New UC Chancellor installed

New UC Chancellor installed

29 March 2011: John Mackay has been formally installed as University of Canberra Chancellor.

Dr Mackay, a University of Canberra graduate with a distinguished career in commerce and public administration, takes over as Chancellor from Professor Ingrid Moses.


Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (left) and Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker (right) help new Chancellor John Mackay don his robes
Photo: Belinda Pratten

The contribution of Professor Moses as Chancellor for the past five years was also acknowledged at the ceremony and her portrait, which will hang alongside other previous Chancellors in building one, was unveiled.

Dr Mackay said he was taking on the role in an exciting period in the University’s history.

“The University of Canberra set my life on a successful and rewarding path. I am passionate about the University and I look forward to contributing something back to this fabulous institution,” he said.

“To become Chancellor is an honour. I am excited to take on this new role and committed to helping the University of Canberra realise its potential.”

Members of the University community and leading figures from around the capital attended the ceremony in the University’s Ann Harding Conference Centre on 24 March.

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker welcomed the appointment.

“I’m delighted that John Mackay has become the Chancellor of the University of Canberra,” Professor Parker said.

“He brings a wealth of commercial and government experience to the governing body of the University of Canberra, which will help us take advantage of exciting times ahead.

“The University is in a strong position with the highest student numbers in our history, a growing reputation for research, strengthening finances and ambitious campus development under consideration. John Mackay’s expertise and commitment to the University will help us build on this to become Australia’s best small university.”

ACT Chief Minister John Stanhope said Dr Mackay would make an asset to the University as it builds on a period of growth.

"John Mackay has been one of our region's foremost and most successful executives over a number of years and his experience is a great asset to the University of Canberra," Mr Stanhope said.


A new portrait of outgoing Chancellor Ingrid Moses by William Hall (right) was unveiled at the ceremony
Photo: Belinda Pratten

About John Mackay

Dr Mackay was born and educated in the small western NSW town of Wellington in 1950. He came to Canberra in 1969.

He has a long association with the University of Canberra, as a student at the University’s predecessor the Canberra College of Advanced Education (graduating in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in Administration), as a tutor and guest lecturer and more recently as a member of its governing Council. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University in 2009 and appropriately uses the title “Dr” in university contexts.

For the past decade Dr Mackay has been CEO of Canberra’s major utility company, ActewAGL. He also played a key part in establishing TransACT and was CEO of that company for several years. He is currently Chairman of ACTEW, the National Arboretum Canberra, and the Salvation Army advisory board.
He is also a Director on the Boards of CIC Australia, Little Company of Mary Healthcare and the Canberra Raiders.

Prior to these appointments Mr Mackay had a distinguished 30 year career in the Australian Public Service. Notably, he has held the roles of: 

  • General Manager, Overseas Property Group (managing Australia’s embassies in some 70 countries);  
  • Senior Private Secretary to the Minister for Administrative Services; 
  • Director of the Australian Protective Service, and;  
  • Deputy Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration

He was awarded an Order of Australia in 2004 and Canberra Citizen of the Year in 2008.