New Chancellor for Southern Cross University

Published 27 May 2021
Woman in dark business clothes looking to the left

One of Australia’s leading business figures, Sandra McPhee AM, has been appointed Chancellor for Southern Cross University.

Ms McPhee succeeds outgoing Chancellor Nick Burton Taylor AM who has headed the University Council since 2014.

The new Chancellor has a long and successful history across multiple industries in Australia, including board roles at Tourism Australia, AGL Energy, Westfield, Perpetual, the Coles Group, Fairfax Media, Australia Post, South Australia Water and Kathmandu. During her aviation executive career, most recently with Qantas Airways, she held a number of Group General Manager roles including Marketing, Global Alliances, Customer Loyalty and responsibility for UK, Europe and South East Asia Markets.

She is currently Chair of NSW Public Service Commission Advisory Board, a non-executive director of St Vincent’s Health Australia and a member of the JP Morgan Advisory Council and Chief Executive Women.

In 2013, Ms McPhee AM was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to business and to the community through leadership and advisory roles. In 2018 she was appointed by the Commonwealth Government to Chair the Expert Panel Review of Employment Services. The review advocated a user-centred redesign of the system in order to deliver better employment outcomes for jobseekers. The resultant report ‘I Want to Work – Employment Services 2020’ was accepted by Government and recommendations are being progressively implemented.  

“It is an honour and privilege to take on the role of Chancellor of Southern Cross University, a University with a pioneering spirit, deeply connected with communities, that has a mission for impact that has placed students and communities at the centre of its future,” Ms McPhee said.

“As Australia’s regions continue to respond and develop post-COVID, it has never been a more fundamental time for a University based in regional Australia to enjoin with community, government and industry to create the workforce of the future, as skills and capabilities drive the development of regions. This is a key element of Southern Cross University’s mission and one that I am excited to progress during my tenure as Chancellor.

“I look forward to working with the University Council, Vice Chancellor Professor Tyrone Carlin and his executive team, and all the academic, research and professional staff at Southern Cross.”

Deputy Chancellor Murray D’Almeida chaired the Council Committee overseeing the search for a new Chancellor. He said Ms McPhee AM was an exemplary leader with formidable experience across multiple industries and environments.

“Many would be aware of Sandra’s outstanding business achievements and credentials but she also has a compelling background in organisations such as Art Gallery of NSW, Care Australia and Starlight Children’s Foundation” Mr D’Almeida said.

“We are delighted to have someone of such broad experience and insights to succeed Nick Burton Taylor AM, who has been an outstanding Chancellor.”

Ms McPhee AM will commence her term as Chancellor on 1 July.

Media contact: Sharlene King, media office at Southern Cross University +61 429 661 349 or scumedia@scu.edu.au