Council members biographies

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Mr David Gonski AC (Chairman)

Official Member
Chancellor

BCom, LLB (UNSW), FAICD (Life), FCPA, Hon. LLD (UOW)

David Gonski is Chancellor of the University of New South Wales. David is also the President of the Art Gallery of NSW Trust. He is a Non-Executive Chairman of Barrenjoey Capital Partners Group Holdings Pty Limited. He is a Director of Sydney Airport Limited board and a member of the board of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Member of the Accelerating R&D in NSW Advisory Committee, a Patron of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and Raise Foundation and a Founding Panel Member of Adara Partners.

He was previously Chairman of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, Chair of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools for the Commonwealth Government of Australia, a member of the Takeovers Panel, Director of Singapore Airlines Limited, the Westfield Group and Singapore Telecommunications Limited, Chairman of Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd, the Australian Securities Exchange Ltd, the Sydney Theatre Company, the Guardians of the Future Fund, the Australia Council for the Arts, the Board of Trustees of Sydney Grammar School and Investec Bank (Australia) Ltd. (March 2021)

Professor Attila Brungs FTSE FRNS

Official Member
Vice-Chancellor and President

BSc (Hons) (UNSW), DPhil (Oxon) 

Professor Brungs commenced his appointment on 31 January 2022, joining UNSW from his position as Vice-Chancellor and President of University of Technology Sydney (UTS) (2014 – 2021). He was Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research), UTS (2009 – 2014). In November 2021, Professor Brungs was appointed Emeritus Professor and Emeritus Vice-Chancellor, UTS.

He is a distinguished academic and higher education leader with extensive experience in government and corporate sectors. He has held senior roles with CSIRO and McKinsey & Company, and leadership roles and appointments including Chair of the Australian Technology Network of Universities, the NSW Vice-Chancellors’ Page 2 Committee; and member of the Universities Australia Board, the Federal Government Sustainability Research Committee, the Committee for Sydney Board, the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council, and the Federal Government’s National University Precincts Advisory Committee.

Professor Brungs’ esteemed academic career commenced with undergraduate studies at UNSW, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Science and the University Medal in Industrial Chemistry. He then studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, attaining a Doctor of Philosophy in Inorganic Chemistry. In 2018, Professor Brungs was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Technology and Engineering for his research into heterogeneous catalysis and for his leadership in the higher education sector.

Professor Brungs’ fundamental belief that universities exist as a public good for the benefit of all drives his passion for higher education and research. He has been an ardent advocate of the contribution universities made to the COVID-19 response in Australia and globally, and for the critical role they will have in Australia’s recovery and growth in the coming years. He is a dedicated innovator who believes universities have the responsibility to prepare their students for the jobs of the future and to be instrumental in creating those opportunities.

The returning UNSW alumnus is excited about working with the UNSW community to further enhance the University’s reputation as a dynamic, progressive hub of education and research excellence. He is committed to harnessing the vast talents and ideas of students, staff, alumni, Council and partners to realise the UNSW vision to have a positive impact on the world around us.

Professor Brungs is keen to build on UNSW’s strong collaboration and research commercialisation credentials, finding more opportunities to partner with government, industry and other academic institutions to create real benefits for Australia and for communities around the world.

Professor Brungs is honoured to have returned to UNSW to lead the University in its mission to improve lives globally, through innovative research, transformative education and a commitment to a just society.

(February 2022)

Professor David Cohen

Official Member
President of the Academic Board
BSc (Hons)(Sydney), MSc (Queen’s, Canada), PhD (UNSW)

Professor Cohen has been President of the UNSW Academic Board since 2017, having been Deputy President from 2010 to 2016. He is Chair of the UNSW Academic Board Advisory Committee, and a member of the University’s academic governance committees, including Academic Quality, Academic Programs, Program Review, Research and the Higher Degree Research Committees, as well as the University Promotions Committees. He is an ex officio member of the UNSW Council.

David has been working at UNSW since completing his PhD in the Department of Applied Geology in the Faculty of Applied Science in 1990. He has made a significant contribution to the academic governance at UNSW, including serving on a number of faculty and university academic committees and leading the review of several academic programs. Page 3

David was Head of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) in the UNSW Faculty of Science from 2008 to 2016. Under his leadership BEES grew to be one of the most research-productive schools at UNSW with a doubling in the number of higher degree research students and significant increases in research funding, publications and the number of research fellows.

