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The founding six universities were: Flinders University, Griffith University, La Trobe University, Macquarie University, Murdoch University and University of Newcastle.
Consistent with the aim to support individual universities as they evolve and grow, the membership of IRU has changed over time.
James Cook University joined in 2007, followed by Charles Darwin University in 2009.
These additions were balanced as first Macquarie (2008) and then Newcastle (2014) left the group to pursue their futures independently.
Western Sydney University joined in October 2017 with University of Canberra joining in 2021, bringing the total membership to eight.
Since its inception, the IRU has been at the constructive centre of Australian university policy making, influencing political developments beyond the capacity of individual university members. We advocate policy that supports excellence in teaching, learning and research that has local relevance and global applicability.