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Media release: ANU Chief and Nobel Prize winner Professor Brian Schmidt to Chair Group of Eight

One of Australia’s most eminent scientists, Professor Brian Schmidt AC, has been appointed Chair of the Group of Eight universities.  

The Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist and Vice Chancellor of ANU has previously served as Deputy Chair of the Go8 and is well regarded for his significant contribution to public debate.  

Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said Professor Schmidt’s appointment would ensure the continuity of excellent leadership at the helm of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities.  

“Professor Schmidt is an outstanding appointment to replace outgoing Chair and Monash University Vice Chancellor, Professor Margaret Gardner AC, who expertly guided the Go8 through the significant challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Her capacity for negotiation and commitment to achieving outcomes that benefit the entire university sector as well as the broader community are unsurpassed. As Australia’s longest serving and most experienced Vice Chancellor, Professor Gardner will continue to play a key role in the shaping of public policy and on the Go8 Board,” said Ms Thomson.  

Professor Schmidt said: “I am really proud to serve as the Chair of the Group of Eight and look forward to working with all my colleagues to ensure our universities – the very best our nation boasts  – continue to deliver major benefits for Australia and all Australians.

“Australian universities make a major contribution to the prosperity, wellbeing and security of Australia – none more than the Group of Eight.

“Our research improves lives, drives innovation, creates jobs and powers our economy to the tune of billions each year.  

“Our teaching creates the skilled and knowledgeable workforce our nation needs while also building vital ties all across the globe.

“Together we drive Australia’s vital role as a leading nation for knowledge, discovery and education.”  

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Scott AO will take on the role of Deputy Chair, with both appointments commencing on  1 February, 2023.

Contact:  Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472