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“Outstanding appointment” brings decades of public leadership experience to UNHCR Board

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Professor Peter Shergold AC

Australia for UNHCR is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Peter Shergold AC to the board of Australia for UNHCR, the private sector partner of the UN Refugee Agency.

With a background of leadership in the public sector, academia, not-for-profit governance and company directorships, Professor Shergold brings wide ranging experience to the board. He is currently the Chancellor of Western Sydney University and the NSW Coordinator-General for Refugee Resettlement.

“I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the immense contribution that refugees make when they get the
support they need,” Professor Shergold said. “The way the world views refugees is shifting. With a little support, I’ve seen time and again that they become drivers of development.”

“We need to facilitate an approach that recognises their strengths, skills and value – whether that’s
for refugees resettling in third countries like Australia, or for the 85 per cent of refugees hosted in
developing nations,” he said.

Professor Shergold was recently tasked by the Federal Government with a review of integration, employment and settlement outcomes for refugees and humanitarian entrants.

Chairman of Australia for UNHCR, Michael Dwyer AM, welcomed Professor Shergold as an outstanding appointment to the Board.

“Peter has worked within and outside government on the most complex and challenging issues facing
us as a nation,” Michael said.

“He brings unique knowledge and experience coordinating the successful long-term resettlement of refugees and collaborating at all levels of government and with the not-for-profit, community, education and corporate sectors.”

“Peter is rightly very highly regarded, and an outstanding appointment to the Board of Australia for
UNHCR,” he said.

Professor Shergold is currently Chair of the Centre for Social Impact, the AMP Foundation, and Crescent Institute; previously chaired the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation; was Deputy Chair of the Sydney Writers’ Festival; Patron of the Left-Right Think Tank and is a member of the State Library Council of NSW.

Other career highlights include heading the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) and Comcare, and serving as Australian Public Service Commissioner, Secretary of the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, Secretary of the Department of Education, Science and Training, and Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister in Cabinet.

He has undertaken a range of major reviews for the NSW, WA, Victoria and Queensland state governments, and chaired reviews into Medicare Card security (2017); the implementation of the National Construction Code (2017–2018), Refugee Settlement (2019) and Senior Secondary Pathways for Students (2020).

Professor Shergold joins Australia for UNHCR in its 20th anniversary year over which time it has raised $300+ million to support UNHCR’s humanitarian operations – making it one of the top 10 private sector donors to the UN Refugee Agency, ahead of many governments.


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