New public policy institute welcomes Chair

30 March 2022
James Martin Institute for Public Policy appoints Peter Shergold
The James Martin Institute for Public Policy, of which the University of Sydney is a founding member, today announced the appointment of its new Chair of the Board.
photo of Professor Peter Shergold, an older man in a suit, on a black background

Professor Peter Shergold AC

The James Martin Institute for Public Policy (JMI) is delighted to announce that Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor of Western Sydney University, has been appointed as its Chair of the Board.

The institute was initially established in 2019 through a generous endowment from the NSW Government, alongside funding from the University of Sydney, Western Sydney University and UTS.

As an independent, non-partisan policy institute, JMI’s mission is to bring government, academic and other experts together to develop practical solutions that address societal challenges, such as domestic violence, income inequality and living with climate change.

The government-university partnership is expected to transform how public policy is made in NSW and beyond.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Mark Scott AO welcomed the appointment. “We support the appointment of Professor Shergold to chair this forward-thinking public policy institute. We know that the work of our University of Sydney researchers will be valued and that this partnership will help shape public policy to the benefit of all in NSW.”

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

“The core mission of the 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,” he said.

“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,” Professor Shergold said.

About the James Martin Institute

The NSW Government has come together in partnership with a group of universities, to create an independent, enduring public policy institute that will solve complex public policy challenges through smart collaborations that harness world-leading research. Whether it is about jobs for the future, planning and infrastructure, or empowering communities, the James Martin Institute will bring policy makers, academics, industry and community groups together to identify solutions that will benefit the people of NSW and beyond.

NSW Premier the Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP said that "the NSW Government is a proud partner and supporter of the James Martin Institute and Peter's appointment as Chair will further enhance the group’s ability to tackle the tough issues facing society. He and Libby will make a formidable team and I look forward to working with them to find new policy solutions that will benefit the people of NSW."

Leader of the Opposition Mr Chris Minns, MP said: “On behalf of the NSW Opposition we wish Peter all the best in his new role as Chair of board. The James Martin Institute does important work to help deliver policy solutions and expertise for the betterment of NSW.”

University of Sydney researchers

The University of Sydney is one of three founding members of the James Martin Institute, with Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison on the board and Associate Professor Myra Hamilton and Professor Suresh Cuganesan, from the Business School, in the Research Advisory Group.

“As a founding member, we are deeply committed to the success of the JMI in helping tackle some of the great challenges facing NSW today, as well as the distinctive collaborative approach with the NSW government,” said Professor Ivison.

The research stream leads include Associate Professor Garney Clancey from the Sydney Institute of Criminology in the Law School and Associate Professor Anna Boucher from Government and International Relations in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

About Peter Shergold AC

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.

Professor Shergold AC has had a highly distinguished career both in academia and Australian public life for over 30 years, working on both sides of politics. His many distinguished roles include serving as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2003–2008, and 11 years as Chancellor of Western Sydney University – a role he is stepping down from at the end of the year.

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 policymakers 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.

Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology the Hon. Alister Henskens SC MP said Professor Shergold has had a highly distinguished career and is a fitting chair of the JMI.

“This Institute represents an innovative new partnership between the university and the government sector, underpinned by a shared vision and commitment to deliver better outcomes for more people. Professor Shergold will help shape the development, implementation and translation of truly co-designed research into meaningful social policy reform,” Mr Henskens said.

Professor Shergold will commence in the role of JMI Chair on 30 March 2022. Professor Peter Shergold AC has been Chancellor at Western Sydney University since 1 January 2011 and will step down in December 2022.

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