Southern Cross University Chancellor Nicholas Burton Taylor

Mr Nicholas Burton Taylor AM

Chancellor of Southern Cross University

The Council elected Nicholas Burton Taylor AM as the fourth Chancellor of Southern Cross University, commencing on 26 September 2014.

Nick brings to the role a distinguished career in commerce and a passion for the transformational power of education on people’s lives. He has close affiliations with rural Australia, and was instrumental in establishing the Country Education Foundation of Australia, an organisation that financially assists rural and regional students. In 1998 Nick was named a Member of the Order of Australia for services to business through the accountancy profession and to the rural community.

Nick is Chairman of Delta Agribusiness, Chairman of Discovery AG, a Director of M.H. Premium Farms, and Principal of Hillgrove Pastoral Company which produces beef, wool and grain from properties in New South Wales and North Queensland. He is also the Treasurer and Vice President of the conservation group Bush Heritage Australia. He is a past Chairman of the Australian Agricultural Company Limited, Airservices Australia, and Australian Topmaking Services Pty Ltd. He is a former Director of Rural Press, Graincorp Limited, Federal Airports Corporation, Sydney Airport Corporation, Hazelton Airlines and the Meat Research Corporation.

Nick started his career with Price Waterhouse Coopers before founding Hays Personnel Services in 1976, where he remained Managing Director until 1989.  In 2008 he was awarded Rabobank ‘Agribusiness Leader of the Year’. He has been involved with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia for many years, and was President of the Institute from 1989 to 1991.

Established in 1994, Southern Cross University is a progressive, young and vibrant regional university, with campuses in locations of rare natural beauty and creativity: Coffs Harbour on the Mid North Coast and Lismore in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, and at the southern Gold Coast adjacent to Gold Coast Airport. The University operates The Hotel School and branch campuses in Sydney and Melbourne, and also delivers many degrees in dynamic online form.

Southern Cross University attracts students from all walks of life and backgrounds, and is proud of its Indigenous participation. Students from more than 50 countries are attracted to study with us in Australia, and we deliver degrees with collaborators in China, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.

The University is ranked in the top 100 young universities globally in The Times Higher Education 150 under 50 World University Rankings for 2016.

Southern Cross University enjoys broad connectivity with the regions it serves, enriching its communities through the achievements of its graduates, many of whom are the first in their families to aspire to and realise a university qualification.

The University’s research agenda is in fields that are regionally relevant and internationally significant. In the Excellence in Research for Australia 2015 National Report, Southern Cross achieved a rating of ‘at world standard or above’ in 24 research fields. The highest rating of ‘well above world standard’ was achieved in fields including geochemistry, oceanography, crop and pasture production, and nursing.

Southern Cross University logo.


Ranked number 1 in Australia for international student support
for the third consecutive year (2015 International Student


As evidenced by the Excellence in Research for Australia
National Report 2015.


And a friendly, personalised learning environment.

Particular research strengths in the environmental sciences include marine science, and the University operates the National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour, adjacent to the Solitary Islands Marine Park, where both tropical and temperate currents meet.

Southern Cross University’s Strategic Plan 2016-2020 sets out the University’s goal to produce graduates who are ‘work ready’, ‘world ready’ and ‘digitally literate’, and who experience an academic environment distinctive for its personal approach. The University values collegiality and integrity in all aspects of its operations.

The University has a strong focus on industry and community collaboration to produce engaged teaching and research outcomes. This connectivity is seeing Southern Cross University lead the $13.8 million national Farming Together Pilot Program, partnering with the Northern Rivers Co-operatives Alliance and the Australian Government to increase returns at the farm gate.

To find out more, visit the Southern Cross University website opens-in-a-new-window

CRICOS provider number 01241G.

Southern Cross University Council

Southern Cross University is governed by a Council to which its Chief Executive Officer, the Vice Chancellor, reports. Council is responsible for the management of the University’s affairs. The major academic body providing advice to Council on academic matters is the Academic Board.

The Council is chaired by the Chancellor. The Council has 13 members, including the Vice Chancellor, the Chair of the Academic Board, two members appointed by the Minister, four members appointed by Council, three elected staff members and one elected student member.

Membership of Southern Cross University’s Council is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

Mr Nicholas Burton Taylor AM – Chancellor (to 25 September 2018)
Professor Adam Shoemaker – Vice-Chancellor
Professor Mark Hughes – Chair of Academic Board (to 31 December 2020)

Appointed Members – Ministerial

Mr Murray d’Almeida – Deputy Chancellor (to 1 January 2022)
Mr Jonathan Rourke (to 1 January 2022)

Appointed Members – External

Dr Austin Curtin (to 11 September 2018)
Ms Julie Granger (to 9 November 2018)
Ms Lynda O’Grady (to 16 February 2021)

Appointed Members – Graduate


Elected Members

Professor William Boyd – Academic Staff (to 9 September 2018)
Associate Professor Adele Wessell – Academic Staff (to 9 September 2018)
Ms Toni Ledgerwood – Professional Staff (to 9 September 2018)
Mr Michael Jones – Student (to 9 September 2018)

Other Governing Bodies

Other Governing bodies within the University include:

Academic Board

Chair – Professor Mark Hughes

Audit and Risk Management Committee

Chair – Mr Murray d’Almeida

Finance Committee

Chair – Ms Lynda O’Grady

Chancellor’s Committee

Chair – Mr Nicholas Burton Taylor AM, Chancellor

Remuneration Committee

Chair – Mr Nicholas Burton Taylor AM, Chancellor

Honorary Awards Committee

Chair – Mr Nicholas Burton Taylor AM, Chancellor

Nominations Committee

Chair – Mr Nicholas Burton Taylor AM, Chancellor

Graduate Appointments Committee

Chair – Mr Nicholas Burton Taylor AM, Chancellor

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