6 December 2011


Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

A thank you to our Australian Research Council CEO

Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr today acknowledged the work of Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer Professor Margaret Sheil, who will leave the ARC in April next year to take up the prestigious position of University of Melbourne Provost.

“Professor Sheil’s contribution to the ARC and to the research community more broadly has been invaluable,” Senator Carr said.

“She was appointed by the previous Government after an international search and has served governments of both persuasions with great integrity and skill.

“Professor Sheil came from academia to become a highly effective public servant. One of her great strengths is her capacity to come armed with a proposed solution, rather than just identifying a problem.”

Senator Carr said Professor Sheil has been a trusted adviser to him on research policy matters over his time as Minister.

“Her high-quality, professional counsel has been informed by her years of experience in the university research sector,” Senator Carr said.

For more than four years, Professor Sheil has led the ARC and championed a wealth of improvements to national research policy and programs that lay at the heart of Labor’s policy agenda of reform and reinvestment in research. This includes implementing measures to attract more Indigenous Australians to academia and keep more women in research careers.

“Her strong leadership and dedication to a fair and robust research sector has seen the ARC develop and run the first round of the Excellence in Research for Australia initiative, and make numerous improvements to its research funding schemes,” Senator Carr said.

Professor Sheil oversaw the introduction of new arrangements that take into account career interruptions such as child-rearing. These changes are particularly important to women in the research workforce.

Senator Carr said the Government and the sector alike owe Professor Sheil a debt of thanks for her extensive contribution to broader research policy and programs, both nationally and internationally, during her tenure as ARC CEO.

"On behalf of the Australian Government I thank Professor Sheil for her hard work and commitment to improving research quality in Australia as ARC CEO.

We wish her all the best in her new position as University of Melbourne Provost and we are pleased she will continue supporting research in the national interest,” Senator Carr said.

Besides her substantive role as CEO of the ARC, she participated as a member of the: Cooperative Research Centres Committee; Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council; National Research Infrastructure Council; Board of the Australia-India Council, Advisory Council of the Science Industry Endowment Fund and National Research Foundation of Korea.

Prior to her appointment to the ARC, Professor Sheil was University of Wollongong Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Dean of Science. She has a PhD and BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of New South Wales.

She is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE) and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (FRACI).

For more information on the ARC, visit the ARC website.

Media contact: 
ARC Stakeholder Relations
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au