David is recognised nationally and internationally for his scholarship in exploration and environmental geochemistry. He has led projects in Australia, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. He has published over 90 papers, book chapters and major reports, including the Geochemical Atlas of Cyprus. He has secured over $4M in research grants. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Geochemical Exploration.

David is a former President and silver medal winner of the (International) Association of Applied Geochemists, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Geosciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales. He has been the Australasian Institute for Mining and Metallurgy visiting lecturer to New Zealand and a keynote speaker at major conferences, including Goldschmidt and the PDAC Decennial series. He is a member of the Chairs of Academic Boards and Senates of Australia and Chair of the Moore Theological College Academic Board. He is also the UNSW nominee on the New College Board. He is the President of the Australian Geoscience Council.

(February 2020)

Dr Jennifer Westacott AO

Ministerial Appointment
BA (UNSW)

Jennifer Westacott AO has served as Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia since 2011, bringing a unique combination of extensive policy experience in the public and private sectors. The Business Council of Australia is the nation’s premier business organisation, advocating for a stronger and fairer society through a more prosperous Australia. Under her leadership, the Business Council tirelessly champions meaningful policies that strengthen the ability of businesses to grow the economy for the benefit of all Australians.

Jennifer built her career in the public sector, working in senior leadership positions in the NSW and Victorian governments. She has served as the Director General of the NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources; the Secretary of the Victorian Department of Education and Training; and the Director of Housing in Victoria. She was also the Deputy Director General of the NSW Department of Community Services, and the Deputy Director General of the NSW Department of Housing. As a senior partner at KPMG, Jennifer advised major corporations on climate change and sustainability and advised governments across Australia on significant reform priorities.

Jennifer has an unrivalled understanding of how the public and private sectors intersect and can work together to achieve the best outcomes in the national interest.

Since 2013, Jennifer has served as a Non-Executive Director of Wesfarmers Limited. She is the Chair of the Western City & Aerotropolis Authority, which is overseeing the design and delivery of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis. The global employment centre and investment hub will surround the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport at Badgerys Creek.

Jennifer is an Adjunct Professor at the City Futures Research Centre of the University of NSW. She is the inaugural Chair of the Board of Studio Schools of Australia, and a patron of Mental Health Australia. Jennifer also serves as the Australian Co-chair of the Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum Organising Committee, the Co-Patron of Pride in Diversity, and as a patron of the Pinnacle Foundation.

In 2018, Jennifer was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of New South Wales and in 2017 received an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Letters) from her alma mater. She was a Chevening Scholar at the London School of Economics.

(February 2020)

Dr Raji Ambikairajah

Ministerial Appointment
BEng (Hons) Eng (UNSW), PhD (UNSW), GAICD

Dr Raji Ambikairajah holds a PhD in electrical engineering from UNSW and has spent most of her career in the technology start‐up and venture capital sectors. As the former Chief Executive Officer of the tech start‐up, Folo, she led the launch of a new profit‐for‐purpose ecommerce platform which attracted thousands of users and democratised philanthropy. Prior to this, Raji was the Chief Operating Officer of Women in Banking and Finance where she accelerated the organisation's growth over a 24‐month period to span four cities in Australia.

Raji is an Ambassador for Room to Read, a global non‐profit organisation that provides children in low‐income communities with access to education. Before this, Raji was Room to Read's Sydney Chapter Leader for seven years. Under her leadership, the chapter reached 116,480 children, grew to be the biggest in the world in terms of number of volunteers and was in the top five globally for fundraising.

Raji is an experienced board director and is currently a Non‐Executive Director across a range of boards including the NSW State Library Foundation, the Belvoir Theatre and the UNSW Foundation. Raji was awarded the 2018 NSW Woman of the Year Award in the Community Hero category. In 2019, Raji won the Chief Executive Women scholarship to study strategic innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

(April 2020)

Dr Jennifer Alexander

Member appointed by Council
Pro-Chancellor

MCom, MHP, MBBS

Dr Jennifer Alexander is a registered medical practitioner, with degrees in medicine, health administration and commerce and medical specialist qualifications in medical administration (FRACMA) and public health (FAFPHM). She is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), the Australian Institute of Management (AIM), and the Australian College of Health Service Managers.

