tasmania, studied at the University of Tasmania (BA, Dip Ed, M ED), worked for the Tasmanian Department of Education in a variety of roles across the State including serving as Principal of Reece High School in Devonport, before leaving Reece High to take up the position of Executive Director and National President of the Australian Secondary Principals Association. Sheree maintains a strong connection to education through private consultancy and as Executive Secretary for the International Confederation of Principals.

In addition to her work in education, Sheree is actively involved in supporting and promoting the North- West region. She lobbied both the federal and state government to fund the development of the Devonport Country Club, and then project managed the development and the amalgamation of three sporting clubs to create the new entity. Sheree is currently a Director and Regional Economic Development Steering Group Chair for the Cradle Coast Authority, Committee Member for Regional Development Australia, and the Chair for the Live and Learn Steering group for the Devonport City Council.

There are three things that Sheree is truly passionate about after family: education and training, the North- West Region and Tasmania. In short, Sheree wants to use her experience and skills to create a better future and a sustainable future for our community.

  • Term expires:
    31 December 2023
Tara Howell

Based in Launceston, Tara was appointed to Council in 2021.

Tara has a passion for Tasmania and has brought to fruition a number of acclaimed projects including ‘Blue Derby Pods Ride’ and ‘Change Overnight’.

Blue Derby Pods Ride is the first and only five-star mountain biking experience in Australia, and has proudly afforded Tara a 2018 and 2019 Tasmanian Tourism Silver Award for Adventure Tourism, the 2018 Tasmanian Young Achiever of the Year for Tourism, and the 2017 Trailblazing Innovator of the Year Award, all in the business's first two years of operation. Never far from innovation in the Tourism space, Tara was excited to co-found Change Overnight in mid-2019 - a 31-bed hotel which gives back something tangible to the world with every night's stay.

With a strong background in the space of Brand and Marketing, Tara continually looks to ask the tough questions which few seem to be asking, and to challenge the status quo. Tara wholly embraces her creative and challenging nature, and will continue to advocate and innovate for a more sustainable world. Tara strongly believes that equality in opportunity, especially gender equality globally, is a clear pathway forward to realising this goal.

  • Term expires:
    31 December 2023
Sarah-Jane Hall

Sarah-Jayne Hall was appointed to University Council in 2022 and is also a Non-Executive Director of UTAS Properties.

Sarah-Jayne grew up on a farm near Deloraine and currently resides in Launceston, where she is a co-owner of a multi-award winning distillery. She has spent the bulk of her career in Melbourne and the United States, predominately in New York City. Sarah-Jayne is an experienced lawyer and executive, having practised corporate and finance law at large international law firms and also worked as a senior executive at a property investment and development group.

Sarah-Jayne is a graduate of the University of Tasmania with degrees in Arts and Law and is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Term expires:
    31 December 2024
Alicia Leis

With a professional advisory career spanning over 20 years, Alicia is an advisor to industry and government in the areas of strategy, risk, governance, stakeholder consultation, and special investigations.

Alicia grew up on the North West Coast of Tasmania and studied at the University of Tasmania. Building on a career which included time in both Melbourne and London, Alicia was appointed as a Partner to WLF Accounting & Advisory in 2013. With a background in financial audit, internal audit, and risk, Alicia has gone on to establish a large and varied client base consisting of government, large private businesses, and government enterprises and won the Tasmanian Telstra Businesswoman of the Year in 2016 in the Corporate and Private Category.

Alicia has a Bachelor of Commerce, is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Associate member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and is an independent member on a number of Audit and Risk Committees.

Alicia was appointed to University Council commencing in February of 2022.

  • Term expires:
    10 February 2025
Peter Dawkins

Peter Dawkins is an economist and educator, whose academic career has spanned teaching, research and administration in various universities in Australia, and before 1984 in the UK. He was Vice-Chancellor and President of Victoria University (2011-2020), the Ronald Henderson Professor and Director of the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne (1996-2005), and Professor of Economics at Curtin University (1990-1995). He is now an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Mitchell Institute for Education and Health Policy at Victoria University. He holds a B.Sc. (hons) and PhD from Loughborough University and a M.Sc. (Econ) from the University of London.

For six years (2005-2010) he was a senior public servant in Victoria, as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of Education. He has a passion for the power of education to transform lives and for evidence-based public policy.

