Featured News Bill Tweddell re-elected as University Chancellor

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Fri, 3 Apr 2020

Bill Tweddell re-elected as University Chancellor

Bill Tweddell smiles while speaking into a microphone, wearing his chancellor regalia, in front of a JCU banner
With JCU celebrating its 50th birthday this year, Mr Tweddell said it’s an extra special time to be in the role. Photo: Bethany Keats, JCU Media

James Cook University’s governing body has re-elected Chancellor Bill Tweddell for a second term.

Mr Tweddell first took up the position on 26 March 2016 after a distinguished career in Australia’s diplomatic service and is the first JCU alumnus to hold the role. His new term takes him to 25 March 2023.

Mr Tweddell said he’s honoured and humbled to be re-elected to the position.

“JCU provided me with all my tertiary education, which was the launching pad for my long career in the diplomatic service,” he said.

“I’m honoured to give back to the institution that gave me so much, even my first full-time job, which was at what is now aptly called the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library.”

With JCU celebrating its 50th birthday this year, Mr Tweddell said it’s an extra special time to be in the role.

“It’s marvellous to be at JCU for this special anniversary,” he said. “My wife Chris and I were there for the monumental events of 1970 when HM Queen Elizabeth II visited Townsville and made the establishment of JCU official.

“It’s a challenging time for the University, for all universities in fact, and even more so now as we all deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The role of the University’s governing body, the JCU Council, has never been more important as we guide JCU into the future.”

Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said she’s delighted by Mr Tweddell’s re-election.

“It’s wonderful news that Bill will continue his role at JCU,” she said. “He has done a marvellous job in the role since 2016. His commitment to the role is truly outstanding. Bill is a most effective Chancellor and Chair of the JCU Council, and he is a highly regarded member of the community and well-respected at all levels of government.

“As the first graduate to be elected Chancellor, Bill has a special connection to JCU and I think this reinforces both his great commitment and his determination to discharge his responsibilities diligently and to great effect. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with him.”

Mr Tweddell was previously Australia’s Ambassador to the Philippines and other career highlights include serving as Ambassador to Vietnam, Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Deputy High Commissioner to India, Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau, and High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. He also served as Chief of Staff to former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.

Mr Tweddell’s second term begins on March 26th 2021, and he is the University’s fifth Chancellor. He replaced the previous Chancellor Lt. Gen. John Grey AC (Retired) in 2016.

The Chancellor is the Chair of the University’s governing body, the University Council, and presides over all Council meetings. He was elected to the role by the members of the Council.


Bethany Keats

JCU Media

0437 028 175