Amendment of The Act
St John’s College Act 1857
The College is governed under a statute of the New South Wales Parliament, the St John’s College Act 1857. The Act as currently in force may be found here.
In 2012 the College Council established a Working Party on Governance to consider the adequacy of the existing arrangements in several areas, including those mandated by the 1857 Act.
The Working Party met on eight occasions between April 2013 and March 2014 and reported to meetings of Council throughout this period.
In September 2013 the College released a Consultation Paper detailing a number of proposed changes to the 1857 Act to bring the governance of the College into line with contemporary corporate and university practice. The Paper was made available on the College’s website and sent to interested parties including all alumni for whom the College has an email address and all current students. A total of 72 responses was received. A meeting was held on 2 December 2013 to which all persons who responded were invited, and a further meeting was held on 9 December 2013. The various views expressed through the consultation process were considered by the Working Party and the full Council.
On 13 February 2014 Council resolved to adopt a set of proposed amendments to the Act for recommendation to the NSW government. The Act, marked up to show the proposed amendments, may be found here. A clean copy of the Act as it would stand if the amendments are enacted may be found here.
The proposed amendments, with the endorsement of the Archbishop of Sydney and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, were sent to the Minister for Education in April 2014 with a request that the government introduce amending legislation into the NSW Parliament.
The proposed amendments represent necessary and desirable improvements in the governance of the College. They are intended to bring about a new framework which is appropriate for a tertiary education provider in the 21st century, acknowledging the character of St John’s as a Catholic institution, and the College’s own specific history.
The amendments contain a procedure for selecting Fellows which recognises that there are various groups and individuals who are stakeholders in the College. They are also intended to produce a Council with an appropriately diverse range of skills and experience.
More detailed information about the reasoning behind the proposed reforms to the College’s governance can be found here.