Monash University appoints new chancellor for new era
Mr McKeon succeeds Dr Alan Finkel AO, who has served as Chancellor since January 2008.
Monash University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO said she is looking forward to working with Mr McKeon.
“I am delighted Simon is joining Monash. His leadership and vision will be instrumental in continuing Monash’s outstanding success in an increasingly competitive and rapidly evolving sector and supporting its goals to enhance its students’ success, extend its research impact and expand its engagement internationally and with industry,” Professor Gardner said.
Mr McKeon said he was “humbled and delighted” on hearing the news of his appointment.
“In an era when education is widely regarded as one of Australia’s key sectors, both in terms of societal development as well as economically, it is truly an honour to serve as the next Chancellor of Monash University,” Mr McKeon said.
After studying Law and Commerce at the University of Melbourne, Mr McKeon started his career practicing law before moving into financial services. After a successful 30 years at Macquarie Group, he recently retired from his position as Executive Chairman of Macquarie’s Melbourne office. He has also been involved in a diverse range of organisations including Chair of CSIRO, MS Research Australia and Global Poverty Project Australia and a Director of VisionFund International, World Vision Australia and Red Dust Role Models. He became Chair of AMP in 2014.
In 2011, he was recognised as Australian of the Year and is also a current Australia Day Ambassador for the Victorian Government.
In 2012, Mr McKeon was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to business and commerce through his leadership and advisory roles, and to the community as a supporter of national and international charitable, educational and sporting organisations.
Professor Gardner paid tribute to retiring Chancellor Dr Finkel for his extensive service to the university.
“It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Dr Finkel who has chosen to retire. He has been an outstanding Chancellor of Monash, deeply engaged with its research, its students and leading the enhancement of its campuses. We wish to extend our sincere gratitude to Dr Finkel for his contribution to and ongoing support of the University,” Professor Gardner said.
Dr Finkel was the first Monash graduate to be appointed to the role and has been significantly involved in the development of philanthropy and capital developments at Monash.
“I have been privileged to work with three excellent Vice Chancellors, numerous superb academic and professional leaders and many wonderfully capable Council Members. Although I will miss my role as Chancellor I am confident that Simon McKeon will provide inspired oversight as the next Chancellor of my favourite university,” Dr Finkel said.
Mr McKeon takes up his new post in January 2016.