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Australian National University

Region: Canberra Country: Australia

About The University
The Australian National University (ANU) is unique among its contemporaries as the only Australian university established by an Act of Federal Parliament, in 1946.

A gift to The Australian National University (ANU) Endowment for Excellence is a gift to the future. Every donation increases the potential of the University's exceptional community of students and researchers to contribute to the future of scholarship in Australia and the world.

Since establishment, the Endowment has assisted hundreds of students to experience ANU, bestowed prizes on students who have excelled in their chosen field, funded visiting fellowships and academic chairs across a range of disciplines and supported public lectures and debates in areas of critical importance to the nation and the region.

There is always more to be done. Supporting the Endowment ensures that the best and brightest scholars can continue to learn, discover, and contribute to the global stock of knowledge well into the future.

We respectfully acknowledge all benefactors and their support of research and scholarship at ANU, which is detailed in our The University was established to be of enduring significance in the post-war life of the nation - to support the development of national unity and identity, to improve Australia's understanding of itself and its neighbours, and to contribute to economic development and social cohesion. Its mandate was to undertake "postgraduate research and study both generally and in relation to subjects of national importance". This national mission gives ANU a distinctive relationship with the Australian Federal Government.

ANU was founded around four initial research institutes in physics, medicine, social sciences and Pacific studies and was the country's only full-time research university. Since then there have been many progressive additions to the University's range of activities, including a significant expansion in 1960 to take on undergraduate students.

Scholars & leaders

From its inception, ANU was built around a group of Australian scholars who had already achieved international distinction, including Sir Mark Oliphant, a leader in radar development and nuclear physics; Sir Howard Florey, discoverer of penicillin; eminent historian, Sir Keith Hancock; and renowned economist, Herbert Nugget' Coombs. The first Vice-Chancellor, Sir Douglass Copland, described ANU as the "great intellectual adventure" and this spirit of discovery is reflected in the University's motto, Naturam primum cognoscere rerum, "First to learn the nature of things".

Continuing to build the University's reputation as a centre of excellence in both teaching and research were a range of new academic leaders. Professor Manning Clark, renowned as the nation's most respected and famous historian, was head of the History Department from 1960 to 1971. Professor Frank Fenner played a leading role in the eradication of smallpox and led the team that pioneered the use of myxamatosis in the control of rabbits. World-renowned mathematician, Professor Hanna Neumann inspired mathematicians, teachers and students in Australia, and became the University's first female professor.

Nobel prizewinners

1945 Sir Howard Florey (later Lord Florey)
Medicine - (shared) for the discovery of penicillin. Lord Florey was an early academic adviser to ANU and Chancellor from 1965-1968.

1963 Professor John Eccles
Medicine - for his pioneering work on aspects of the mammalian central nervous system. Professor Eccles was founding Professor of Physiology at The John Curtin School of Medical Research.

1994 Professor John C Harsanyi
Economics - (shared) for pioneering work on game theory, providing a new tool for economic analysis. Professor Harsanyi taught economics at ANU from 1958 to 1961, completing some of his early research on game theory while at the University.

1996 Professor Rolf Zinkernagel and Professor Peter Doherty
Medicine - for revolutionary work in immunology. Professors Doherty and Zinkernagel first met and worked together at The John Curtin School of Medical Research.

About Foundations

Named foundations within the Endowment have been established to offer continuing support for study and research. These can be in the form of scholarships and prizes, conferences, seminars and/or lectures. Each foundation has a charter approved by ANU Council and supports specific disciplines or activities of the University.


ANU has always been a university with a difference, set apart by its research intensity. The high reputation of ANU within the international academy is now matched by an equivalent and high reputation outside the academy.

Governance & structure

In accordance with the Australian National University Act 1991 (Cth), the Council is the governing body of the University. ANU has seven academic Colleges, made up of a network of inter-related faculties, research schools and centres.

Main campus & surrounds

Our scholars thrive on a campus that mixes all the advantages of Australia's capital city with space to think, grow and enjoy life.

The main campus has more than 200 buildings on 145 hectares in the centre of Canberra.

Other campuses

Our smaller campuses offer specialised facilities for research, fieldwork and accommodation


ANU has excellent sports, accommodation, academic and dining facilities, many of which are available for use by the public.

Arts & culture

Treat your ears and eyes in one of our spaces for music and the arts.

Environment & sustainability

We are proud of our green campus and work to reduce the environmental impact of our operations. We provide leadership on sustainability through community engagement and outreach.


The University commits to communicating research findings through various formats and more widely accessible channels As Australia's national university, we tackle questions that require research strength and depth both within and between disciplines. Explore the various areas conducting research at ANU.

ANU has close links with government, business and research institutions in Australia and overseas. Find out how we can work with you. The University prepares the next generation of researchers through postdoctoral training and research-based higher degrees.

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Australian National University

Contact Details

Address: The Australian National University, Canberra


61 2 6125 6125

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