Meet the Selection Committee

Grant Donaldson, SC

Solicitor General of Western Australia

Selection Committee Chair

He graduated in Law at the University of Western Australia before being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. After further study in Law he returned to Western Australia where he was a partner of the firm that is now known as King and Wood Mallesons.

He was, as a barrister, appointed Senior Counsel in 2004 and Solicitor-General in 2012.

He has been a Visiting Fellow at Law School at the University of Western Australia since 1990 and has taught courses in Unjust Enrichment and Restitution, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, Contract and Property Law.

He has served on many occasions as a member of the Western Australian and Australia at Large Selection Committees for award of the Rhodes Scholarship.

He has served as Deputy President of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal (Western Australia), Deputy Chair of the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia and successively as a Council member, Vice President and President of the Western Australian Bar Association.  He has been a member of the Ethics Committee of the Royal Perth Hospital.

He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Law School at the University of Western Australia and a member of the Advisory Board of the Law School at the University of Notre Dame Australia.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a council member of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration, a member of the board of the Constitutional Centre of Western Australia and a board member of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law.

He is a director of the Fremantle Football Club.

Dr Andrew Forrest

Industry and philanthropic leader Andrew Forrest grew up on a remote Australian cattle station, Minderoo, before graduating from university and building a career in investment banking, mining and farming. In his professional life he has created some of the largest raw material exporters and infrastructure companies in the world.

Andrew Forrest, Chairman, Minderoo Foundation

Andrew is Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group and the Minderoo Foundation among other significant charities and companies. Recognised widely as family-orientated and a strong community and arts supporter, the vast majority of his time is now invested locally and internationally in ventures to protect and support the under-privileged and communities.

Nicola Forrest

Nicola has been instrumental in building and diversifying the Minderoo Foundation, particularly through education and the arts. In 2014 she was awarded the University of Canberra's Chancellor's Award for Services and Philanthropy, became the Western Australian of the Year in the Community category, and received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Western Australia.

Nicola Forrest, CEO, Minderoo Foundation

Nicola is Patron for Sculpture by the Sea, the Kimberley Rock Art Foundation and Impact100 WA. She is also a Director of the Black Swan Theatre Company and a member of the Prime Minister's Community Business Partnership. Along with Nicola's philanthropic work she is also a director of the Minderoo Group and Managing Director of Minderoo Station. Nicola’s priorities remain her family and supporting the wonderful team that manages the Minderoo Foundation.

Professor Paul Johnson

Warden of Forrest Hall

Prior to his appointment as Warden of Forrest Hall in April 2017, Professor Paul Johnson served as Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Western Australia (2012-17) and of La Trobe University, Melbourne (2007-11). Before moving to Australia, Professor Johnson served as Deputy Director of the London School of Economics (2004-7), where he had been a member of academic staff since 1984. He was an undergraduate and graduate student and post-doctoral fellow at Oxford University, from which he received his doctorate in 1982.

Professor Paul Johnson, Warden of Forrest Hall

Professor Johnson has an international reputation and extensive publications in the fields of economic history and of population ageing. He has been an expert adviser on pension reform and the economics of demographic change to the World Bank, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, the British Government and the U.K. House of Lords.

He has served on a number of professional councils, learned societies and professional bodies in the U.K. and Australia, including the Economic and Social Research Council's Research Grants Board, the Council of the Economic History Society, the Governing Board of the Pensions Policy Institute, the Advisory Committee of the Australian Research Council, and the Economic Policy Committee of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

He was elected to fellowships of the Royal Historical Society in 1987 and the Academy of Social Sciences in 2001. He holds dual Australian and U.K. citizenship.

Professor Kate Trinajstic

Selection Committee

Associate Professor Kate Trinajstic, Deputy Dean of Research, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Curtin University, is a vertebrate palaeontologist who joined Curtin University as a Curtin Research Fellow in 2009. Her current research focuses on how vertebrates evolved a skeleton.
She received her doctorate from the University of Western Australia in 2000.

Associate Professor Trinajstic currently serves on the Australian Research Council College of Experts, and has served as a councillor on several professional and learned societies including as President of the Royal Society of Western Australia and Secretary of Association of Australasian Palaeontologists.

Associate Professor Trinajstic is a past recipient of the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Sciences, one of the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science 2010.

Ms Kate O’Hara

Selection Committee

Kate O'Hara, Executive Director of Hawaiian, has a wealth of marketing and PR experience which started with JMG Marketing in Perth. She is an astute businesswoman and networker, and a mentor to many in Perth marketing circles. Before joining Hawaiian, Kate lived and worked in Singapore, returning to Perth to advertising and PR management roles at The Shorter Group and The Capital Group. Kate manages the communication channels across all areas of Hawaiian.
In her spare time, Kate is the Chair of The 500 Club, Deputy Chair of the Black Swan State Theatre Company Board and Perth Fashion Concepts Board.

Dr Alec O’Connell

Selection Committee

Dr Alec O'Connell commenced as the 7th Headmaster of Scotch College in June 2011. Before taking on the role of Headmaster at Scotch College, Dr O’Connell was the Assistant Director at the Catholic Education Office of WA where he held the portfolio of People and Organisational Services. He graduated as a teacher in 1982 and since graduating has worked across K-Tertiary, including holding a variety of both teaching and administrative positions.

He was the foundation Head and CEO of Trinity at the University of WA and held the positions of the Executive Director, Vice Chancellery and Executive of Academic and Student Services at The University of Notre Dame Australia. He was the WA Chairperson and a member of the National Board of the Australian College of Educators.