At Victoria University, Peter led the implementation of the Block Model, an Australian first, university-wide innovation, in which students study one subject at a time, in smaller classes. He also led an engagement strategy with the community, industry and government in the West of Melbourne,. He has an ongoing commitment to his region as chair of the West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance (WoMEDA).

He has published a number of books and many articles and has served on a range of government committees and reviews including the Prime Minister's, Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, and is currently co-leading a review for the Federal Minister for Education on industry-university partnerships in teaching and Learning,

In 2017 he became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration (Australia}, and an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders. He is a board member of UniSuper and of UniSport Australia. Peter is married to Sue Sleep and has two grown up children, Emily and Mark. He has a passion for sport, especially cricket, but now plays golf and supports the Western Bulldogs in the AFL.

  • Term expires:
    30 June 2024
James Groom

James Groom is an experienced lawyer, adviser and director. He was appointed to the University Council in 2019 and as Deputy Chancellor in December 2021. James is also Chair of the Strategic Resourcing Committee and a member of the Remuneration and Nominations Committee.

James has a BA (Hons)/LLB degree from the University of Tasmania. He has worked with leading commercial law firms in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

James is currently a principal of Groom Kennedy Lawyers and Advisors and a director of public and private companies. He lives in Hobart with his wife Kate and their three children. His mother Gillian and four of his five siblings are also law graduates of the University of Tasmania.

  • Term expires:
    31 December 2024
Ariane Moore

Ariane 'Ari' Moore is a PhD candidate in philosophy of religion at the University of Tasmania and the appointed Student Council Member for 2023.

Raised in Cairns in Far North Queensland, Ari graduated from Deakin University in Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Philosophy and was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding Contribution to University Life. Ari moved to Hobart in January 2020 to commence her PhD.

While at the University of Tasmania, Ari completed a term as the elected Postgraduate President of TUSA and is the first postgraduate recipient of a Vice-Chancellor's Leadership Award in Community Service.

With experience across several roles in academia and government, including at the Parliament of Victoria, Ari has also studied in India, South Korea, and recently as a Fulbright Scholar in the United States. She holds a Cert IV in Leadership & Management and a Cert IV in Business.

Passionate about advancing higher education and all things Tasmanian, Ari is eager to contribute to decision-making in leadership and governance at the University of Tasmania.

  • Term expires:
    31 December 2023
Sally Paynter

Sally is University Secretary and has been with the University of Tasmania for the past six years.  Sally is alumni, having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy Honours) in 2000 and has twenty years’ experience in administration at tertiary institutions with proven strengths in high level administration and an extensive understanding of the processes and governance structure of universities. Sally has excellent communication and interpersonal skills dealing with academic and professional staff at all levels, students and external agencies.

Academic Senate

The University of Tasmania Act 1992 establishes an Academic Senate with the legislated function to advise University Council on all academic matters relating to the University.

University Council has delegated additional selected functions and powers to Academic Senate, alongside advising University Council on maintaining the University’s academic standing, fostering collegiality, and supporting the engagement of academic colleagues.

Academic Senate meets six times per year.

The Academic Senate's statutory authority in academic matters within the University has been elaborated in the Academic Senate Ordinance (PDF 191.3 KB). The Ordinance prescribes that the role of Academic Senate is to:

  • Approve awards and determine the qualifications required of a candidate before they may be admitted to an award. The list of Courses Approved by Academic Senate is updated after each meeting of Academic Senate.
  • Provide academic oversight of the quality of teaching, learning, research and research training
  • Monitor institutional benchmarks for academic quality and outcomes and monitor initiated actions to improve performance
  • Monitor and provide competent advice to the University Council and management on academic matters, including advice on academic outcomes, policies and practices, and the quality of teaching, learning, research and research training
  • Monitor and review academic policies and procedures and their effectiveness
  • Provide feedback on substantial changes to academic delegations and the effectiveness of the academic delegations structure.
  • Maintain oversight of academic and research integrity, including monitoring of potential risks
  • Critically evaluate the quality and effectiveness of educational innovations
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of institutional monitoring, review and improvement of academic activities
  • Ensure students have opportunities to participate in academic governance.

