Peter Jopling AM QC, a respected barrister, has been elected the new Chair of the Menzies Foundation setting the stage for the Foundation to move into a new era.

Mr Jopling said his priorities would be the finalisation and implementation of the new strategic plan which has defined three strategic areas of focus:

  • Investment to identify and support the development of entrepreneurial leaders to harness and exploit new opportunities for innovation in science and technology.
  • New investment in school-based education leaders (eg. Principals) from all sectors and systems who have the capacity to dramatically improve student outcomes.
  • Continued investment in international law specialists who can help shape Australia’s response to increasingly complex global issues.

Mr Jopling said the Board will move towards a venture and catalytic model of practice so the Foundation’s fellowship program can contribute to a systematic change platform which will, amongst other things, help foster partnerships and collaborations which best harness resources for significant social impact.

“We’re committed to seeing the Foundation create impact in some important areas for Australia’s future – ensuring our entrepreneurial scientists have the opportunity to learn what works best in the Australian market and backing some of the finest teachers in the country so they can dramatically improve student outcomes.

“The Menzies Foundation has a 40 year track record in backing outstanding leaders and we want that to continue. The way we do it is going to change. We’re focusing on creating long term impact and working with the recipients of our fellowships to learn and document what works and what doesn’t for the benefit of others.

“We know sometimes new ideas fail and we expect we will be able to learn from that too.

“As a former Associate and friend of the Right Honourable Sir Ninian Stephen, I also plan to work with the legal sector to ensure our legal scholarship, which recognises two of the country’s great leaders, becomes the most prestigious scholarship in Australia and helps shape thinking on some of the world’s most challenging legal issues.”

Mr Jopling praised the work of his predecessor, Dr John Stocker AO, who kicked off the process of a strategic review and said now was time for action on the Foundation’s new areas of work.

Mr Jopling has been a Director of the Foundation since 2014. Amongst a raft of voluntary governance roles, he is also a Governor of the Florey Neuroscience Institutes, a Director of the Victorian Legal Services Board and Chair of the Ian Potter Museum of Art.

He has an extensive commercial law practice in the State Supreme and Federal Courts and has practised in those jurisdictions throughout the Commonwealth. 

In other Board changes, Diana Menzies stepped down after 10 years as Director. John Menzies will take her position as a family representative on the Board.

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