He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators, the Australian Institute of Management and the National Association of University Colleges and Halls and a Life Member of Trinity Residential College at the University of Western Australia.

Alec has a Doctor of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia where he investigated the concept of Values Congruence and its effect on Organisational Commitment. He also holds a Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor and Master of Education, Graduate Diploma of Language Studies and Diploma Royal Society of Arts London. He has provided a number of guest lectures on the topic of Leadership and Values.

He currently is a member of the Board of Kidsafe Western Australia, the UWA Business School Ambassadorial Committee and has recently been appointed to the Forrest Foundation Committee of the University of Western Australia.

Alec is married to Janny and has a daughter at university, Abbey and a son Grady who is in Year 12.

Professor Robyn Owens

Professor Robyn Owens is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and is responsible for research policy development and leadership of the University's research activities, postgraduate education, industry liaison, intellectual property and commercialisation.

Professor Robyn Owens has a BSc (Hons) from UWA and a MSc and a DPhil from Oxford, all in Mathematics. She worked at l'UniversitÉ de Paris-Sud, Orsay, continuing research in mathematical analysis before returning to UWA to work as a research mathematician.

Professor Robyn Owens, Selection Committee

She has lectured in Mathematics and Computer Science at UWA, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Berkeley, as well as for shorter periods in Thailand and New Zealand. Her research has focused on computer vision, including feature detection in images, 3D shape measurement, image understanding, and representation. She is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and a winner of the UK Rank Prize. In 2012, Professor Owens was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Professor Owens led development and research training through her previous role as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Research Training) at UWA. Prior to this, she was Head of the School of Computer Science and Software Engineering at UWA. She is currently Chair of the Universities Australia DVCR committee and a Board member of the Australian Astronomy Observatory Advisory Council, the Integrated Marine Observing System and the Population Health Research Network.

Professor Harvey Millar

Selection Committee

Harvey Millar is the National Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and is based at the University of Western Australia. He earned his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Australian National University in Canberra (1997) and was a Long-Term Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Plant Sciences and Linacre College at the University of Oxford, UK (1998-1999). He has held a range of Australian Research Council fellowships in Australia 2000-2016. His research focuses on proteomics and plant respiration. Using rice, wheat and Arabidopsis, he has provided insight into mitochondrial biogenesis and function, the mitochondrial proteome and genome, and mitochondrial transport. His research is focused on the long-term goal of improving the energy efficiency of plants through modification of their metabolism, protein turnover and respiration.

Harvey’s honors and awards include ISI Highly Cited Researcher, Thomson Reuters ISI; Charles Albert Shull Award, American Society of Plant Biologists; Fenner Medal for Biology, Australian Academy of Science; Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year; Premier’s Prize for Early Career Achievement in Science; Peter Goldacre Medal, Australian Society of Plant Scientists.

Professor David Morrison

Selection Committee

David is an Organizational Psychologist by training having graduated in this area from the Universities of Sheffield (Masters) and Wales (PhD) in the UK.

His PhD is in Human Factors in Engineering Design and he has worked in the broad area of technology, decision making and stress in both laboratory and industrial settings. His publication outputs cover diverse fields from ergonomics, engineering and economics to human resource management, clinical psychology and fundamental psychological research.

Prior to appointment at Murdoch University David was a Winthrop Professor at the University of Western Australia. He was Head of School of Psychology in the Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences and was the longest serving Head for 50 years, Director of the Industrial and Organisational Psychology and Centre for Organizational Research at UWA.

Other academic appointments (in reverse chronology) have been held in Schools of Psychology at the University of Queensland, Murdoch University and the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

David is a registered Psychologist with Organisational Psychology as an endorsed specialty, Chartered Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute, member of the Academy of Management (US) and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

In the past four years he has been the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research at Murdoch University. The Development part of this portfolio was added to reflect the increased role he was taking in building international collaborations in Asia, India and Africa. David sits on the steering committee of the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) and is a board member for a number of organizations including: Pawsey Supercomputer Centre, National Centre for Excellence in Desalination, Australia China Business Council and the WA Animal Resources Authority.

Professor Jonathan Carapetis

Professor Carapetis is the Director of the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Western Australia.

He holds separate qualifications as a medical practitioner (MBBS), specialist paediatrician (FRACP Paediatrics), specialist infectious diseases physician (FRACP Infect Dis), and specialist public health physician (FAFPHM), as well as a PhD.

He is recognised as a leading mind in the Australian health field, with particular expertise in Indigenous child health.

Professor Jonathan Carapetis, Selection Committee

Professor Carapetis was the Director of the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin from 2006-2012 where he forged new directions in research and training to tackle the big problems in Indigenous health.

Amongst his many accolades, Professor Carapetis was awarded a Distinguished Honorary Fellow from the Menzies School of Health Research in 2015 and an Honorary Doctor of Science from Charles Darwin University in 2013, and was named as Northern Territory Australian of the Year for 2008. He has been named as one of Australia's top 100 brains in Cosmos magazine, selected in the top 10 in Medicine and Health in the Bulletin Magazine's "Smart 100" list, and attended the Prime Minister's 20:20 summit in Canberra in 2008.

Professor Carapetis has made an international contribution and commitment to the reduction of rheumatic heart disease. While rare in most developed countries, Australia has one of the highest rates of the disease in the world due to its prevalence within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, particularly in Northern Australia.

Professor Carapetis undertook his medical training at the Royal Melbourne and Royal Children's Hospitals.

Previous positions include terms as Director of the Centre for International Child Health at the University of Melbourne, Theme Director at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne and Clinical Fellow in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.

Professor Carapetis holds a clinical position with the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and is a Professor at the University of Western Australia.