8th Chancellor and the new Council

March 29, 2016

It is with great pleasure that the University announces that The Honourable Dr Annabelle Bennett AO SC has been nominated as the 8th Chancellor of Bond University.

It is the intention that, at the elections at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting on the 19th of April, Dr Bennett will become Chancellor after Dr Helen Nugent AO retires as the 7th Chancellor. Under the University’s Constitution, Dr Nugent has served the maximum permissible term.

The Constitution requires that at the AGM the members of the Company first elect Dr Bennett as a Councillor before Council can elect her as Chancellor.  As nominations for members of Council have closed, elections for members of Council will be uncontested.

Dr Bennett has recently retired as a highly respected Judge of the Federal Court of Australia.  She has a wide-ranging background and is regarded as an international specialist in intellectual property law.

Dr Bennett initially graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours from the University of Sydney. Her interest in science was sparked and she subsequently completed a PhD in cell biology from the University of Sydney. In 1980 she changed career track to follow a life-long interest in the law and completed an LLB at the University of New South Wales.

Dr Bennett’s career in the law moved her into the area of intellectual property, which was a good fit given her scientific background. She was admitted to practice in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory, and developed expertise in intellectual property, administrative law and professional misconduct. From there, Dr Bennett became a Senior Counsel and was appointed to a series of prominent roles, including the Takeovers Panel, NSW Bar Association Mediators’ Panel and the Supreme Court of New South Wales Mediators’ Panel. Dr Bennett also served as an Acting Judge of the Equity Division of the Supreme Court of New South Wales

In addition to her Federal Court appointment, Dr Bennett has served as the President of the Copyright Tribunal of Australia, Arbitrator of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Presidential Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and an Additional Judge of the Supreme Court of the ACT.

Outside of the law, Dr Bennett has an extraordinary breadth and depth of experience in science.  She has served on the Pharmacy Board of NSW, as a former President of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences 2003-05, as a Member of the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee, a Member of the Biotechnology Consultative Group (BIOCOG) to the Commonwealth Government, as a Member—Vaccine Working Group of Australian National Council on AIDS, the Advisory Committee of the Australian Law Reform Commission on the Gene Patenting & Human Health Reference, and most significantly as the Chairman of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

This combination of expertise and understanding of various disciplines is of direct relevance to several of Bond’s Faculties. Such a combination of expertise and breadth of knowledge is rare indeed.

Dr Bennett’s strong commitment to the community is evidenced by her service to various non-profit organisations including positions as a Trustee of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, Director of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation (formerly the Prince of Wales Children's Hospital Foundation), Member of the Board of the Eastern Sydney Area Health Service, Director of the Management Committee of Westmead Research Institute and Member of the Board of the United Dental Hospital Sydney.

Of particular relevance to Bond University, Dr Bennett has had a strong involvement and understanding of higher education. In 1998, Dr Bennett joined the Council of the Australian National University and served for over a decade as Pro Chancellor of the ANU. Further, Dr Bennett currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Law of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, which provides additional insight into trends and developments in global education.

Dr Bennett also is the proud parent of a Bond alumna. Her daughter, Tala, studied at Bond from 1997-2000, completing a LLB and BA majoring in international relations. 

I know that you will join me in being excited at the prospect of Annabelle’s appointment. She possesses warmth of character that our community will find welcoming and inspiring. Annabelle is very much looking forward to building on our special culture at Bond.

Dr Bennett’s spouse, Mr David Bennett QC, is also looking forward to being part of the Bond community. He also has had an outstanding legal career. David served as the Solicitor-General to the Commonwealth of Australia from 1998-2008 and among other distinguished appointments he is a former President of the Australian Bar Association.   

The AGM on the 19th of April will mark Dr Helen Nugent’s last official duty as Chancellor after almost seven years of dedicated service to Bond. Helen has played a remarkable role at Bond and leaves us in an excellent position. There are a series of events planned to recognise and celebrate Helen’s contribution to the University. Further details will follow in due course.

Two other Councillors will also retire at this year’s AGM.  Professor Kwong Lee Dow AO and Mr Steven Sargent have also served their maximum terms permissible under our Constitution. Each in their own way has made significant contributions to Bond. Kwong’s experience in higher education has been invaluable and Steve’s global background in business has brought extraordinary insight. Together with Helen, they will be greatly missed.

The new Council is intended to include two other distinguished Councillor nominees: Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM and Dr Manny Pohl.

Ms Paul has recently retired as the Chief Executive of the Department of Education and Training for the Australian Government.  At the time of her retirement in February, she was the second longest serving Secretary in Government.  Ms Paul was first appointed as a departmental secretary in 2004 after an extensive and distinguished public service career. 

Ms Paul has a professional background in high level strategy and formulation of higher education and vocational education reforms. She has had a long career in government, much of it at senior levels in both the Commonwealth and ACT public service.  One of her most significant roles was to lead the Commonwealth's domestic response to the 2002 Bali bombings. For her success in this role she was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2003.

Ms Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours from the Australian National University.  She has advanced to fellowship of a number of professional organisations, including the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australian Council for Educational Leaders, Australian Institute of Management and the Institute of Public Administration. In 2011 she was named Federal Government Leader of the Year.

Dr Manny Pohl has had an equally distinguished career.  He is currently Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of the investment house EC Pohl & Co, which he founded in 2012.  EC Pohl & Co specialises in connecting investors and new business ventures to create significant opportunities for growth and business development.

Dr Pohl was previously the founding Managing Director and Chair of the Investment Committee of Hyperion Asset Management Limited. He led the company from inception.  Under his leadership, Hyperion grew into a significant institution. More generally, he has more than thirty years of experience in the investment industry, including over a decade as Managing Director. His Australian business career began after emigrating from South Africa in 1994 where notably he was a member of the South African delegation to the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Bangkok in 1991 and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange nominee member on the South African Accounting Practices Board. In Australia, he initially worked with Westpac Investment Management and Wilson HTM investment Group before branching out on his own to establish Hyperion.

Dr Pohl is exceptionally well qualified, holding a Bachelor of Science (Engineering) Degree and Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Witwatersrand, as well as a Doctorate in Business Administration (Economics) from Potchefstroom University. He has also been heavily involved in the community sector, particularly with health, environment and arts philanthropic organisations. He was a member of the Mater Research Foundation and the Great Barrier Reef Research Foundation, and was formerly a member of the prestigious, invitation only, Art Gallery of New South Wales President’s Council.

Moreover, Manny is a committed and long standing supporter of the University.  He and his wife Gail are a regular presence at University events.  They have supported the Indigenous Gala and have strong connections with the University. All three of their children are Bond alumni. Manny was also a member of the Academic Advisory Panel, Institute of Sustainable Development & Architecture and he is currently the President of the Bond University Rugby Club. He appreciates Bond’s special standing as a private non-for-profit university.

The combination of these new faces of Annabelle, Lisa and Manny will add a significant depth of skills and bring new thinking to Council.  They are all excited about building on the strong legacy that will be left by Helen, Kwong and Steve.