Ministerial and Dignitary Protocol - Guidelines

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

This guideline outlines the steps for inviting Ministers and other dignitaries to an event or activity held in The University of Queensland’s (UQ or the University) name or on UQ property. The guideline applies to all UQ staff.           

2.0    Guidelines Statement

The University seeks to maximise its interactions with Ministers and other dignitaries in order to promote the University's activities and enhance its reputation with these key external stakeholders. These guidelines aim to ensure a coordinated approach to the University’s interactions with Ministers and other dignitaries, regardless of the unit initiating the interaction.

3.0    Considerations for Inviting a Dignitary

Dignitaries receive numerous invitations to events and the University needs to ensure that it is inviting the most appropriate person to attend the particular event according to their role, background and any links with the activity and/or work area. In some instances it may be more suitable to invite an Assistant Minister.

If the University is inviting a dignitary there will be an expectation that they will be offered a role in the official proceedings and an opportunity to address guests. This must be made clear in the draft letter of invitation.

When it comes to building openings or events where government funding has been given, it may be a requirement that a Minister or dignitary is given the opportunity to open the building or make the announcement.

4.0     Initiating a Request to Invite a Dignitary

All events involving a dignitary are subject to special requirements such as:

  • event organisers are to inform UQ Events at, as early as possible (minimum seven weeks prior to event date), and –

    • provide a list of proposed dignitary invites including brief rationale/justification for each invitation

    • draft letters of invitation for each dignitary (template will be supplied);

  • the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor must be invited to host an event if a dignitary is invited;

  • all invitations are carefully considered and need to be discussed with and approved by the relevant organisational head or executive leadership;

  • all invitations must be sent by the Vice-Chancellor (unless otherwise directed).

UQ Events will assist with communicating with the Vice-Chancellor’s office, and informing UQ Government Partnerships and Policy (GPP).

5.0    Event Date Selection

The best days to hold events are usually mid-week. Mondays and Fridays usually attract lower attendance numbers (depending on the type of activity) and some dignitaries will not attend events on a Friday.

When inviting a government representative it is also important to consider parliamentary sitting dates, as they will generally be unable to attend on these days. Details of both Queensland and federal sitting dates can be found on the UQ Government Partnerships and Policy webpage.

6.0    Activity Arrangements

For consistency and to ensure a coordinated approach to the University’s interactions, UQ Events will be the sole point of contact with the dignitary and their office.

All arrangements for the activity will be coordinated by UQ Events in conjunction with the hosting area.


Vice - President (Advancement and Community Engagement) Ms Jen Karlson
Vice - President (Advancement and Community Engagement) Ms Jen Karlson