I thank the Senators for inviting me to appear before this Estimates committee on education.

The request to appear was received by ANU on Wednesday 29 May.

We advised at that time that I would be unable to appear in person as I had been at the United Nations in New York in my role as Special Envoy of the Secretary General on Myanmar since 26 May and had commitments at the UN until my return to Australia on 7 June.

At the time of this hearing, 6 June, I will be in transit from New York to Perth.

I have offered to provide a statement to be read to the committee by ANU Vice-Chancellor Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell and I have sought clarification on which areas of interest within the education sector would be canvassed with me.

At the time of preparing this statement (10pm on 5 June in New York and 12pm on 6 June in Canberra), no clarification had been received so my statement is accordingly brief.

As Chancellor of ANU, my responsibilities are to chair the ANU Council which provides strategic and governance oversight as defined by the Australian National University Act and Charter of the ANU Council.

There are also ceremonial duties and the role is non-executive by definition.

I understand the Vice-Chancellor as the chief executive officer of ANU and members of her executive team will appear before Senate Estimates.

I have every confidence that the VC will be in a position to respond to questions regarding the operations of the ANU.

The VC and her team enjoy the full confidence of the ANU Council.

If there are any matters that this committee does wish to direct to me, I suggest that the VC takes such questions on notice on my behalf.

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