The Council is the governing body of the University, established by the La Trobe University Act 1964. It is chaired by the Chancellor, Hon John Brumby AO.

Council's central role is to identify the distinctive character of the institution, to plan strategically and to ensure that the University responds to the wider social context in which it operates. This includes (amongst other things):

  1. appointing and monitoring the performance of the University's Chief Executive Officer – the Vice-Chancellor;
  2. setting the strategic direction of the University by approving such things as the University's mission, annual budget and business plan and by overseeing and reviewing the management and performance of the University more generally;
  3. establishing policies and procedures for the operation of the University, overseeing and monitoring its academic activities and approving significant commercial activities in accordance with the approved Commercial Activity Guidelines;
  4. approving and monitoring systems of control and accountability of the University and its controlled entities;
  5. overseeing and monitoring the assessment and management of risk across the University, including University commercial activities;
  6. conferring degrees and granting other awards; and
  7. making statutes and regulations on a wide range of matters relating to the University.

For detailed information regarding the Council's composition, powers and responsibilities, elections, and the terms and conditions of office of its members, please refer to the La Trobe University Act, 2009 and the Council Statute 2009. The University's Statutes and Regulations together with its Policies and Procedures provide the regulatory framework within which the operations of the University are carried out.