Professor Peter Shergold AC appointed new Chair of the James Martin Institute for Public Policy

Western Sydney University’s Chancellor, Professor Peter Shergold AC, has been appointed as the new Chair of the James Martin Institute for Public Policy (JMI).

The JMI is an independent institute that will transform how public policy is made in NSW and beyond. It has been established through a partnership between Western Sydney University, Sydney University and the University of Technology Sydney, together with the NSW Government, which is providing a generous endowment supplemented by contributions from the three university partners.

Professor Shergold has had a highly-respected career in academia and Australian public life that spans over 30 years. He served as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2003–2008, and as Chancellor of Western Sydney University for 11 years – a role that he will step down from at the end of the year.

In addition to his distinguished service to the University, Professor Shergold has made an outstanding national contribution to policy development and higher education in a range of roles, including Convener of the University Chancellors’ Council (2016 - 2018), Coordinator General of Refugee Resettlement in NSW, and advisor to State and Federal Governments, noting his recent review with David Gonski AC on the NSW vocational education and training sector.

Professor Shergold said he is delighted and honoured to be chairing a policy institute that is  focused on addressing society’s major challenges in a constructive and collaborative manner.

“The core mission of the James Martin Institute is something that I have been deeply committed to throughout my career. Bringing a wide range of expert voices into the policy-making process will transform outcomes and improve lives,” said Professor Shergold.

“Now is the time for an institute such as JMI to make its mark on the public policy landscape in NSW and beyond, and I am looking forward to being part of this journey.”

Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, said as a leading voice for social justice and social inclusion, Professor Shergold is an outstanding selection for Chair of the James Martin Institute.

“Throughout his career, Professor Shergold has displayed exemplary leadership and commitment to creating meaningful and positive change within our communities – qualities that are complementary to the JMI’s bold mission to create independent and enduring policy to solve complex public policy challenges,” said Professor Glover.

“On behalf of Western Sydney University, I warmly congratulate Professor Shergold and look forward to the role he will play in shaping important public policy and the transformative impact he will continue to have on our rapidly-growing western Sydney region.”

Acting Chair Jillian Kilby said that Professor Shergold AC was the perfect appointment for the Institute as it moves into a period of growth in its second year of operation.

“Peter brings a depth of policy experience from his highly distinguished career in the Australian public service and academia. He is a natural collaborator and a generous contributor to the public good, which aligns perfectly with JMI’s mission and purpose” she said.

JMI CEO Libby Hackett said that Professor Shergold’s appointment comes at a critical time in the public policy landscape.

“From addressing income-inequality to affordable childcare, from tackling domestic violence to carbon emissions, there is an increased willingness amongst policy-makers to collaborate more directly with academic experts to identify practical, constructive solutions to these problems.

“JMI has been set up to provide practical help and support to government by harnessing the expertise of Australia’s world-leading academic experts, through our member universities. Peter’s experience and wise counsel will significantly enhance our ability to deliver this ambitious vision”, Ms Hackett said.

Professor Shergold will commence in the role of JMI Chair on 30 March 2022.


30 March 2022

Amanda Whibley, Manager, Media and Public Relations