The University of Newcastle has appointed the Hon Patricia Forsythe AM as its next Chancellor.
She will succeed the University’s current Chancellor Mr. Paul Jeans, who is retiring at the end of 2023 after over 10 years in the role.
Deputy Chancellor Mr. Kevin Young, Chair of the Chancellor Selection Committee said Patricia is a warm welcome to the University of Newcastle, bringing with her a range of skills and experience that will assist and support in her new role.
“Following a rigorous search process, we are delighted to announce Patricia as the University of Newcastle’s next Chancellor. Patricia has the right mix of skills, business acumen, and breadth of professional and Board experience to successfully perform this important role,” Kevin said.
“Patricia has demonstrated her passion and unwavering commitment to the Hunter region, the education sector, the University and our community time and time again, making her the outstanding choice as the University’s next Chancellor.”
The Hon Patricia Forsythe’s most recent roles were as Australia’s High Commissioner to New Zealand from 2019-2022 and as Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber from 2006-2019. Previously, she was a member of the NSW Legislative Council.
The Hon Patricia Forsythe has served on numerous Boards in both Government and the not-for-profit sector, including 11 years on the Macquarie University Council, Chair of the International Education Advisory Board NSW, and serving on the Board of Studies, Teaching and Education Standards NSW.
The Hon Patricia Forsythe is a graduate of the University of Newcastle, and in 2020 she was presented with a Key to the City of Newcastle and appointed to the role of City Ambassador. In 2019, she was awarded a Member, Order of Australia for significant service to business and to the people and Parliament of NSW.
“As someone with a lifelong commitment to education and having been born, raised, and educated in Newcastle, it is a special honour to have been appointed Chancellor of the University of Newcastle,” Hon Patricia Forsythe said.
“The community aspect of universities, and particularly my direct linkages to and appreciation of the University of Newcastle, is meaningful to me. I believe this will enable me to lead the University effectively with my heart in the right place.
“The role of universities in today’s society – to promote learning, research and the discovery and development of new ideas – continues to be the foundation for the betterment of individuals and society.
“In our region, the University’s role is as vital today as it was in the 1990’s, when Newcastle embraced a new vision and path forward following the closure of many steel manufacturing plants. The Hunter is currently undergoing a period of transition. Once the engine room of the state’s economy through mining and energy, the Hunter now must take advantage of emerging opportunities in industries such as renewable energy, technology, and defence. I am also eager to continue the University’s enduring commitment to the Central Coast, with our new Mann Street Gosford campus serving as both an economic boost and an anchor for the revitalisation of Gosford’s CBD and wider Central Coast region.
“The University of Newcastle is also highly regarded globally and is ranked in the QS World University Rankings among the top 175 universities in the world. I look forward to working with the Council and all of our constituents to deliver world class educational outcomes for our students, our community, the region, and the nation.”
Current Chancellor, Paul Jeans welcomed Patricia Forsythe’s appointment.
“Patricia’s expert knowledge of the domestic and international education landscape including the importance of equity and increased participation, her passion for our region and its development, including the potential for research-driven economic and social impact, make her a great choice as the University’s next Chancellor,” Paul said.
“Australia’s Higher Education sector is undergoing significant transformation and I am confident that under Patricia’s leadership, our University will continue to build on its very solid position.”
The Hon Patricia Forsythe will commence as Chancellor on 1 January 2024 following Mr. Jeans’ retirement on 31 December 2023.
IMAGE | Hon Patricia Forsythe AM – University of Newcastle’s newest Chancellor