UNSW Canberra Advisory Council

Campus Stock Imagery

Overseeing our mission to develop future global leaders

The UNSW Canberra Advisory Council lends its energy, experience and influence in pursuit of our mission to develop future global leaders in defence and civilian industries. The invited members have diverse and impressive backgrounds. Members of the Advisory Council act in a voluntary capacity, guiding our collaborations with alumni, businesses, government, Department of Defence and the community.

The Council provides independent advice stemming from their invaluable knowledge and experience. The Council advises UNSW Canberra on all aspects of the faculty’s operations, including:

  • strategy
  • external relations
  • business opportunities and needs, including market intelligence insights
  • research and teaching activities
  • supporting a collaborative community of excellence
  • alumni and student matters.

Our Council ensures UNSW Canberra is the best faculty for developing global leaders in defence-related fields as well as arts, business, engineering, IT and science.

Advisory Council

Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston led a distinguished 41-year career in the Australian Defence Force. He retired as Chief of the Defence Force in 2011.

As well as UNSW Canberra Advisory Council chair, Houston also chairs for a range of organisations, including:

  • Murray-Darling Basin Authority
  • Airservices Australia
  • Defence South Australia Advisory Board
  • Council for the Order of Australia
  • Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

He’s also a Board Member of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, the Anzac Centenary Public Fund Board and GreaterGood Canberra. In addition, he is the Ambassador/Patron of numerous charitable organisations.

Sir Houston was named the 2011 Australian Father of the Year and the 2012 ACT Australian of the Year. In 2015, he became a Knight of the Order of Australia.

Robert Clark was formerly an officer in the Royal Australian Navy, a Lecturer and Fellow of The Queen’s College at the University of Oxford, and Scientia Professor and Chair Professor of Experimental Physics at UNSW.

As an inaugural Australian Government Federation Fellow, he was the founding Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology in its first decade.

More recently, he was Chief Defence Scientist in the Australian Department of Defence, CEO of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and a member of Australia’s Defence Committee. In that role, he was the Australian Principal of The Technical Cooperation Program between Australia, the US, the UK, Canada and New Zealand, and a member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.

He’s a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Distinguished Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales and a Senior Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Professor Clark has been privileged to receive a number of awards and honours,  including, the Australian Museum CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science, the Australian Centenary Medal, the Australian Defence Medal, the United States of America Secretary of Defence Medal, two medal awards for distinguished service from US government agencies, and he’s an Officer in the Order of Australia.

Stephanie Copus-Campbell is the Executive Director of the Oil Search Foundation, based in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Foundation implements annual health, leadership, education, and women’s empowerment and protection programs. She’s  also Chair of the Board of Directors of the Southern Highlands Provincial Health Authority in PNG and a Non-Executive Director (NED) and immediate past treasurer of Femili PNG.

Previously, Copus-Campbell was a Board Director for UNICEF Australia and Executive Director of the Harold Mitchell Foundation. She has experience leading Australian Government aid programs and, from 2009–2011, was the head of Australia’s aid program with PNG. Copus-Campbell holds a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University in International Relations and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California in Political Science.

Michael Forshaw was appointed as an ALP Senator for NSW in May 1994 and re-elected in 1998 and 2004. He retired from the Senate in June 2011.

During his 17 years in the Senate, Forshaw served on many parliamentary committees. He was Chair of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade, the Senate Foreign Affairs Defence & Trade Committee and the Senate Finance & Public Administration Committee. He was a member of the Joint Intelligence & Security Committee and the Joint Committee on Public Works.

He served as Opposition Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Family & Community Services, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. In 2007, he served as an Australian Parliamentary Advisor to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Prior to entering Parliament, Forshaw was General Secretary of the Australian Workers Union (AWU). He worked for the AWU for 18 years from 1976–1994. During this time, he was a member of the ACTU Executive and represented the Australian Trade Union movement at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva on three occasions. Additionally, he served as a member of the Board of the CSIRO and a Director of the Australian Retirement Fund.

Forshaw served as Councillor on Sutherland Shire Council from 2016–2021 and served as Deputy Mayor in 2020-2021. He was Chairman of Chifley Financial Services Pty Ltd from 2015–2020.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Sydney University (1974) and a Bachelor of Law from UNSW (1984). He was admitted as a Barrister in NSW in 1985.

Forshaw lives in the Sutherland Shire, Sydney. He is active in a number of local community voluntary organisations.

Gayle Ginnane has considerable public sector and private board experience for commercial and not-for-profit organisations. She currently holds directorships with Healthdirect and Police Health. Ginnane also contributes to several Audit and Risk Committees either as Chair or an independent member.

Previously, she held Director/Board Member positions with the National Blood Authority, ACT Medicare Local, CIT Solutions, National Childcare Accreditation Council, Australian Pharmacy Council and the Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority.

Ginnane has more than 30 years of experience in the public sector. She was Chief Executive Officer of the Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC) for 12 years. She holds Bachelor degrees in Arts and Economics from the University of Queensland, a Master’s degree in Defence Studies from UNSW and a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies from Joint Services Staff College (now the Australian War College).

David Michel is the General Manager of the Landmark Group.

Previously, he held executive roles in companies including Richard Crookes Constructions who built the current ADFA Auditorium and the Sports Centre, and was responsible for the cadet accommodation refurbishment.

Michel managed the operational planning and preparation for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games villages before moving to Athens to advise on the planning and preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games.

He was also an Officer in the Australian Army for five years. 

Michel holds a Bacholor of Arts (Hons) from UNSW, a Master of Business Administration (Copenhagen Business School) and a Master of Business Administration (AGSM @ UNSW). He has also completed the Company Directors Course from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Rear Admiral Raydon Gates graduated from the Royal Australian Naval College in 1974.

His early career was spent primarily at sea, serving on more than 15 ships with two postings to the United Kingdom for specialist warfare training. His sea service culminated with the command of the guided missile frigates HMAS Canberra in 1991-1993 and HMAS Adelaide 1995-1997. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal for his command of Canberra during an operational deployment to the Middle East enforcing United Nations sanctions against Iraq. He was awarded the French Order of Maritime Merit for his command of Adelaide during the Southern Ocean rescue of the stricken Vendee Globe yachtsman, Thierry Dubois and Tony Bullimore.

Rear Admiral Gates’ shore postings included operational and personnel positions in Sydney and Canberra at various headquarters.

He has been awarded a Master’s in Business Administration, a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies and a Diploma of Company Directorship. He’s a graduate of several strategic leadership management programs from Mt Eliza Management College, Australian Graduate School of Management, Oxford University and Harvard University.

He was promoted to Rear Admiral in January 2001 and appointed as the inaugural Commander of the Australian Defence College in Canberra, responsible for joint staff training of officers from O-1 to the O-6 rank levels. Rear Admiral Gates was Maritime Commander Australia from July 2002 to June 2004, and was responsible for the entire Australian Fleet. He commanded the Fleet during the Iraq War and the continuing Global War on Terror. He was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in the 2005 Australia Day Honours List for his distinguished service as a Flag Officer. Rear Admiral Gates was accredited as the Australian Defence Attaché and Head Australian Defence Staff (Washington) from August 2004 to July 2008. He was awarded the United States Legion of Merit for meritorious service as the Defence Attaché. He transferred to the Royal Australian Naval Reserve in November 2008, after a career of 37 years.

Rear Admiral Gates, a native of Western Australia, is married to Alison and they now reside in Canberra.