Ministerial and Dignitary Invitations - Guidelines

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These guidelines outline the steps for inviting Ministers and other dignitaries to an event or activity held in UQ’s name or on UQ property.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Activity – Visit, meeting, event, building opening, media call or any other official business

Dignitaries – Governors-General, Governors, State or Federal parliamentarians, diplomats, Australian and State Chief Scientists and the Chief Justice

Host area – Faculty, School, Institute or area hosting the activity

Protocol – Protocol Unit within OMC

VC – Vice-Chancellor and President

3. Guidelines Scope/Coverage

These guidelines apply to all UQ staff and students.

4. Guidelines Statement

The University seeks to maximise its interactions with Ministers and other dignitaries in order to protect the University’s 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.

5. Considerations for Inviting a Dignitary

Invitations to dignitaries should be carefully considered and need to be discussed with and approved by the relevant Executive Dean, Director or equivalent within the work area. Dignitaries receive numerous invitations to events on a daily basis 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. In these instances staff are required to forward to Protocol a copy of the funding agreement, to ensure that ministerial expectations can be noted and that event requirements of the contract are met.

6. Initiating a Request to Invite a Dignitary

To invite a dignitary to UQ, the host area is required to supply a draft invitation letter/s and a completed Protocol Advice Form (login required) to

Invitations will be forwarded by Protocol to the VC for consideration and signature. All invitations to dignitaries are to be issued from the Office of the VC.

All requests must be submitted with a minimum of six weeks’ notice, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Please allow up to a week for your invitation to be considered and sent from the VC's office. Additionally, depending on the dignitary, it may take several weeks for their office to process and reply to your invitation.

7. 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 Protocol website.

8. Drafting Invitations

When inviting a dignitary, all staff are required to complete the Protocol Advice Form and submit a draft letter of invitation. Examples of these can be found on the Protocol website (login required). A copy of the funding agreement, if applicable, should be attached to the request.

Once this information has been received, the draft letter of invitation and advice form will be forwarded to the Office of the VC for consideration and signature. Please note that Protocol will, in some instances, revise these letters prior to forwarding to the VC.

If the invitation request is approved, the invitation will be sent from the Office of the VC, and a copy forwarded to Protocol for dissemination as required.

9. Activity Arrangements

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

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

10. Budget

The costs associated with the activity will be covered by the host area, unless otherwise agreed by the Office of the VC or other area as applicable. Protocol is to be advised of final costs, post event, for reporting purposes.

11. Media

If media coverage is sought, a Communications Officer from OMC will liaise with the contact person in the Minister or dignitary’s office concerning publicity. This Communications Officer will be the sole point of contact for liaising with the VIP’s media staff. 

OMC will issue all University press releases in connection with the activity, as per the University’s Media Policy.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Advancement) Ms Jen Karlson


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Protocol Templates and Requests - Forms

Protocol Templates and Requests - Forms

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Access to Protocol request forms and templates requires UQ staff username/password login.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Advancement) Ms Jen Karlson
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Advancement) Ms Jen Karlson
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Advancement) Ms Jen Karlson