Jennifer is currently a non-executive director of Mindgardens Neuroscience Network. Her previous and current UNSW appointments include: Council member (2008-2012; 2014 – current), Pro-Chancellor (2011- 2012; 2014 - current), Board of Governors of the UNSW Alumni Association, Leaders Forum of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research and Alumni Leaders Network of the UNSW Business School ( 2005 – current).

She has served on the boards of Neuroscience Australia ( NeuRA), the Health Insurance Commission, Medibank Private, the NSW Medical Board, Health Leaders Network, Health Communication Network, Relationships Australia (NSW),the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, of which she was President (1994-1996) and the national children’s choir, Gondwana Voices, of which she was chairman (2006- 2010). From 2014- 2018 she was an independent advisor on clinical governance to the board of Medibank Private. She has served on the Audit and Risk Committees of the NSW State Emergency Service and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority.

Her previous executive roles have included Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (2009-2014), CEO Australian Institute of Management (NSW & ACT) (2004-2009), CEO Health Leaders Network (HLN) (1998-2004), General Superintendent (CEO) of Westmead Hospital and Community Health Services (1989-1995) and Medical Director and Deputy CEO (St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney) (1984- 1989). She has also undertaken numerous consulting assignments in the areas of strategy, leadership and organisational development, organisational change and institutional strengthening with experience in Australia, NZ, Asia, UK, Europe and USA.

(February 2020)

Ms Maxine Brenner

Member appointed by Council
BA LLB

Maxine Brenner is a Director of Origin Energy Ltd, Orica Ltd, Qantas Airways Limited and Woolworths Group.

Ms Brenner was formerly a Managing Director of Investment Banking at Investec Bank (Australia) Ltd. She has extensive experience in corporate advisory work, particularly in relation to mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructures and general corporate activity. She practised as a lawyer with Freehill, Hollingdale & Page (now Herbert Smith Freehills) where she specialised in corporate work and spent several years as a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at both UNSW Sydney and the University of Sydney.

Ms Brenner was Deputy Chair of Federal Airports Corporation and a Director of Neverfail Springwater Ltd, Bulmer Australia Ltd, Treasury Corporation of NSW and Growthpoint Properties Australia Ltd. She also served as a Member of the Australian Government's Takeover Panel.

(April 2021)

Mr Mark Johnson

Member appointed by Council
BCom (UNSW), FCA, CPS, FAICD

Mark Johnson is a company director and advisor. He is currently Chairman and a non-executive director of G8 Education and the Hospital Contributions Fund of Australia (HCF) and a non-executive director of Coca-Cola Amatil, The Smith Family and Goodman Limited. Mark is also a director of a number of other private operating businesses.

He is formerly a Director of Westfield Corporation and HSBC Bank Australia. Mark completed his term as CEO and Senior Partner for Australia for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 2012 after a career spanning more than 30 years with that firm and its predecessors. He was also Deputy Chairman for Asia and a member of its Global Leadership Team. Mark is a former member of the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and was for a number of years the Deputy Chairman of the Finance and Reporting Committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mark is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. He graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Commerce and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1982.

(April 2021)

Mr Matthew Grounds AM

Member appointed by Council
BCom, LLB (UNSW)

Matthew Grounds is Chairman of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and a member of the University of New South Wales Council.

Matthew retired from UBS in December 2019 after 25 years where he was Chief Executive Officer and Country Head of UBS Australasia, a position he held since May 2008. He was also a member of the UBS Foundation, UBS Asia Pacific Management Committee and a Group Managing Director. Until May 2014 he held the position of Head of Corporate Client Solutions, Asia Pacific and was a member of the UBS Investment Bank Global Executive Committee. Prior to being appointed as Head of Corporate Client Solutions, Asia Pacific in November 2012, Matthew held the position of Joint Global Head of Investment Banking.

With more than 25 years of investment banking experience, Matthew is one of Australia’s leading corporate advisers and has been responsible for a number of landmark transactions for major Australian and international companies.

UBS is one of the world’s leading financial firms, serving a discerning global client base. As an organisation, it combines financial strength with an international culture that embraces change. As an integrated firm, UBS creates added value for clients by drawing on the combined resources and expertise of all its businesses.

In Australia and New Zealand, UBS has been the number one Investment Bank for the last decade. UBS offers asset and wealth management services by combining local insight and credentials with the firm’s global franchise.

Matthew graduated from the University of New South Wales and holds a degree in Commerce (Finance Major) and Law.

