Dr Ziggy Switkowski - former head of Australia's biggest telecommunication company and a regular adviser to governments in Australia – has taken up a position as Chancellor of RMIT University in a ceremony held in Melbourne, Australia.
The RMIT University Council announced the appointment of Dr Zygmunt (Ziggy) Switkowski, one of Australia's most respected technology, innovation and business leaders, as Chancellor of RMIT on 1 January, 2011.
Dr Switkowski's distinguished career in business has included serving as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Telstra, Australia's biggest telecommunications company, from 1999-2005, Chief Executive Officer of Optus, another major telecoms company, from1996-1997 and Chairman of Kodak Australasia from1992-1996.
He has been Chairman of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation since 2007 and of Opera Australia since 2009.
Dr Switkowski has had extensive experience on company boards, as well as engagement with arts organisations and universities. He follows Ms Anne Dalton, who occupied the role from May to December 2010, following the resignation of Professor Dennis Gibson AO, who had served as Chancellor from 2003 to mid-2010.
As the University's sixth Chancellor, Dr Switkowski intends to visit Vietnam in the near future in recognition of the important and growing role of RMIT Vietnam.
(The role of Chancellor, in the Australian university system, can be likened in many respects to a 'chairman of the board' role in private enterprise.)