Academic Senate committees assist and advise Academic Senate in ensuring the maintenance of the highest standards and quality in teaching, scholarship and research in the University of Tasmania. Academic Senate has established the following committees:

  • Standing Academic Committee
  • Monitoring and Assurance Committee
  • University Learning and Teaching Committee
  • Student Experience Committee
  • University Research Committee.
  • University Admissions Committee
  • University Course and Unit Proposals Committee
  • Nominations Committee.

Membership of Academic Senate comprises the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Dean of Graduate Research, Executive Deans, Heads of Schools and academic areas, student representatives from the Tasmanian University Student Association (TUSA), chairs of Academic Senate committees, elected and appointed academic staff, and specialist professional staff. The membership composition enables Senate to robustly monitor, discuss and debate current and future academic matters on behalf of the University.

The Academic Senate elects its own Chair and Deputy Chair.  The current Chair is Professor Natalie Brown, and the Deputy Chair is Associate Professor Kristyn Harman. In addition to the Deputy Chair, there may be an Associate Chair selected by invitation of the Chair. The current Associate Chair is Dr Clayton Hawkins.

  Term expiry
Vice-ChancellorProf Rufus Black 
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International)Mr Rob Wilson 
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)Prof Anthony Koutoulis 
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)Prof Mitch Parsell 
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)Prof Ian Anderson 
Dean of Graduate ResearchProf Lisa Fletcher 
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Aboriginal Leadership)Prof Greg Lehman 
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity and Student Success)Prof Martin Grimmer (Acting) 
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Projects)Prof Martin Grimmer 
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Launceston)Prof Dom Geraghty 
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Cradle Coast)Prof Sonya Stanford 
Pro Vice-Chancellor (South)Vacant 
Director, CurriculumAssoc Prof Leonie Ellis 
University LibrarianMs Janette Burke 
Senior Representative, Division of Student Services and OperationsMr Craig Barling 
President, TUSAMr Liam McLaren 
Deputy President, TUSAMs Stella Maddock 
Postgraduate Representative, TUSAMs Nousheen Naz 
Undergraduate Representative, TUSAMr Zachary Sabapathy 
Members of the Monitoring and Assurance Committee  
 Dr Anne Heath (UC)December 31, 2023
 Dr Mark Harrison (CALE)December 31, 2023
 Dr Clayton Hawkins (UC)December 31, 2024
 Dr Rachel Baird (CALE)December 31, 2024
 Assoc Prof Stas Shabala (CoSE)December 31, 2024
Senate Committee Chairs  
Student Experience CommitteeDr Ana LoboDecember 31, 2024
University Research CommitteeDr Michael GuerzoniDecember 31, 2024
University Learning and Teaching CommitteeProf Tina AcunaDecember 31, 2024
Arts, Law and EducationProf Kate Darian-Smith
Business and EconomicsProf Stuart Crispin
Health and MedicineProf Denise Fassett
Sciences and EngineeringMr Terry Bailey
Architecture and DesignProf Julian Worrall
Australian Maritime CollegeMr Michael van Balen
Creative Arts and MediaAssoc Prof Meg Keating
EducationProf Victoria Carrington
EngineeringProf Tim Finnigan
Geography, Planning, and Spatial SciencesProf Arko Lucieer
Health SciencesProf Nuala Byrne
Information and Communication TechnologyMr Tyson Wienker (Acting)
Institute for Marine and Antarctic StudiesProf Catriona MacLeod (Interim)
International SchoolProf Melanie Bryant
LawProf Gino dal Pont (Acting)
MedicineAssoc Prof Tim Strong
Menzies Institute for Medical ResearchProf Tracey Dickson
Natural SciencesProf Simon Ellingsen
NursingProf Christine Stirling
Pharmacy and PharmacologyProf Glenn Jacobson
Psychological SciencesProf Lisa Foa
Social SciencesProf Nicholas Farrelly
Tasmanian Institute of AgricultureProf Michael Rose
Tasmanian School of Business and EconomicsAssoc Prof Belinda Williams
University CollegeAssoc Prof Andrea Carr
Wicking Dementia Research and Education CentreProf James Vickers
ChairProf Natalie BrownDecember 31, 2024
Deputy ChairAssoc Prof Kristyn HarmanDecember 31, 2024
Associate ChairDr Clayton HawkinsDecember 31, 2024
Research FellowDr Vipul Gupta (CoSE)December 31, 2023
Members of academic staffDr Andrea Adam (Central)December 31, 2023
 Dr Bronwyn Eager (CoBE)December 31, 2024
 Dr Toby Newstead (CoBE)December 31, 2024
 Dr Seedwell Sithole (CoBE)December 31, 2023
 Dr Louise Grimmer (CoBE)December 31, 2023
 Assoc Prof Jane Alty (CoHM)December 31, 2024
 Prof Annette Marlow (CoHM)December 31, 2024
 Dr Jamie Chapman (CoHMDecember 31, 2023
 Dr Denis Visentin (CoHM)December 31, 2023
 Dr Victoria Nagy (CALE)December 31, 2024
 Assoc Prof Anne-Marie Forbes (CALE)December 31, 2024
 Assoc Prof Kristyn Harman (CALE)December 31, 2023
 Dr Graham Wood (CALE)December 31, 2023
 Dr Ana Lobo (UC)December 31, 2024
 Mr Rene Kling (UC)December 31, 2023
 Dr Andrew Fischer (CoSE)December 31, 2024
 Assoc Prof Evan Franklin (CoSE)December 31, 2024
 Assoc Prof Kristy de Salas (CoSE)December 31, 2023
 Dr David Nichols (CoSE)December 31, 2023

