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New council appointed to troubled Sydney University college

St John's College, University of Sydney

St John’s College, University of Sydney

A new council has been appointed to the trouble-plagued St John’s College at the University of Sydney in the hope of restoring order and ”lasting change”, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

The group, hand-picked by the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Pell, and the university’s vice-chancellor, Michael Spence, comprises of 10 lay fellows and six clerical fellows who will hold office for three years. Fairfax Media understands the college rector, Michael Bongers, is also anxiously waiting to learn if – or how – he fits into the new college set-up.

Among the lay fellows are professors, members of the Sydney archdiocese and retired NSW Supreme Court judge Kenneth Handley who, earlier this year, deliberated over the fate of 33 suspended students at the college.

The council’s former chairwoman, Christine Liddy, has returned, despite having resigned several weeks ago. Fairfax Media understands Ms Liddy was asked back in the hope of retaining some continuity between regimes.

She will, however, relinquish the position, which is expected to be taken by a former chancellor of the University of Western Sydney, John Phillips. There are also some familiar faces among the newly appointed clerical fellows with Gerald Gleeson, Peter Williams and Paul Stenhouse all having served on past councils.

Cardinal Pell hailed the new appointments as ”a very distinguished group of people”.

”Together they bring extensive experience in public life, in the university and college world and in the life of the church,” he said.

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