Australian Universities Accord Panel

The Australian Universities Accord higher education review was conducted by a panel of eminent Australians (the Panel) chaired by Professor Mary O’Kane AC.

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Mary O Kane

Professor Mary O’Kane AC (Chair)

Professor Mary O’Kane AC is a company director and Executive Chairman of O’Kane Associates, a Sydney-based consulting practice specialising in government reviews. She has been Chair of the NSW Independent Planning Commission since 2018. She was NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer from 2008–2018; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide from 1996–2001; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Adelaide from 1994–1996; and Dean of the Faculty of Information Sciences & Engineering at the University of Canberra from 1990–94.

Mary has served on several boards and committees in the public and private sectors, especially related to innovation, education, energy, engineering, health, Antarctica, ICT and research. She is currently Chair of the Boards of Aurora Energy, Museums of History NSW, the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania, the Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science, and Sydney Health Partners, and is a member of the boards of AEMO Services Ltd and the Silverchain Group.

Jenny Macklin

The Hon Jenny Macklin AC (Member)

The Hon Jenny Macklin AC is a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Prior to this, she served 23 years as the Federal Member for Jagajaga.

Jenny was the first woman to become the Deputy Leader of a major Australian political party. She was the Deputy Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party from 2001–2006. Ms Macklin served as the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Minister for Disability Reform in the Rudd and Gillard Labor Governments. As Minister, she oversaw the Apology to the Stolen Generations and development of the Closing the Gap framework, the introduction of Australia’s first National Paid Parental Leave Scheme, delivered the largest increase to the Pension in the history of the payment, was responsible for the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and was an integral part of the establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Ms Macklin chairs the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee and was a member of the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce. Ms Macklin chairs 2 not-for-profit boards, Odyssey House Victoria and the Machado Joseph Disease Foundation.

Ms Macklin is a strategic advisor on early childhood development to the Centre for Policy Development. Ms Macklin led an inquiry into vocational education and training for the Victorian Government. The report, Skills for Victoria’s Growing Economy, was released in February 2021.

Shemara Wikramanayake

Ms Shemara Wikramanayake (Member)

Ms Shemara Wikramanayake has been Macquarie Group’s CEO since 2018. Macquarie’s ~21,000 staff operate in 34 markets with approximately $A892 billion in assets under management.

Since joining in 1987, Ms Wikramanayake has worked in 6 countries, establishing corporate advisory offices in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and the infrastructure funds management business in the Americas.

Ms Wikramanayake previously led Macquarie Asset Management as it became a leading global manager of real assets and she has also served as Chair of the Macquarie Group Foundation.

Ms Wikramanayake sits on the World Bank’s Global Commission on Adaptation and was a founding CEO of the United Nations Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI). She currently leads emerging markets workstreams for CFLI and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and is a member of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance.

Barney Glover

Professor Barney Glover AO (Member)

Professor Barney Glover AO is the fourth Vice-Chancellor and President of Western Sydney University. He assumed this position in January 2014.

Professor Glover is currently the Australian Government representative on the University of the South Pacific Grants Committee, Chair of the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching Working Group, and the Australia-based Patron of the Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM). He is a Board member of AARNet, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Westpac Scholars Ltd, the Study NSW International Education Advisory Board, Bradfield Board of Governors, and the NUW Alliance.

In addition, he is a member of the Australian Government’s University Foreign Interference Taskforce Steering Group.

Professor Glover is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW (FRSN), and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).

Larissa Behrendt

Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt AO (Member)

Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt AO is a Eualayai/Gamillaroi woman and Laureate Fellow at the Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a graduate of the UNSW Law School and has a Masters and Doctor of Juridical Science from Harvard Law School. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and a founding member of the Australian Academy of Law and has published numerous textbooks on First Nations legal issues.

Professor Behrendt won the 2002 David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for her novel Home. Her second novel, Legacy, won a Victorian Premiers Literary Award. Her most recent novel is After Story (2016, UQP). Professor Behrendt is an award-winning filmmaker. She won the 2018 Australian Directors Guild Award for best Direction of a Documentary Film for After the Apology and the 2020 AACTA for Best Direction in Factual Television for her documentary, Maralinga Tjarutja.

Professor Behrendt is a trustee of the Australian Museum, Chair of the Cathy Freeman Foundation, now Community Spirit Foundation, Chair of Creative Australia’s First Nations Arts and Culture Strategy Panel, a board member of the National Justice Project and a Director of Sydney Dance Company. She is a former Chair and Board Member of the Bangarra Dance Theatre and has previously held board positions on the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers Festival and the Sydney Community Fund. With Lindon Coombes, Professor Behrendt co-authored the Do Better report for the Collingwood Football Club. She chaired the 2011 review of Indigenous Higher Education. Distinguished Professor Behrendt was awarded the 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year award and 2011 NSW Australian of the Year. She was awarded an Order of Australia for her work in First Nations education, the law and the arts. Professor Behrendt received the Human Rights Medal 2021 from the Australian Human Rights Commission. She is the host of Speaking Out on ABC Radio.

Fiona Nash

The Hon Fiona Nash (Member)

The Hon Fiona Nash grew up in Sydney and has spent the last three decades living and working in regional Australia. For many years she was involved in a family farming enterprise in the central west of NSW, which her sons Will and Henry are now running. She spent 12 years in the federal parliament as a Senator for NSW and also held ministerial positions including Rural Health, and in Cabinet the positions of Regional Development, Regional Communications and Local Government and Territories. She also held the position of Deputy Leader of the Nationals. From 2018 to 2021 Fiona was the Strategic Adviser, Regional Engagement and Government Relations for Charles Sturt University.

Fiona was appointed by the Australian Government as the Regional Education Commissioner in December 2021.

Mr Ben Rimmer (Member ex-officio)

Mr Ben Rimmer was appointed in April 2023 as an ex-officio member upon his commencement as Deputy Secretary, Higher Education, Research and International at the Australian Government Department of Education.