Chancellor Installation Ceremony Procedure

Document Number001009
Date Approved22 March 2013

1.      Context

This procedure supports the implementation of Clause 10 of the University of Newcastle Act 1989 (NSW):

10 Chancellor

The Council shall:

(a) at its first meeting or as soon as practicable thereafter, and

(b) whenever a vacancy in the office of Chancellor occurs,

elect a person (whether or not a member of the Council) to be Chancellor of the University.

The Chancellor assumes his or her position upon election by the University Council. The installation ceremony outlined below fulfils no legislated function, but reinforces identification with the University by the community through the establishment of a lasting ceremonial tradition.

The core ceremonial elements outlined in the procedure will be included in all Chancellor installation ceremonies.  This protocol may change to meet the future needs of the University. Any changes will be balanced against the need to sustain a lasting tradition.

2.      Definitions

In the context of this document:

Artefacts of the University

means Academic regalia and other historic items which are significant icons of the University and are used in academic ceremonies.

The Petition

The Petition is a leather-bound copy of a document compiled by the Newcastle University Establishment Group in 1951.  A deputation gained audience with the then NSW Minister for Education, the Honourable Robert Heffron, who told the Establishment Group that if they could find 200 firm candidates for tertiary education in Newcastle, a university could be established.  The Group collected 357 names from across Newcastle and the Hunter Valley region.

The presentation of the Petition to the Chancellor by the student representatives symbolises the desire of the people of this region for a university education which inspired the creation of the University of Newcastle.  Incoming Chancellors sign this petition as a gesture to those who fought for the establishment of our University.  By adding their name to those who sought an education in Newcastle, they mark a covenant that this demand will continue to be heard and supported.


The enrobing of the Chancellor symbolises the arrival in Newcastle of University classes in the Arts and the arrival of a new academic caste.

By wearing their academic gowns to lectures, the academic staff of the University set themselves apart from many in the community when they first arrived.  Today, the University is a part of the local community, and the enrobing represents both the community’s acceptance of the University and the University’s responsibility to the community.

The Mace

The University Mace was gifted to the University of Newcastle in 1965 by the University of New South Wales.  By tradition the Mace must be gifted by another university.  The University of New South Wales - of which the University was a college from 1951 to 1964 - gave the University of Newcastle its Mace on the grant of Newcastle's autonomy.

The presentation of the Mace symbolises the University’s association with the scholarly community and is a reminder of the national and international obligations of the University.

The Medallion

means the Chancellor’s Medal of Office.

The Governor

means the Governor of New South Wales.


3.      Responsibilities

The External Relations Office will plan the event in consultation with the Vice-Chancellor, the incoming Chancellor, and the Deputy Chancellor. Consultation with relevant University stakeholders will occur as required.

4.      Procedure

The following ceremonial acts are essential components of the installation ceremony. Their order in the proceedings of any particular ceremony may vary to meet the needs of event organisers.  The preferred order is:

4.1      Processional Order

The congregation should enter the Great Hall informally, standing for the procession of the Dais Party.

The Dais Party is seated as follows:

Front Row:       President of Alumni, Deputy Chancellor, Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Elder in Residence, Vice-Chancellor, Governor (or representative), Mace Bearer, incoming Chancellor.

Second Row:   Pro Chancellors and other Members of Council, President of Academic Senate, two Student Representatives.

Third Row:       Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro Vice-Chancellors.

4.2      Artefacts of the University

The artefacts are presented to the Chancellor by representatives of the University’s constituencies, and are accompanied in each case by a ceremonial action.

4.2.1  The Petition

The Chancellor signs the Petition, which is presented to him or her by the two student representatives. 

The External Relations Office will propose to the Vice-Chancellor suitable persons to undertake the role of student representatives.

4.2.2  Enrobing

The Chancellor’s robe is placed upon him or her by a representative of the Newcastle community and a representative of the University alumni, who first remove the Chancellor’s degree robe.

The External Relations Office will propose to the Vice-Chancellor suitable persons to undertake the roles of community representative and alumni representative. 

4.2.3  The Mace

The University Mace is presented to the Chancellor by a representative of the University’s academic staff.  The Chancellor gestures with the Mace towards the audience, the dais party and members of the University Council before returning it to the academic staff representative.

The External Relations Office will propose to the Vice-Chancellor a suitable person to undertake the role of academic staff representative. 

4.2.4  The Medallion

The medallion is a symbol of the Chancellor’s office, and is part of the Chancellor’s regalia. It is only worn during formal academic ceremonies.

The medallion is presented to the Chancellor by the Governor, or representative, after the Pledge of Office is administered.

4.3      Administering the Pledge of Office

The Governor, or representative, gives the pledge to the Chancellor. The pledge is in a call and response format, with the Governor, or representative, speaking first.

Governor:        Australia’s Aboriginal people preceded us here.

Chancellor:       I acknowledge that presence and celebrate its continuation.

Governor:        The University is the gift of the community and of those who have studied and worked here.

Chancellor:       I honour our past, and acknowledge that the present we create will be our gift to those who follow.

Governor:        The University is part of the Hunter region and shares its successes and challenges.

Chancellor:       I acknowledge our obligations to the Hunter and to all of the regions in which we have a presence.

Governor:        Our academics connect us to knowledge around the world; our professional staff create a foundation for sharing that knowledge.

Chancellor:       I will support the freedom of our academics to pursue knowledge, and respect the dedication of all our staff.

Governor:        Our students come from across the region and across the world.

Chancellor:       Their diversity is our wealth. I will protect the aspirations that drew our students here and the futures that draw them on.

Governor:        Our graduates belong to the University, and the University to them.

Chancellor:       I welcome our alumni as a vital part of the life of the University.

Governor:        Today the University asks you to serve as Chancellor, to shepherd it through the changes that it faces, to preserve its traditions, and to guide its aspirations.

Chancellor:       I will serve.

4.4      Presentation of the Chancellor’s Medallion

The Governor, or representative, presents the medallion to the Chancellor, hanging it around the neck of the incoming Chancellor.  

4.5      Proclamation

The Governor, or representative, proclaims the Chancellor installed in office.

4.6      Chancellor’s Response

The Chancellor may outline his or her background, association with the University of Newcastle, and his or her agenda for the period of tenure.

5.      Event Budget

The event budget is determined by the Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Director, External Relations one year preceding the end of the outgoing Chancellor’s tenure. The decision on the source of the funding will be made at this time.

Where the office of the Chancellor is vacated other than due to the expiration of the term of office, the event budget for the incoming Chancellor will be determined by the Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Director, External Relations as soon as practicable following the announcement of the new incoming Chancellor.

6.      Essential Supporting Documents

Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor and Pro Chancellor Rule 000944

Selection of Chancellor Policy 000598 

Approval AuthorityCouncil
Date Approved22 March 2013
Date for Review22 March 2016
Policy SponsorVice-Chancellor
Policy OwnerDirector, External Relations
Policy ContactDirector, External Relations
Amendment History

New procedure created to establish a ceremonial tradition. Approved by Council Resolution (C13:030) (Doc N13:006a), 22 March 2013.