About us

Our Beginnings

In 1999, a group of ANU staff recently retired or approaching retirement resolved to establish a collegiate organisation within the University to provide opportunities for themselves, collectively and individually, and for others of similar inclination, to continue to contribute to the academic and cultural life of the university.

They called this organisation Australian National University Emeritus Faculty, referred to from here on as the Emeritus Faculty.

Building 1c
Building 1c, 24 Balmain Crescent, Australian National University ACT 2601

The founding group also saw their prospective activities as valuable to the social and intellectual life of the wider community, and likely to enhance the visibility and reputation of ANU. They saw too that the Emeritus Faculty should include those whose association with the ANU was less recent, but welcome by virtue of common interests and values.

The Emeritus Faculty saw the activities of its members as complementing those of existing ANU staff and not replacing them in any way. These were the original aims:

Academic programs

  • Assistance with lectures and tutorials when called on by areas of the University
  • Collaboration in the laboratory work of areas of the University
  • Contribution of publications to the University’s research record
  • Occasional lectures, seminars and conferences
  • Participation in consultancies
  • Supervision and examination of postgraduate students when called on by areas of the University
  • Assistance with the University Preparation Scheme.

Advisory Roles

  • Advice on curricula when called on by areas of the University
  • Advisory roles in cooperative research ventures
  • Assistance with industry liaison
  • Assistance with seeking private funding and supporting the ANU Endowment for Excellence
  • Opportunity for individual voices to be heard on policy formulation in the public sector
  • Opportunity for individual voices to be heard on the development of the Higher Education sector.

Outreach roles

  • Being well informed ambassadors for the University
  • Collaboration with other bodies such as the University of The Third Age
  • Participation in Convocation activities
  • Participation in the University programs of outreach, extension and professional refreshment, including summer schools for teachers.
  • Affiliation with other organisations/groups as appropriate.

Our first Office Bearers were Chair: John Molony, Deputy Chair: Beryl Rawson, Treasurer: Rafe De Crespigny, Secretary: Giles Pickford.

The 1999 Provisional Committee Members were: Allan Barton, Bob Gollan, David Hambly, Anthony Low, Maev O’Collins, Colin Plowman, Peter Stewart, and Gerard Ward.

What we now do

Consistent with the intent of the founders, we are a collegial community of past university members and others who in various ways continue to contribute their skills and knowledge to the University and to society more widely.

We are committed to participating in the evolving debates on educational and social issues, and we provide opportunity and encouragement to our members to engage their skills and energies in such debates and associated enquiries.

We recognise that scholarship and intellectual skills are not confined to universities; we therefore include and seek as members those who have not previously been members of universities, research institutes, or similar traditional places of scholarship; the essential criterion for joining us lies in an active respect and positive regard for learning, research, and creativity.

While we are, by our nature, principally an organisation for older people, we engage with and seek a role in mentoring and encouraging younger scholars.

Our Accomplishments

In the short time that the Emeritus Faculty of ANU has existed, our members have contributed importantly to the life of the University, to the life of community, and to the life of the mind more generally. These contributions have included (usually on an honorary basis):

  • summer schools in science and the humanities for high school teachers;
  • public lectures;
  • specialist courses for undergraduates;
  • provision of independent advice to government and industry;
  • assistance in the development of new courses and activities;
  • establishment of a membership registry of skills and knowledge, accessible to specialist users or to a wider audience seeking guidance or advice;
  • excursions and social activities for members and guests;
  • sponsorship of an Emerging Artist at the ANU School of Art.
  • organisation of major colloquia as part of National Science Week.
  • providing a point of contact for people seeking retired staff for collaborative projects.
  • writing the obituaries of ANU staff.
  • Collecting the oral history of the ANU as remembered by our members.

We have also provided campus and community forums for discussion of issues which we see as critical to sustaining a national ethos that values scholarship, and intellectual and aesthetic creativity generally.

Our aspirations

We, the members of the Emeritus Faculty, aim to build on the spirit and purpose with which the Emeritus Faculty was founded – a constructive, but non-intrusive, engagement with and contribution to the intellectual and creative life of the University, to the cultural and social life of the surrounding community, and to the life of the mind most generally.

We aim also to identify the changing needs and aspirations of our members, and how these might be coupled to changing opportunities in the University, in the community, and beyond. Moreover, we seek to explore the extent to which our model of active retirement and collegiality might be offered to others by encouraging the development of Emeritus Faculties in other Universities.

The Emeritus Faculty office is located in the Molony Room, Fellows Lane Cottage - Building 3T. The Faculty is an incorporated association under ACT law.

Updated:  11 December 2019/Responsible Officer:  ANUEF Secretary/Page Contact:  ANUEF Secretary