Go8 Board

The Go8 Board, which consists of the vice-chancellors (presidents) of its eight member universities, meets five times a year.

The Chair of the Board rotates among member universities.

The current Chair of the Board is Professor Peter Høj, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Queensland.

Link to Professor Peter Høj's biography.


The University of Queensland
Professor Peter Høj


Professor Peter Høj commenced as Vice Chancellor and President of The University of Queensland on 8 October 2012. 

Prior to this appointment Professor Høj was Vice-Chancellor and President UniSA from 1 June 2007. Before that, he was Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Council (2004-07) and Managing Director of the Australian Wine Research Institute, based in Adelaide (1997-2004). 

He was educated at the University of Copenhagen, majoring in biochemistry and chemistry, and has a Master of Science degree in biochemistry and genetics, a PhD in photosynthesis and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Copenhagen.

UNSW Sydney
Professor Ian Jacobs


Professor Ian Jacobs is President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW Sydney (the University of New South Wales), a position he has held since February 2015. 

Professor Jacobs came to Australia from the UK, where he had a distinguished career as a leading researcher in the area of women’s health and cancer and in university leadership. Immediately prior to joining UNSW he was Vice President and Dean at the University of Manchester and Director of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, a partnership linking the University with six healthcare organisations involving over 36,000 staff. He was previously at University College London, where he created and led the Institute for Women’s Health, was Research Director of UCL Partners and Dean of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences.

The University of Sydney
Dr Michael Spence

Dr Michael Spence graduated from The University of Sydney with First Class Honours in English, Italian and Law in 1985. 

At Oxford University, Dr Spence obtained his PhD and continued to develop his career there over the next 20 years. He became a  Fellow of St Catherine and also obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Theology  from the University of Oxford.

Among his many achievements at Oxford,  Dr Spence oversaw significant growth of research activity and funding in the Social Sciences, and the strengthening of links between the social science departments, and between them and the University more broadly.

He became Vice-Chancellor of The University of Sydney in July 2008. 

The Australian National University
Brian Schmidt
Professor Brian P. Schmidt was appointed Vice-Chancellor and President of the Australian National University (ANU) in January 2016.

Professor Schmidt is the 12th Vice-Chancellor of the ANU. Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, Professor Schmidt was an astrophysicist at the ANU Mount Stromlo Observatory and Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics before becoming Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Schmidt received undergraduate degrees in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Arizona in 1989, and completed his Astronomy Master's degree (1992) and PhD (1993) from Harvard University. Under his leadership, in 1998, the High-Z Supernova Search team made the startling discovery that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating. Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the United States Academy of Science, and the Royal Society, he was made Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.


Monash University
Professor Margaret Gardner AO

Professor Margaret Gardner is President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash University.

Prior to joining Monash, Professor Gardner was Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT from April 2005 until August 2014. She has extensive academic experience, having held various leadership positions in Australian universities, including at The University of Queensland and Griffith University.

Professor Gardner is Deputy Chair of Universities Australia and a Director of the Group of Eight Universities. She is also a Director of Infrastructure Victoria and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), and was recently made a member of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Inclusion and Diversity Committee.

Professor Gardner has previously been chair of Museum Victoria and chaired the Strategic Advisory Committee and the Expert Panel of the Office of Learning and Teaching (Federal Government Department of Education and Training). She has also been a member of various other boards and committees, including the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, the ANZAC Centenary Advisory Board and the International Education Advisory Committee, which led to the Chaney Report.

In 2007, Professor Gardner was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of service to tertiary education, particularly in the areas of university governance and gender equity, and to industrial relations in Queensland.

The University of Melbourne
Professor Glyn Davis AC

Professor Glyn Davis was the Go8 Chair  (2005-2007). He became Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Melbourne on 10 January 2005.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with first-class honours in political science from the University of New South Wales and was awarded his Doctorate of Philosophy  from The Australian National University.

The University of Adelaide
Professor Warren Bebbington

Professor Warren Bebbington commenced as the University of Adelaide's 20th Vice-Chancellor in July 2012.

A Fulbright Scholar, Professor Bebbington studied at the University of Melbourne and in New York at Queens College, Columbia University, and the CUNY Graduate School, completing masters degrees in Arts, Music, and Philosophy, and a PhD.

Prior to his role at the University of Adelaide, he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (University Affairs), and previously, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Relations) at the University of Melbourne. He also served as a Dean at the University of Melbourne and at the University of Queensland, and before that taught at the Australian National University's School of Music.

The University of Western Australia
Professor Dawn Freshwater

Professor Dawn Freshwater was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Australia on 16 January 2017. 

Prior to that, she served as the University’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (SDVC) and Registrar for a three-year period, followed by a two months as Acting Vice-Chancellor. 

Before moving to Western Australia to take up the SDVC position, she was the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Staff and Organizational Effectiveness, Professor of Mental Health and Head of the School of Healthcare at the University of Leeds. Professor Freshwater received her doctorate at the University of Nottingham in 1998 and has been the recipient of numerous awards. She was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing in 2001.

As an active academic Professor Freshwater serves on the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Research Excellence Framework panel; reviews and acts in an advisory capacity for the National Institute for Health Research and Medical Research Council and to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. She contributes to clinical academic fellowship panels and to awards of doctoral training centres. Her most recent research in the area of women’s leadership was funded by the British Council and led to a Global Education Dialogue in Hong Kong. 

In her leadership capacity, Professor Freshwater has championed and led a number of initiatives, including leading the University’s major reform. She has also led the recruitment of 50 leadership Chairs, implemented a zoning approach to professorial careers, has overseen the successful achievement of a University Athena Swan award and development of a strategy for equality and inclusion.