St Paul’s College Bill passed by State Parliament

St Paul’s College Bill passed by State Parliament

4 years ago

Today the Saint Paul’s College Bill 2018to modernise the governance of the College passed the Legislative Assembly of the NSW Parliament, after passing the Legislative Council last night.

The Bill reflects the principles that the College Council developed in close consultation with the St Paul’s College community over the last twelve months (for details, click here and here).

The governance reform for the College was supported by the College Council, the committee of the St Paul’s College Union, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney (Dr Michael Spence AC), the Archbishop of Sydney (The Most Revd Dr Glenn Davies), and the project team lead by Elizabeth Broderick AO who reviewed the culture of the College.

The Bill was passed with the support of the Coalition Government, the Labor Opposition, and the Greens, and with no votes against or amendments in either House of Parliament. The Bill’s passage through Parliament can be tracked here.

The College worked closely with Government and Opposition Members on the governance reform, and expresses its deep gratitude to them and to all Members for their support for the Bill. A number of speakers spoke of their support being in the context of the College’s commitment to implementation of all recommendations of the Broderick Review, as reflected in the College’s Action Plan for cultural renewal.

The new Act will replace the St Paul’s College Acts of 1854 and 1857, and represents the first change to the legislation under which the College operates since 1857. After it receives Royal Assent, it will come into effect on a date to be proclaimed which will be either late 2018 or early 2019.

In summary, the effect of the new Act will be to:

  • Remove the requirement for the Warden to be an ordained Anglican clergyman (Dr Markwell was appointed formally as Vice-Warden and Head of College, and will become Warden when the Act comes into effect)
  • Require the appointment of a Chaplain to provide religious and spiritual support to students of the College (the Revd Antony Weiss was appointed as part-time Chaplain in February, and will be full-time from 2019)
  • Reduce the size of the Council from 19 to 13 (12 Fellows plus the Warden)
  • Increase the quorum requirement to seven of the 13 members of Council
  • Allow greater flexibility in skills and diversity on Council by allowing two Fellows to be appointed, and as well by updating the clerical appointments process to allow both female and male clergy, and
  • Improve the formal link with the University of Sydney by requiring that one Fellow must be an academic staff member of the University.

These changes will provide for more efficient governance of the College in the years to come, in line with modern governance principles. They allow greater flexibility to ensure that the Council reflects a diversity of backgrounds, experience and skill, while allowing the links between the College and the University of Sydney to flourish further.

The new Act also ensures that the Anglican heritage of St Paul’s is maintained. The majority of members of the Council (10 of 13) will also continue to be elected by the alumni of the College.

The College reiterates its thanks to all involved in the consultation process and the passage of what will soon be the new St Paul’s College Act.


Pictured: At State Parliament today after the passage of the St Paul’s College Bill – Head of College, Dr Don Markwell; Education Minister, the Hon Rob Stokes MP; Jo Haylen MP; Shadow Minister for Education, Jihad Dib MP; Deputy Head of College, Geoff Lovell.


14 November 2018