For further information, contact the Academic Senate Secretary at University staff may access more information at the Academic Senate (staff intranet).

Council Committees

Council Committees report to the University Council. Council normally makes appointments to its committees at either its last ordinary meeting for the year prior or the first ordinary Council meeting, and in every alternate year after that.

The membership of the Council committees is as at 1 January 2023.

The Chancellor is an ex-officio member of every board, college and committee of the University, but is listed here only for those committees normally attended.

Council Committees follow, each listed with their composition and terms of reference:

  • Chancellor
    Ms Alison Watkins AM

    Term expires:
    31 December 2025
  • Chair
    Ms Alicia Leis
    Term expires:
    31 December 2024

Appointed by council

  • Mr Kane Ingham
    Term expires:
    31 December 2024
  • Mr Leigh Franklin
    Term expires:
    28 February 2025
  • Professor Natalie Brown
    Term expires:
    28 February 2025
  • Assoc Prof Ashley Townsend
    Term expires:
    28 February 2025


  • Mr Damien Maurice


  • Vice-Chancellor
    Professor Rufus Black
  • Chief Operating Officer
    Mr Craig Barling (Acting)
  • General Counsel & Executive Director, Legal
    Ms Jane Beaumont
  • Director. Risk
    Ms Jillian Ribbons
  • To oversee the risk management framework and ensure that it effectively facilitates the identification, assessment and mitigation of key higher-level risks across the University (including all entities and activities).
  • To ensure that the University is supported with a contemporary internal audit program that provides appropriate depth and breadth of coverage, including appropriate oversight of long-term appointments of outsourced audit service providers.
  • To monitor the activities and performance of the internal and external audit functions.
  • To review and endorse the annual financial statements.
  • To review internal and external audit reports to ensure that recommendations and agreed actions are promptly enacted.
  • To facilitate the conduct of special investigations initiated by the committee or requested by Council as required.
  • To monitor the establishment of, and on-going compliance with, an appropriate framework of internal control.
  • To oversee the effectiveness of the University's compliance framework.
  • To monitor the establishment of, and ongoing compliance with, an appropriate cyber security program.

For all University Council and Committee meeting dates, please refer to the Planning Calendar.

For Key University Dates (Academic and Semester dates) please refer to Key Dates.

University Council and Committee meeting dates

For Key University Dates (Academic and Semester dates) please refer to Key Dates.

Governance Instruments Framework

Our governance instruments framework provides guidance and accountability in decision making under the University of Tasmania Act 1992, our governing Act. The University’s governance instruments are the University By-laws, our ordinances and policies supported by procedures which are automated through systems wherever possible. All of our instruments are consistent with legislation and other compliance and regulatory requirements.

Find out more about the governance instruments framework

Annual reports

Annual Reports from 1997 onwards are available online.

View annual reports

University grievance procedures

Contacts and secretariat

  • Council Secretariat
    Postal Address
    University of Tasmania
    Private Bag 51
    Sandy Bay TAS 7001