(February 2020)

Mr Warwick Negus

Member appointed by Council
Deputy Chancellor
BBus (UTS), MCom (UNSW), SF Fin

Warwick Negus graduated with a Masters Degree in Commerce from UNSW in 1987. His career in the finance industry has encompassed roles in both funds management and investment banking in Australia, Asia and the UK.

Warwick began his working career as a management trainee with BHP in the early '80s but in 1987, upon graduation from UNSW, he moved to Bankers Trust Australia Limited and began work in funds management. Between 1993 and 1999 he worked for Goldman Sachs as a Managing Director in its Asset Management Division in Hong Kong, Singapore and London. He moved back to Australia as Managing Director in the Firm's Sydney-based Investment Banking Division where he worked until September 2002.

In 2002, Warwick co-founded 452 Capital Pty Limited, an independent fund management company which was later sold to CBA. In June 2005, he was appointed as Chief Executive of Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFS GAM), Australia's largest fund manager and he retained the role until 2008.

Warwick was a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Commerce and Economics in 2001. It was later to become the UNSW Business School. He was Chairman of the Advisory Board until 2008.

He joined the Council of UNSW in 2008 and has been the Presiding Member of the Finance Committee of Council since that time. In 2020, he was appointed as Deputy Chancellor. He is a Director of Washington H Soul Pattinson & Co, the Bank of Queensland and Virgin Australia. He is Chairman of Pengana capital and a Director of Terrace Tower Group. Warwick has been Chairman of UNSW Global Limited since 2017 and was a Director of the UNSW Foundation until 2016.

(February 2020)

Professor Justine Nolan

Elected Member of Academic Staff
MPP University of California, Berkley, LLB (Hons) (ANU), BSc (ANU)

Justine Nolan is the Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute and a Professor in the Faculty of Law and Justice at UNSW Sydney. She has published widely on business and human rights and her latest book, Addressing Modern Slavery (2019) (with M. Boersma) examines how consumers, business and government are both part of the problem and the solution in curbing modern slavery in global supply chains.  She advises companies, NGOs and governments on these issues and is a member of the Australian Government’s Modern Slavery Expert Advisory Group. Justine has practiced as a private sector and international human rights lawyer.  She is the Executive Editor of the Australian Journal of Human Rights,  a member of the Editorial Board of the Business and Human Rights Journal and is a Visiting Scholar at NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.

Professor Louise Lutze-Mann

Elected Member of Academic Staff
BSc (Hons) UNSW, PhD UNSW, SFHEA

Louise Lutze-Mann is the Director of Education Focussed Career Development at UNSW, Sydney, Australia. She is also an Associate Professor in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, where she teaches and conducts research on drug repurposing for the treatment of brain cancer. Louise is a Fellow of the Scientia Education Academy and she has received multiple awards for her teaching including, a National Award for Teaching Excellence. In her role as Director, Louise is responsible for developing programs that support academic staff to deliver educational excellence for their students, to enhance their career progression and to promote recognition of the value and status of teaching.

(March 2021)

Ms Catherine Rowe

Elected Member of Professional Staff
TBA 

TBA 

 

Mr Joshua Karras

Elected Student Member - Postgraduate Student
BScience (UNSW), M Public Health, M Health Mgmt & M Public Health (UNSW)

Joshua Karras is the UNSW’s Postgraduate Council President and an elected member of the university’s Academic Board. Having completed his undergraduate degree in Science, majoring in Vision Science, Joshua completed three Masters degrees in the public health sphere with distinction average (International Public Health, Health Management and Public Health Majoring in Infectious Disease Control). He is now completing his second year as a funded PhD Candidate within UNSW’s Faculty of Medicine, with his research focusing on improving health communication interventions on a global scale. He is also a member of UNSW’s Alumni Advisory Committee.

Outside of university, Joshua recently completed his time as Executive Manager of the United Nations Association of Australia. He is Secretary of the Arab Council of Australia, President of the Australian Egyptian Youth Forum and Southern District representative of the Greater Cities Commission. He is the Co-Founder of the Non for Profit Organisation “Discover Disability” 

Joshua’s primary focus is to drive cross sectoral and cross cultural partnership and collaboration to deliver real world results, which maintain relevance on a local, state, national and international scale. He abides by and promotes the UN mantra "We the Peoples", which aims to empower the individual to utilise their unique voice and skill set in order to enact change within their community. 

Vacant

Elected Student Member - Undergraduate Student