This page describes the Society’s governance and includes the following matters, accessible from the links below:

Governance Arrangements

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 and Rules.

Under revised rules, most recently updated by electronic ballot of the members on 13 February 2023 in advance of the 2023 elections, the Council comprises the President, the Vice-President, the immediate Past President (if available, and only for the first year after leaving the role of President), the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Librarian, the Webmaster, the chairperson (or nominee) of each of the Hunter, Southern Highlands, and Western NSW branches, six elected Members or Fellows and two appointed members (See Rule 18 that described the transition arrangements in 2023–2024). All Council members must be Members or Fellows of the Society.  The Executive Committee comprises the President, the Vice-President, the immediate Past President (if available, for the first year after leaving the role of President), the Secretary, the Treasurer, and one Council member appointed by resolution of the Council.

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Council and Office-Bearers 2023–24

As of the close of the 2023 Annual General Meeting held on 5 April 2023, the current Council and office-bearers of the Society are:

Patron Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of New South Wales
President Dr Susan Pond AM FRSN (until April 2025)
Vice-President Emeritus Professor Peter Shergold AC FRSN (until April 2025)
Secretary Dr Donald Hector AM FRSN (until April 2025)
Treasurer Mr Bhavin Raval MRSN (until April 2025)
Librarian Emeritus Professor Stephen Garton AM FRSN (until April 2025)
Webmaster Emeritus Professor Lindsay Botten FRSN (until April 2025)

Professor Katherine Belov AO FRSN (until April 2025)
Professor Sean Brawley FRSN (until April 2024)
Professor Philip Gale FRSN (until April 2024)
Ms Pamela Griffith OAM FRSN (until April 2024)
Dr Davina Jackson FRSN (until April 2025)
Emeritus Professor Robert Marks FRSN (until April 2024)
Emeritus Professor Christina Slade FRSN (until April 2025)
One member to be appointed by Council (TBA) (until April 2025)

Hunter Branch Representative
Southern Highlands Branch Representative
Western NSW Branch Representative
Professor Robert Whittaker AM FRSN (until April 2025)
Dr James Rowe FRSN (until April 2025)

Professor Mark Evans FRSN (until April 2024)

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Council Committees

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

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

Information about the Society's Committees for 2023–2024 will become available in coming weeks.  Listed below are the Committees for 2022–2023.


The current Committees, together with the names of their Chairs and Secretaries, appointed at the May 2023 meeting of the Council, are listed below. The link associated with each Committee name refers to the information page for that Committee— providing an outline of the Committee’s role, its Terms of Reference, and its current composition.

Committee  Chair Secretary 
Executive Dr Susan Pond AM FRSN Dr Donald Hector AM FRSN
Awards Prof. Merlin Crossley FRSN  Emer. Prof. Annabelle Duncan PSM FRSN
Fellows and Members
Prof. Sean Brawley FRSN  Mr Trevor Danos AM FRSN
Library and Assets Emer. Prof. Stephen Garton AM FRSN   TBC
Philanthropy Dr Susan Pond AM FRSN TBC
Program Emer. Prof. Christina Slade FRSN   Dr Elizabeth Deane FRSN
Publishing Dr Davina Jackson FRSN Emer. Prof. Trevor Hambley FRSN
RSNSW & Learned
Academies Forum
Dr Susan Pond AM FRSN  Emer. Prof. Lindsay Botten FRSN

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Strategic Plan

The 2021-23 Strategic Plan of the Society, as approved by the Council on 4 February 2021, is now online.

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Social Media Links


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Distinguished Fellows


List of Presidents

Useful links

Support us

ACNC TickWe are a registered charity and very much welcome your support through donations or a bequest. Donations in support of our Scholarship and Library programs are tax-deductible in Australia.

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