Scott Williams elected as UNE’s new Deputy Chancellor

Published 06 October 2008

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Scott Williams – a graduate of the University of New England whose career spans aid work abroad, regional development planning, consulting in information technology and tertiary education, and co-founding and managing a multi-award-winning small business – has been elected Deputy Chancellor of UNE.

Scott Williams succeeds Dr James Harris, a long-serving member of the UNE Council who retired from the role of Deputy Chancellor on the 6th of October after holding that position for the past seven years.

Mr Williams (pictured here) was appointed as a member of the UNE Council in 1997 in recognition of his business and regional development expertise. His other roles in public service have included eight years as a Uralla Shire Councillor (including three years as Shire President), two terms as an elected regional representative of the NSW Shires Association, and membership of Armidale Dumaresq Council’s Economic Development Committee. He was a foundation member – and, later, Chair – of Armidale Public Radio Station 2ARM-FM.

The Chancellor of UNE, Mr John Cassidy, in announcing the election of Mr Williams as Deputy Chancellor, said that his outstanding combination of business skills and public service experience had already been of great benefit to the University, and that his new role would allow him to make an even greater contribution.

“Scott is currently Chair of Council’s Finance, Investment, and Tender Committees,” Mr Cassidy said, “and, as a past Director of the UNE Foundation, has guided the University’s fund-raising and community-relationship activities. His personal commitment to education in general – and UNE in particular – has resulted in his provision of about 40 annual scholarships for UNE students, and about 120 for local school children.

“His regional and global perspectives are informed by his ongoing advisory work, which gives him a deep understanding of the pressures that rural areas are experiencing in employment and economic development, and by his former aid work overseas, which has helped him to understand lifestyles in developing countries and Asia.”

When asked about his priorities for the UNE Council, Mr Williams said: “I think any governing body needs to be seen to be engaged with the community it represents. I am keen for the UNE Council to have more time than at present to listen to the views of the UNE community face-to-face. In that way, Council can be most effective in helping to unleash the tremendous latent energy at UNE for the greater good of the University.”

Mr Williams is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Armidale-based international florists’ relay service Petals Network. Petals, which runs in Australia, England and New Zealand and trades in 70 other countries, has won numerous awards, including being named “National Telstra and Australian Government Small Business of the Year” in 1996 and “NSW Premier’s Regional Exporter of the Year” in 2000, and winning the “National GIO Innovative Service Award” in 2000, the “Innovative Supply Chain Management Award” in 2001, and the Australian Business Limited “President’s Prize for Best Business” in 2005.

He has been based in Armidale since 1969, and holds a Bachelor of Economics degree and Graduate Diplomas in Rural Accounting, Financial Management, and Computing Science from UNE.

Mr Cassidy also announced that the Council would be seeking two new members following the recent resignations of the Armidale Chartered Accountant Ann Maurer and the Sydney-based solicitor and financial consultant Fiona Giuseppi. He said that Ms Maurer and Ms Giuseppi had served the Council with distinction, and that their expert professional perspectives had been of great benefit to the University.