Gig Guide: LaTrobe and Monash VCs appointed

Brandon How

La Trobe University has named Professor Theo Farrell as its seventh vice-chancellor and president, while Monash University Professor Susan Elliot has been appointed to the same roles on an interim basis.

Currently serving as the University of Wollongong’s deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president (Academic and Student Life), Professor Farrell will join La Trobe when incumbent vice-chancellor Professor John Dewar departs at the end of January 2024.

Professor Farrell previously served as deputy vice-chancellor (education) and as executive dean of law, humanities, and the arts. He was also previously head of the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.

La Trobe chancellor John Brumby described Professor Farrell as an exceptional, values-driven leader.

“Professor Farrell impressed La Trobe University Council and selection committee with his deep knowledge of the higher education system, and his energy, enthusiasm and ambition for the future of La Trobe University, including University City of the Future and the vital role played by our regional campuses,” he said.

Professor Theo Farrell. Image: La Trobe University

As revealed by, the Department of Defence’s new chief information officer is Orica’s current group chief information officer Chris Crozier. He replaces former CIO Stephen Pearson, who departed in February.

Professor Susan Elliot will commence as interim president and vice-chancellor of Monash University on August 5 after incumbent Professor Margaret Gardner leaves to serve as the Governor of Victoria. Professor Elliot has served as Monash University provost and senior vice-president since June 2021.

Professor Elliot first joined the University in March 2017 as deputy vice-chancellor (education) and senior vice-president, moving from the University of Melbourne where she was deputy provost and deputy vice-chancellor (International).

The new National Rail Manufacturing Advocate and chair of the new Rail Industry Innovation Council is Jacqui Walters. Ms Walters is an experienced board director who has been CleanCo Queensland’s chair since December 2018.

She was previously tasked with establishing and chairing the Citytrain Response Unit by the Queensland state government and is currently a board member for Development Victoria and law firm Slater and Gordon.

The eight other council members are:

  • Graham Bently: Aurecon technical director, rail and mass transit lead Western Australia, rolling stock lead global
  • Danny Broad: Australasian Railway Association and TrackSAFE Foundation chair
  • Vicki Brown: former Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation chief executive and current University of Technology Sydney Transport Research Centre Advisory Board director
  • Samantha McWilliam: WSP in Australia director of rail
  • Rachel Nolan: former Queensland minister for Transport (2009-2011), Deloitte Access Economics special advisor, and University of Queensland International Development public policy and governance consultant.
  • Professor Ravi Ravitharan: Monash University Institute of Railway Technology director and member of Australasian Railway Association Rail Industry Executive Committee.
  • Katarzyna Stapleton: Queensland Rail chief executive
  • Glenn Thompson: Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union assistant national secretary and Australian Super director

The University of New South Wales Allens Hub for Technology Law and Innovation has appointed senior law lecturer Katharine Kemp as deputy director. Ms Kemp will also take on the role as an Associate Professor. She has been at the university since 2015 and previously worked for law firm Allens between 1999 and 2001.

Katherine Kemp. Image: LinkedIn

Former Labor shadow minister for the environment and water Terri Butler has been appointed President of the Smart Energy Council, replacing Steve Blume after nearly 13 years. She joined the board last December.

The new vice-president is NRG Solar director Sam Craft, who was also a founding member of the Australian Women in Solar Energy (AWISE) network. Nexa Advisory founder and chief executive Stephanie Bashir has also joined the board.

At the Productivity Commission, Rosalyn Bell has been promoted to first assistant commissioner, while Samantha Higgins and Susan Bodell have been promoted to Senior Executive Service Band 1 roles in the Department of Defence’s strategy, policy, and industry group.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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