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'Gulbali Research Institute Advisory Board' - Membership and Terms of Reference

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Section 1 - Establishment


(1) Charles Sturt University (the University) aims to:

  1. maintain its position in the top five Australian universities for graduate outcomes based on employment and salary,
  2. embed a culture of excellence across all aspects of the University’s operations, and
  3. achieve significant and sustained growth in research, development and innovation income in our chosen areas, delivering high impact outcomes for regional Australia which is recognised for excellence internationally with the overarching aim of consolidating the institution so that it is demonstrably more resilient and sustainable by the end of the decade.

(2) The University has endorsed an ambitious research strategy that will be substantially supported through three research institutes:

  1. Agriculture, Water and Environment (the Gulbali Institute),
  2. Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Futures (AICF), and
  3. Rural Health.

(3) The establishment of the Gulbali Institute (the Institute) at Charles Sturt University builds on strengths and draws on strong connections with the other Research Institutes, and will deliver internationally leading research at the intersection of rural and regional, big data, health and agriculture. 


(4) The Gulbali Institute Advisory Board (the Advisory Board) is an independent advisory board established by the University to provide advice, guidance and recommendations to Charles Sturt University on the strategic direction of the Institute. The Advisory Board will also play an important ambassadorial role for the Institute.  

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Section 2 - Glossary

(5) For the purpose of this document:

  1. Act – means the Charles Sturt University Act 1989.
  2. Advisory Board – means the Advisory Board of the Gulbali Institute. 
  3. Council - means the University Council established under Part 3 of the Act.
  4. External person - means a person other than a member of the academic or general staff of the University or an undergraduate or graduate student of the University, as set out in section 8A of the Act.
  5. Foresighting Committee – means the Foresighting Committee established by University Council.
  6. Institute – means the Charles Sturt University Gulbali Institute.
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Section 3 - Membership

(6) The members of the Advisory Board are:

  1. an external Chair appointed by the Council on the recommendation of the Foresighting Committee,
  2. the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee), and
  3. between 7 and 10 external members appointed by the Foresighting Committee.

(7) The Chair may grant the right of audience and debate to other persons, for the whole or part of a meeting or for a specified period of time.

(8) External members will be appointed for a three-year term and may seek reappointment for a further term (maximum two terms).

(9) Members of the Advisory Board are expected to be active contributors. Absence from three consecutive meetings of the Advisory Board for which reasonable notice has not been given and is not excused by the Advisory Board will result in the position being deemed vacant.

(10) The Advisory Board membership should strive to achieve gender and diversity balance, skills-balance, and First Nations representation in the membership.

(11) The skillsets and attributes required collectively of the Advisory Board are set out in the appendices associated with this document.

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Section 4 - Functions and responsibilities

Guiding principles

(12) The Institute will:

  1. be of world-class standard, globally competitive and recognised as a national research leader in agricultural, water and environmental issues,
  2. achieve a balance in representation between differing interests of agriculture, water and the environment,
  3. build on the University’s strong reputation for research in agriculture, water and environment, to further improve ERA and EI assessments,
  4. significantly grow external investment in research in agriculture, water and environment,
  5. undertake research that is ethical and appropriate to First Nations people, communities and organisations including First Nations representation and appropriate governance,
  6. undertake research that addresses clearly defined challenges and that demonstrably leads to improved and sustainable outcomes for industry, governments and communities,
  7. be strategic, sustainable and create foundations for the long term,
  8. be collaborative with selected partners and stakeholders, and integrate with teaching, and
  9. operate to best practice ethical standards.

Advisory Board responsibilities

(13) The principal responsibilities of the Advisory Board are to:

  1. provide advice on the strategic direction of the Institute, including on how the Institute can fulfill its guiding principles,
  2. provide advice on activities that will lead to an enduring and successful Institute,
  3. provide advice on potential research linkages and opportunities,
  4. provide advice on the development of strong collaborative links (national and international) with relevant industry, the community, government agencies, other universities and research centres,
  5. provide advice on potential funding and translation paths, activities and strategies for the Institute,
  6. provide advice on opportunities for alignment and collaboration with the other Research Institutes,
  7. as individual members, undertake an ambassadorial role to promote the Institute ,
  8. to report to the Foresighting Committee on:
    1. activities of the Advisory Board,
    2. the strategic direction of the Institute and the fulfilment of its Guiding Principles, and
    3. other matters referred by the Foresighting Committee, the Academic Lead or Executive Director of the Institute, or the Vice-Chancellor.
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Section 5 - Meetings


(14) The Advisory Board will meet at least two times a year.

Agendas and minutes

(15) Agendas will be circulated one week prior to the meeting. 

Related expenses

(16) External members may be eligible for a per diem and out of pocket expenses through reimbursement. 

Conflicts of interest

(17) Where a member has a perceived or material conflict of interest, they must declare this to the Chair and at the Advisory Board meeting prior to discussion to the item of business. 


(18) Variations to the terms of reference and/or membership of the Advisory Board must be approved by the Foresighting Committee.

Review of performance

(19) The Foresighting Committee will review the performance of the Advisory Board every two years.