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Go8 Media Release: Go8 Chair’s move to University of Auckland a significant loss to Australia’s higher education sector

Go8 Chair’s move to University of Auckland a significant loss to Australia’s higher education sector

The Group of Eight (Go8) congratulates Go8 Chair and University of Western Australia (UWA) Vice Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater on the announcement that she will leave in March 2020 to take up the position of University of Auckland Vice Chancellor.

 “Professor Freshwater will take the helm of a top 100 university with which the Go8 has long had a positive strategic partnership,” Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said. “This move is Australia’s loss and New Zealand’s gain.

“The changes made at UWA under Professor Freshwater’s strong leadership signal that the University of Auckland has an even more positive future ahead of it with such a dynamic new leader.”

Ms Thomson said Professor Freshwater was the Go8’s first female Chair and that the Go8 looked forward to benefiting from that continued leadership as Chair until her departure next March. “As the Go8 advocates on behalf of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, it benefits from the fact that its Chair, Professor Freshwater is held in high regard by the Morrison Government and that she has made such a strong International impact on behalf of Australia’s higher education sector.

“Notably, in the US in April, Professor Freshwater was the only Australian higher education representative invited to a small very high-level dinner meeting hosted by Australia’s Ambassador and attended by President Trump’s Chief of Staff and his senior advisers plus representatives of Australia’s business community including Lachlan Murdoch,” said Ms Thomson.

“In China in May, Professor Freshwater was warmly welcomed at a series of high-level Government meetings in Beijing as someone committed to delivering quality international student outcomes and the continuation of world class research partnerships,” she said.

“Western Australia will also feel the loss of a strategic advocate on behalf of that State,” said Ms Thomson. “There she has involved her university in the community, making a recognised valuable contribution to the State’s future.

“The Go8 wishes Professor Freshwater well, and is pleased it can continue to benefit from her energetic contribution and leadership until March 2020.”

Media contact:  Vicki Thomson Go8 Chief Executive (+61) 407 808 472