University Council

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

The University Council has the power to do all things necessary to fulfill 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.

Constitution, powers and functions of the University Council

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University Council Members

Ex Officio

    Photo of Ms Sheree Vertigan AM

    MS Sheree Vertigan AM

    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.

    • Current Term: 
      30  April 2021 - 31 December 2023

    Photo of Ms Tara Howell

    MS 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.

    • Current Term:
      30 April 2021 - 31 December 2023

    Visitor and Accountable Executives

    Visitor

    • Governor of Tasmania
      Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC

    Accountable Executives

    University Council is supported in their work by the presence and participation of senior executive representatives.  These Accountable Executives, listed below, allow the Council to ask questions, clarify content, seek additional information and execute its responsibilities appropriately in consideration of relevant agenda items.

    • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
      Professor Martin Grimmer (acting)
    • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)
      Professor Mitch Parsell
    • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International)
      Mr Rob Wilson
    • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
      Professor Anthony Koutoulis
    • Chief Operating Officer
      Mr David Clerk
    • Vice President Strategy, Finance and Marketing
      Mr Craig Barling

    Council Committee

    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 2022.

    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:

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    • Chancellor
      Ms Alison Watkins AM

      Current Term: 
      25 June 2021 - 31 December 2025
    • Chair
      Mr Harvey Gibson
      Current Term: 
      Day Month 20XX - 31 December 2022
    • Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick
      Current Term:
      Day Month 20XX- 31 December 2022
    • Ms Alicia Leis
      Current Term:
      2 November 2021 - 10 February 2025
    • Mr Mike Blake
      Current Term:
      Day Month 20XX - 14 February 2023
      Professor Natalie Brown
      Current Term:
      Day Month 20XX - 14 February 2023
    • 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.

    For any additions and changes to the Planning Calendar please email uni.council@utas.edu.au

    Submissions must use this template and should be sent to:

    Executive Officer and Secretary (Audit & Risk Committee)
    Damien Maurice
    Phone: 
    Email: