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'Rural Health 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
  3. Rural Health.

(3) The establishment of the Rural Health Research Institute (the Institute) at Charles Sturt University follows the establishment of the School of Rural Medicine at the Orange Campus in partnership with the University of Western Sydney and the enrolment of the foundation year of undergraduate students at the commencement of 2021. The Commonwealth Government has provided funding for research in rural health consistent with this partnership. The Institite draws on strong connections with the other Research Institutes, and will together deliver internationally leading research at the intersection of rural and regional, big data, health, and agriculture.


(4) The Advisory Board is an independent advisory board established by the University to provide guidance and recommendations to the 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 Rural Health Research 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 the Council.
  6. Institute – means the Charles Sturt University Rural Health Research 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). The Advisory Board may co-opt members for short term appointments as required.

(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 a gender-balance, skill-balance, and sufficient 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 intellectual leader in rural, regional and remote health issues,
  2. focus on the University’s regions, and rural and remote areas,
  3. be patient centred and based in and around the community with deep community involvement engagement,
  4. undertake research that is ethical and appropriate to First Nations people, communities and organisations including First Nations representation and appropriate governance,
  5. be distinctive, innovative, and provide new solutions to real time problems,
  6. participate in clinical activities including trials,
  7. involve physical co-location and integration with the local health sector (e.g. hospitals, GP’s, primary care providers),
  8. be strategic, sustainable and create foundations for the long term,
  9. be collaborative with selected partners and stakeholders, and integrate with teaching, and
  10. 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 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. performance and progress reporting of the Institute, 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 of the Advisory Board may be eligible for a per diem and out of pocket expenses through reimbursement.

Conflict 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.