Protocol and VIPs

Protocol and VIPs


Protocol plays an important role at Macquarie in facilitating positive outcomes and relationships, as we seek to enhance the University's identity, strategy and reputation. Macquarie University is committed to enriching and developing its relationships with key external stakeholders therefore protocol considerations should not  be underestimated - particularly for events, VIP visits, meetings, ceremonies and other functions.

More information about protocol

What is protocol?

Special customs and behaviours have been utilised throughout history as a mark of respect when dealing with people in particular positions of influence and importance - whether they be royalty, military, politicians, academic representatives, business leaders or members of the diplomatic corp. This is what we identify asprotocol, and it ensures that activities such as events, visits and functions are planned and conducted in an appropriate and professional manner.

Protocol includes:

  • forms of address
  • tables of precedence
  • scoping and organising functions
  • order of Proceedings
  • consideration of cultural issues
  • etiquette
  • seating arrangements
  • gift choices
  • speeches
  • briefs and communications with speakers, hosts and key event stakeholders
  • ceremonial matters (including flags and emblems)

Who to contact for protocol advice/support

For domestic external high-profile stakeholders, contact the Events and Domestic Protocol team:
T: (02) 9850 1883 E:

For international external high-profile stakeholders, contact the Macquarie International team:


Engaging with and inviting high-profile visitors to campus is a great way to showcase the University and to promote the excellent work we do. Every occasion is an opportunity to enhance the University's reputation and create a memorable engagement experience with guests. Macquarie University nurtures partnerships with many sectors, groups and individuals so it is essential that protocol is utilised to foster relationships between all parties and deliver expected event outcomes.

To make the most of these opportunities, the Events and Domestic Protocol team may provide support or advice to ensure a positive experience for the visiting dignitary. By leveraging this support, we aim to help you establish effective and influential networks that can be of great value to Macquarie.

More information about VIPs

Additional support, where appropriate, might be offered by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor or the Executive Group, which may include:

  • issuing " formal invitations on behalf of the University
  • providing background briefings on existing relationships and ongoing issues relevant to the guest
  • coordinating other events on campus to extend or enhance the visit
  • providing additional resources to manage and host the event
  • determining if the Vice-Chancellor or other Executive Group members are required to attend undertaking any follow-up actions.

Who is considered a VIP?

If you intend to invite a dignitary who holds a high rank or office to an event at the University, Events and Domestic Protocol is to be notified at the concept stage of the event. People are VIPs if they hold any one of the following titles or positions:

  • current or former Heads of State or their representatives (including governors-general and governors, ambassadors and high commissioners, consuls general, and diplomatic and consular officials)
  • current or former Presidents or Vice Presidents (including deputies and other equivalents)
  • current or former Prime Ministers or Deputy Prime Ministers and their equivalents.
  • any members of a royal family
  • officials of supranational bodies (e.g. United Nations, European Union, International Monetary Fund, etc.)
  • Australian Federal Senators
  • Members of the upper or lower house of a foreign government
  • Members of the Australian Federal Cabinet
  • Leader of the Australian Federal Opposition or members of the Shadow Cabinet
  • Members of the Federal Executive Council
  • Members of the Cabinet of any foreign government
  • current or former Australian State Premiers
  • NSW Leader of the Opposition
  • Members of the NSW Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet
  • foreign government ministers, governors, ambassadors and high commissioners
  • Federal MP for Bennelong
  • State MP for Ryde
  • Mayor of Ryde City Council
  • Mayors of foreign capital cities (e.g. the mayor of London)
  • current or former senior ranking members of the Australian Defence Force
  • current senior ranking members of foreign defence forces
  • current or former Australians of the Year
  • Vice-Chancellors or their equivalents at other universities
  • high-profile University alumni, donors and bequestors
  • holders of honorary doctorates from Macquarie University.
  • corporate engagement partners
  • heads of churches
  • notable academics
  • leading corporate and industry figures
  • media figures
  • any other high-profile person whose presence could impact the profile of the university

Who to contact when arranging a VIP visit

Any student or staff member coordinating a high-profile visit should notify the Events and Domestic Protocol team using the following process:

At the earliest possible opportunity (ideally before the invitation is extended), please email with a completed VIP Alert Form.

  • The form is then checked, logged and circulated to representatives from the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Security, Group Marketing, all Executives, and other key stakeholders.
  • Please ensure you are checking for correspondence as you may be asked to provide more information about the VIP visit.
  • For visits occurring in less than 72 hours, please call the Events and Domestic Protocol team on (02) 9850 1883.
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