Incoming UOW Chancellor Michael Still with former Chancellor Christine McLoughlin.

UOW farewells Christine McLoughlin AM and welcomes new Chancellor Michael Still

UOW farewells Christine McLoughlin AM and welcomes new Chancellor Michael Still

Former Chancellor McLoughlin honoured for stewardship; incoming Chancellor says UOW will build on strong foundations

Federal and state parliamentarians, business leaders, alumni and leaders from across the higher education sector joined University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Patricia Davidson and the University Council in farewelling former Chancellor Christine McLoughlin AM and welcome incoming Chancellor Michael Still, at an event at New South Wales Parliament House last night (Tuesday 5 March).

Professor Davidson thanked Ms McLoughlin for her exemplary leadership and welcomed Mr Still as UOW’s fifth Chancellor.

“Christine McLoughlin's strategic vision and tireless dedication have steered our University to new heights,” Professor Davidson said.

“Her stewardship of the University Council has been critical throughout arguably the most challenging period in UOW’s history.  Her commitment to excellence, both in governance and in championing the transformative power of education, leaves an indelible mark on our University.

“We are stepping into a new era under Michael Still's leadership. With three decades of leadership across many sectors, he brings a depth of expertise that positions us well to seize the opportunities ahead.

“He has been deeply engaged in university partnerships, spearheading research and commercialisation activities. His advocacy for investments in medical breakthroughs and start-ups highlights his dedication to driving innovation.”

In bidding farewell to the University, Ms McLoughlin expressed her admiration for how the UOW community pulled together during the pandemic.

“When I stepped into the role of Chancellor four years ago, neither UOW or myself – or any of us – had an understanding of the challenges that would be thrown up by the pandemic. For the tertiary education sector and for UOW this was a time of incredible uncertainty – and the now well-documented impact on students, teachers, academics, and the economics of universities. It was clear to me that we would need to think differently to survive this period of turbulence. And we did. 

“While we are still dealing with the financial challenges brought about by the pandemic the way the UOW community – our students, staff, donors, alumni, the Council, and the leadership team – came together to assist those most deeply impacted and support each other was a testament to our culture. “I am confident UOW will advance on the solid groundwork laid in recent years, further bridging skills gaps and highlighting the excellence of our local talents on the global stage.

“As I hand over the reins to Michael, I do so with immense pride and optimism for the exciting future and inevitable challenges ahead.”

Mr Still is a respected business leader with a 30-year career leading public, private and not-for-profit organisations across a range of industries, including health, infrastructure and finance.  He thanked Ms McLoughlin for her support and guidance during the transition, and Professor Davidson and the University Council for the warm welcome he has received.

“Former Chancellor Christine McLoughlin’s leadership and dedication to the University of Wollongong have laid a strong foundation upon which we will continue to build,” Mr Still said.

“Standing before you as the incoming Chancellor of the University of Wollongong fills me with great pleasure and humility. I am deeply honoured to have been entrusted with this role.

“Last month I had the honour of presiding over graduation ceremonies at our regional campuses in the Bega Valley, Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven. To witness the enormous impact the University has, not only on individual students, but on the broader community, was truly incredible.

“It speaks to UOW’s role in the communities it serves – both in Australia and across the globe. The role we play goes above and beyond being a centre for education and research – we are a vital anchor institution within our communities, driving significant economic and social benefits.

“I look forward to helping advance UOW’s mission to drive positive change in our communities and beyond. I will strive to deepen our engagement with stakeholders, strengthen partnerships, and ensure that UOW remains a global leader in research, education, and innovation.”