Engaging with Government

Our University's relationship with government of all levels is important to our success. Government manages the legislation that governs and guides us; they are an important source of funding; they are a link to our communities; and they are a powerful and important policy partner on a range of issues.

Engaging with government can take the form of meetings with elected officials, working on joint projects with government agencies, and inviting politicians or dignitaries to events.

The Vice-Chancellor is the lead advocate for our University to government on major national issues, and the Office of the Vice-Chancellor (OVC) is the key point of coordination for strategic government relations. It therefore important to contact the OVC before engaging with parliamentarians, including inviting them to an event.


Ministers, MPs and other dignitaries receive hundreds of emails and numerous invites a day. It is important that we coordinate invitations to politicians and dignitaries to ensure we do not invite them to competing events, or overload them with invites. The OVC can also assist with contacts and protocols.


In most circumstances if you are inviting a minister to an event there would be an expectation that they would have a speaking role. This may be an important consideration in planning your event, prior to inviting a minister.

As a matter of courtesy, and because ministers have very busy schedules that are often booked months in advance, invitations should be sent out no later than six weeks prior to the event.

Lobbying and advocacy

Elected officials at all levels are important stakeholders and powerful advocates for our University. We maintain strong, apolitical relationships with representatives at all levels of government.

Many different people across the university are engaged with different parts of government at all times. Certain types of engagement should be coordinated through Office of the Vice-Chancellor.

Coordination helps ensure our University:

  • lobbies on issues that are consistent with our values and goals
  • presents a coordinated front on major national issues when required
  • makes our priorities clear to our political representatives so they can represent us effectively
  • can coordinate with its partners in the sector when required

Please contact Fiona Bastian prior to contacting a local member or minister.

Useful information