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 2018 - 2019

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 Ian Sloan AO FRSN
Vice-Presidents Em. Professor Brynn Hibbert AM FRSN (immediate past President)
Mr John Hardie FRSN
Ms Judith Wheeldon AM FRSN
Hon. General Secretary Dr Herma Buttner FRSN
Hon. Editorial Secretary Em. Professor Robert Marks FRSN
Hon. Treasurer Mr Richard Wilmott MRSN
Hon. Librarian Dr Ragbir Bhathal FRSN
Hon. Webmaster A/Prof Christopher Bertram FRSN
Councillors Dr Erik Aslaksen FRSN
Dr Mohammad Choucair MRSN
Em. Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
Dr Laurel Dyson MRSN
Ms Margaret Gibson MRSN
Dr Donald Hector AM FRSN
Professor Nalini Joshi AO FRSN
The Hon. Virginia Judge FRSN
Professor James Kehoe FRSN
Hon. Professor Ian Wilkinson FRSN
Chair, Southern Highlands branch Ms Anne Wood FRSN


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

The most recent annual report is here: Annual Report 2017 (PDF)

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