Notre Dame welcomes The Hon. Chris Ellison as its new Chancellor from 1st January 2018, and Michael L’Estrange as Deputy Chancellor from 30th April 2017

The Hon. Chris Ellison
Michael L'Estrange AO

8 August 2017

Notre Dame welcomes The Hon. Chris Ellison as its new Chancellor from 1st January 2018, and Michael L’Estrange as Deputy Chancellor from 30th April 2017

The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of The Hon. Christopher Ellison as Chancellor, effective 1 January 2018 and Michael L’Estrange AO as Deputy Chancellor from 30 April 2017.

Notre Dame’s current Chancellor, Mr. Peter Prendiville, who will step down from the position on 31 December 2017, said “I am delighted with the appointments of Chris and Michael to the roles of Chancellor and Deputy Chancellor. Both are widely respected and bring with them a shared commitment to Notre Dame and a wealth of exceptional public, private and educational experience. It is this experience, underpinned by a passion for Notre Dame, that will prove vital in shaping the University as it continues to build on its outstanding achievements, and pursues its Objects and Mission.”

Chris represented Western Australia in the Senate from 1993 to 2009. Prior to that he was a partner in his law firm Williams Ellison. Chris served in the outer ministry and Cabinet of the Howard Government from 1997 to 2007. His portfolios included Assistant Attorney General, Minister for Schools and Training, Special Minister of State, Minister for Justice and Customs and Minister for Human Services. To this date he remains Australia’s longest serving Minister for Justice and is a current legal practitioner. In the private sector, Chris has served on the Board of Doric Construction, Chaired Australia’s North West Tourism and is currently a Director of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation. He is Deputy Chair of the Board of Trinity College, Perth, has been a Governor of Notre Dame since 2009 and a Director at Notre Dame since 2015.

Michael L'Estrange AO began his career in public service in 1981 when he joined the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. In 1996 he was appointed as Secretary of Cabinet and Head of the Cabinet Policy Unit. He served in that role until 2000 when he became Australia's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. On his return to Australia, Michael served as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 2005 to 2009. In 2007 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia. From 2009 to 2014 Michael was a Professor and Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University. Michael is currently a Board member of Qantas and Rio Tinto, and he has been a Director of Notre Dame since 2014.

Chris thanked the Trustees for his appointment, first acknowledging Mr. Prendiville’s outstanding and dedicated service to Notre Dame. “Peter brought to his Chancellorship a lifetime of experience in business and government, combined with a deep institutional knowledge of Notre Dame from its very beginning. We have all benefited from Peter’s leadership as Chancellor. He always has, and will be, absolutely committed to Notre Dame, its Mission and to supporting the next generation of students.”

Chris said “I am honoured to become Chancellor of The University of Notre Dame Australia, an institution that I have been involved with for nearly 10 years, and associated with for many more. Notre Dame has a unique purpose, grounded in the Catholic intellection tradition and providing a distinctive education in Fremantle, in Sydney and at its Campus of Reconciliation, in Broome.”

Michael L’Estrange said “I very much look forward to working with Chris and the Board of Trustees as Notre Dame continues to grow and build on its achievements.”

Notre Dame’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond, acknowledged the committed service of each of Chris and Michael to Notre Dame. “They have both been selfless in serving the University. I am certain that the whole Notre Dame community will benefit greatly from their experience, leadership and devotion to Notre Dame’s Objects and Mission.”

Noting the thanks of all of Notre Dame’s leadership team, Professor Hammond also paid tribute to Mr. Prendiville in his role as Chancellor. “Peter has been brilliant, not only in his stewardship of the office of Chancellor, but for his unwavering commitment to Notre Dame, its students and community. We are all immensely grateful to Peter for his leadership, counsel, advice and support.


Beth Kennedy: Tel (08) 9433 0764; Mob 0447 038 958; beth.kennedy