Professor John Pollaers OAM

Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology

Professor John Pollaers OAM became Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology in February 2019.

Prof Pollaers has had a distinguished international career in the consumer products and advanced manufacturing industries. He has been chief executive and director of major companies, including Pacific Brands and Foster’s Group Limited.

Professor Pollaers is Chairman of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, Chairman of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee and Chair of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce for the Federal Government. He was also a member of the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce.

Professor Pollaers holds an MBA from INSEAD and Macquarie University, as well as degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in June 2018, for service to the manufacturing sector, to education, and to business.


University Profile

Swinburne is a world-class university creating social and economic impact through science technology and innovation. As a university, we are dedicated to producing outstanding research that is relevant, has impact and is internationally recognised.

In 1908 our institution was founded on the premise that our work would be shaped by industry and community needs. It is this practical and responsive perspective that continues to characterise our approach to research and education.

We have three Melbourne-based campuses; Hawthorn, Wantirna and Croydon. Internationally, we have a campus in Sarawak, Malaysia, which connects us to one of the most rapidly growing regions of the world.

At Swinburne, we are committed to helping our students unlock the skills and capabilities required to transform their own lives and the lives of others in their communities.

For more than 50 years, we have been partnering with leading Australian and global organisations to offer students authentic workplace experiences. By working on real industry projects and gaining the professional skills that put knowledge into practice, our students are able to prepare for a fulfilling career.

Swinburne has become one of the world’s leading universities, ranked within the top two per cent of universities globally, as assessed by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Our rankings reinforce Swinburne as a university with a depth of expertise in teaching and research, both in Australia and internationally.

Our research strengths are in astronomy and physics, engineering, materials science, computer science and information technology; design and innovation. We also have substantial capability and research excellence in neuroscience, mental health and the humanities and social sciences.

Both as an early leader in international education and through our expertise in online education, Swinburne is an institution making educational opportunities available to a new generation of learners through Swinburne Online and Open Universities Australia.

Students come first at Swinburne and we respect the strength that difference creates. Our students graduate with an entrepreneurial and enterprising mind-set, confident and ready to stride into the future.

To find out more, visit the Swinburne University of Technology’s website 

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Swinburne University of Technology Council

Council oversees the general direction and superintendence of the University and its powers and functions include:

  • Approving the mission and the strategic direction of the University

  • Overseeing and reviewing the management of the University and its performance

  • Managing the University’s resources

  • Establishing policy and procedural principles, consistent with legal requirements and community expectations

  • Approving and monitoring systems of control and accountability

For more information, please refer to the Council’s charter .

Membership of Swinburne University of Technology’s Council is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

Professor John Pollaers OAM – Chancellor
Professor Linda Kristjanson AO – Vice-Chancellor
Professor Bernadine Van Gramberg – Chair of Academic Senate

Appointed Members – Governor-in-Council

Ms Geraldine Farrell (to 30 June 2020)
Ms Kirsten Mander (to 31 December 2019)
Ms Vi Peterson (to 30 June 2022)

Appointed Members – Ministerial

Ms Renée Roberts (to 30 June 2022)

Appointed Members – Council

Mr Anthony Mackay AM (to 31 December 2020)
Mr Andrew Dix (to 31 December 2021)
Mr David Singleton AM (to 31 December 2020)
Mr William Lye OAM QC (to 30 June 2022)

Elected Members

Mr Junaid Azhar – Student (to 31 December 2019)


Other Governing Bodies

Other Governing bodies within the University include:

Academic Senate

Chair – Professor Bernadine Van Gramberg

Audit and Risk Committee

Chair – Mr Andrew Dix

Executive and Remuneration Committee

Chair – Professor John Pollaers OAM, Chancellor

Resources Committee

Chair – Ms Geraldine Farrell