07 June 2019

Former Federal Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, and former Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill are joining the staff of the University of South Australia Business School to deliver business and management education to MBA students and build stronger research networks for South Australia. 

The pair will join UniSA as Industry Professors, with students set to benefit from a combined 43 years’ experience of governance, law-making and leadership from their service in Australian State and Federal Parliaments. 

UniSA Pro Vice Chancellor Business and Law, Professor Marie Wilson says the knowledge and networks they bring to the table are invaluable. 

“We are excited to welcome Jay and Christopher, both highly qualified lawyers but also people who have carved impressive careers in politics, honing their leadership skills in what is always a demanding arena,” Prof Wilson says.

“They will bring not only intellectual acumen to their professorships but also a career’s worth of high-level experience in negotiation, international trade, legislation and community consultation and debate, industry liaison, and a host of adaptive skills that are the hallmark of successful leaders. 

“Each has also worked to continue to develop the economic sustainability of South Australia and supported its future industries and innovation. 

“In addition to their involvement in the UniSA Business School and its MBA programs, Jay and Christopher will be providing strategic government relations advice to the Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd.” 

Former Labor Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill studied law and economics and graduated with a degree in both. 

He established his own law firm in 1995 and practised until he was elected as the Member for Cheltenham in 2002. 

In State Parliament he held a range of portfolios including Environment and Conservation, Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister Assisting the Premier in Cabinet Business and Public Sector Management, Families and Community, Housing, Ageing, Disability, Urban Development and Planning, Administrative Services, Local Government and Gambling, before becoming Premier in 2011. 

First elected in 1993 at 25 years old, Christopher Pyne was one of the youngest members of the Federal Parliament. 

Pyne was a practising solicitor before his election and had worked as a research assistant to Senator Amanda Vanstone. 

Until his retirement this year, he had been re-elected eight times to the House of Representatives for the seat of Sturt. 

He served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Family and Community Services and the Minister for Health and Ageing. He was Assistant Minister for Health and Ageing, Minister for Ageing and for Education. He became a Cabinet Minister in 2013 and held the ministerial portfolios of Education and Training; Industry, Innovation and Science; Defence Industry and Defence. 

“Both of these leaders have been powerful advocates for South Australia across their careers, creating connections with industries from resources and energy, to defence, science and technology to advance business growth in the State,” Prof Wilson says. 

“We are delighted that they have joined us at UniSA to support our engagement with industry through, research, education and partnership.” 

An alumnus of UniSA, Pyne says he is excited to be supporting the ethos of a great South Australian institution. 

“UniSA is providing skills and chances in life for those who wish to gain an education and improve their knowledge, undertaking world-changing research that alters lives, and investing in the economic growth of the state that gives us all the standard of living and quality of life we expect – I am looking forward to contributing to that effort,” Pyne says. 

And Weatherill is also looking forward to contributing. 

“I’m pleased to be supporting such a dynamic and ambitious university and very much looking forward to helping students gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful,” he says. 

UniSA media contact: 

Michèle Nardelli phone: +61 418 823 673 or +61 882960854 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au



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