Professor Farrell joins La Trobe from the University of Wollongong (UOW), where he is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Academic and Student Life).
Chancellor John Brumby congratulated Professor Farrell on his appointment, saying that he is an exceptional, values-driven leader.
“Professor Farrell impressed La Trobe University Council and selection committee with his deep knowledge of the higher education system, and his energy, enthusiasm and ambition for the future of La Trobe University, including University City of the Future and the vital role played by our regional campuses,” Mr Brumby said.
“We were also impressed by his commitment to diversity, inclusion and opportunity, and his passionate belief in the power of education, including lifelong education, to transform lives and communities for the better.
“Professor Farrell will build on Professor John Dewar’s legacy, working with La Trobe’s Council, external partners, and the entire University community to realise an ambitious future for La Trobe.”
Professor Theo Farrell said that he was deeply honoured to be appointed to lead an institution with such strong commitment to social inclusion and academic excellence.
“I see huge opportunities for La Trobe University to grow and have even more impact in Melbourne’s north, across regional Victoria, and nationally,” Professor Farrell said.
“I look forward to working with Council, the University community, and external partners to realise a bold and exciting future for La Trobe.”
Chancellor John Brumby also paid tribute to La Trobe’s current Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar AO, who will continue to lead the University through to end of January 2024.
“John has provided strong leadership and management to the community over the past 12 years and has done a tremendous job in working through the challenges of the recent few years. We will work with John over the coming months, ensuring La Trobe’s continued success and impact across education, research, and external partnerships,” Mr Brumby said.
About Professor Theo Farrell
Professor Farrell joined UOW in 2017 as an Executive Dean and was promoted to Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2019. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK), Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales, Senior Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, Visiting Professor in War Studies at King’s College London, and former President of the British International Studies Association.
Before moving to Australia, Professor Farrell held leadership and prestigious Chair roles in the UK at King’s College London and City, University of London. He received ten UK research council awards, including a three-year Global Uncertainties research fellowship. His book, Unwinnable: Britain’s War in Afghanistan (Penguin Random House 2017) was shortlisted for three national book awards and selected book of the year by The Sunday Times. A leading scholar of the Afghan war, he previously acted as strategic advisor to the UK government and US-led command in Kabul and participated in track II peace talks with the Taliban.
Professor Farrell will take up his role as La Trobe Vice-Chancellor and President in February 2024.
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