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Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia and chair of The Wellcome Trust, to deliver Advance HE’s Governance Conference keynote address

14 Nov 2023 | Advance HE Advance HE’s Governance Conference to mark 20 years leading and supporting effective governance in HE.
In the contemporary world, higher education institutions must be the opposite of ivory towers. The community rightly expects that there will be deep engagement with the challenges and opportunities that are shaping our shared future. Working with government is now about so much more than lobbying over funding decisions. Governing councils have to deeply understand and engage with the strategic priorities of government, and be prepared to both partner and speak truth to power. It’s a difficult balance that requires new skills and approaches.”

Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia and Chair of The Wellcome Trust

Julia Gillard, the former Prime Minister of Australia and now chair of The Wellcome Trust, will deliver the keynote address at Advance HE’s Governance Conference in November.  

Also giving a keynote at the conference will be Susan Lapworth, the Chief Executive of the Office for Students. They will be joined by other high profile speakers including James Purnell, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Arts London, Professor Randall Peterson, Academic Director at the Leadership Institute, London Business School and Diana Beech, the CEO of London Higher. 

The conference - which marks 20 years of leading and supporting effective governance in higher education by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE) and its successor organisation Advance HE  - will explore the theme ‘Governance Culture: Navigating policy, politics and people’. The conference takes place on 23 November at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. 

Aaron Porter, Advance HE’s Associate Director (Governance), said, “We’re delighted that Julia Gillard will deliver the keynote at the conference. Her insights in decision-making and leadership at the highest levels of government and her role as chair of a global charitable foundation will make for compelling listening for delegates. Her views will be complemented those of our other expert speakers and the views and experience of all our delegates. It's going to be a great day for sharing and learning. 

“The conference takes place at an important time for the sector with higher education policy and politics increasingly under the spotlight. What this means for governors, for staff and students will be a central focus for the discussion, with an opportunity to hear about innovative practice from across and beyond the sector.” 

Content from the keynotes

Hear Julia Gillard's experiences of being on Boards and committees and why diversity on boards is important for success.

Downing Street, Westminster. Street sign for the official London address of the UK Prime Minister

A thriving HE sector means a thriving country

Blog from Diana Beech, CEO of London Higher

Join us at ‘Governance Conference 2023: Governance Culture: Navigating policy, politics and people’, 23 November 2023, De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. 

This year, Advance HE is celebrating 20 years leading and supporting effective governance in HE. Culture is the key factor that underpins effectiveness no matter what the operating context throws at higher education providers. With that in mind, the 2023 conference will look at board culture through the lens of navigating policy, politics and people. We will reflect on what the past twenty years has sharpened our focus on, as well as look ahead to the prospect of further governmental and regulatory change in order to stimulate thinking on how healthy board culture can thrive to benefit all.   


We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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