Trusts Governance Framework

In 2022, the Trusts Governance Framework was implemented across the University to improve accountability and compliance with the University’s statutory obligations and donor expectations, and to prioritize the use of trust funds for the highest strategic benefit.

The Framework includes the establishment of:
i) a University Trusts Committee;
ii) a Faculty Trust Committee in each Faculty; 
iii) a Division Trust Committee in Division of Academic and Student Engagement and Division of Research and Innovation; and
iv) requirements that trusts be administered in accordance with approved trust rules, and financial forecasting, budgeting and acquittal processes.

The Framework aims to improve and influence accountability, strategic decision making, and compliance with the University’s statutory obligations and donors’ expectations.  It comprises four initiatives:

i) Establishment of a University Trusts Committee as a Special Committee of the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive for the management of the University’s Major Trusts and for oversight of all other trusts;

ii) Establishment of Faculty Trust Committees and Divisional Trust Committees for DASE and DRI to oversee each Faculty or Division's management of their trusts;

iii) For each trust to be administered in accordance with approved Rules which will have regard to strategic decision-making relating to expenditure, and compliance with the terms of the trust; and

iv) For trust expenditure to be included in the University’s budgeting and forecasting processes to ensure expenditure is programmed and acquitted, and non-expenditure is tracked by the Faculty or Division.


The Trusts Governance Framework aims to deliver the following outcomes:-

  1. Improved compliance with the Trustees Act 1936 (SA);
  2. Improved compliance with the terms of each trust;
  3. Increased donor confidence to encourage and grow philanthropy;
  4. Increased strategic use and appropriate oversight of the University's largest endowments;
  5. Increased visibility by University senior management over the management of the University's trusts and the importance of philanthropy, gift-giving strategies and goals; and
  6. More targeted support by the Legal and Risk Branch to Executive Deans/Divisional Heads and Faculties/Divisions to raise the understanding of trusts management.


The University Trust Compliance Centre (UTCC) within the Legal Services Branch will support the stakeholders involved in the Framework by:-

  • providing assistance with reporting requirements for committee meetings;
  • providing assistance with the review and endorsement of Rules;
  • establishing new trusts;
  • providing education and awareness sessions;
  • management of annual compliance reporting;
  • working with Schools/Faculties/Divisions to correct non-compliances;
  • maintaining the University's Trusts Register;
  • providing advice on administering and managing trusts and rules;
  • annual reports to the University Trusts Committee.


Trust Committees - Terms of Reference


Templates and Guidelines


Framework Flowcharts



For more information

Jackie Morris
Senior Trusts Officer
08 8313 5804