Governance - The Royal Society of NSW


The current governance arrangements date from the formal incorporation of the Royal Society of New South Wales by an Act of the New South Wales Parliament in 1881.  (For the period from 1821 to 1881, see History.)

The Society is governed by a Council that is elected annually. The Council manages all the Society’s business in accordance with its Act, Rules and By-Laws.

The Council consists of the President, three Vice Presidents (one of whom is the immediate past-President), the Treasurer, the General Secretary (who is responsible for minute-taking and membership matters), the Editorial Secretary (who edits the Journal and Proceedings), the Librarian, the Webmaster, the chairperson or nominee of each of the branches, and up to ten Councillors. All Council members must be Members or Fellows of the Society.

The Executive Committee of Council, consisting of the President, the Vice Presidents, the Honorary Secretaries and the Honorary Treasurer, deals with any matters referred to it by Council and with matters that ought not be postponed until a meeting of the Council.

The Council appoints other committees from time to time to attend to specific matters. Committees may comprise both Council members and other Society members. The current committees are:

  • Awards committee
  • Editorial board
  • Events and Bulletin committee
  • Fellows committee
  • Library and Asset committee
  • Nominations committee
  • Outreach committee (the voice of the Society)
  • RSNSW and Four Academies Forum committee

The President chairs meetings of the Council and general meetings of the Society.


Office-Bearers 2017 - 2018

The current office-bearers of the Society are:

Patron His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (ret’d.), Governor of New South Wales
President Em. Professor David Brynn Hibbert FRSN
Vice-Presidents Dr Donald Hector AM FRSN (immediate past President)
Em. Professor Ian Sloan AO FRSN
Ms Judith Wheeldon AM FRSN
Hon. Secretary (General) Dr Herma Buttner
Hon. Secretary (Editorial) Em. Professor Robert Marks FRSN
Hon. Treasurer Mr Richard Wilmott
Hon. Librarian Dr Ragbir Bhathal
Hon. Webmaster A/Prof Christopher Bertram FRSN
Councillors Dr Erik Aslaksen FRSN
Dr Mohammad Choucair
Em. Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
Dr Desmond Griffin AM FRSN
Mr John Hardie FRSN
Professor Stephen Hill FRSN
Em. Professor Heinrich Hora FRSN
Professor James Kehoe FRSN
Professor Bruce Milthorpe FRSN
Hon. Professor Ian Wilkinson FRSN
Chair, Southern Highlands branch Ms Anne Wood FRSN


The Act of Incorporation, Rules and By-Laws are here:  Rules and ByLaws (PDF)

The most recent annual report is here: Annual Report 2016 (PDF)



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