Senior Defence public servant in switch to Universities Australia

Ian Bushnell 18 October 2021
Peter Chesworth

Peter Chesworth, centre, in his Defence role last July. Photo: Defence.

Senior Defence official Peter Chesworth is moving to the tertiary education sector as Universities Australia’s new deputy chief executive.

He will succeed Anne-Marie Lansdown, who will retire in November.

Mr Chesworth is currently First Assistant Secretary Ministerial Executive and Coordination at Defence.

Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said Mr Chesworth’s policy expertise and long experience in the public sector made him ideally qualified for the role.

“I am delighted to welcome Peter Chesworth as part of the Universities Australia team and the leader of our policy team. I have no doubt he will make a significant contribution to the success of the sector and our members,” Ms Jackson said.

“Peter has had a long and distinguished public service career, culminating in his most recent role with the Department of Defence. He has spent extensive periods working with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, including in a range of Ministerial offices.”

“Peter brings a deep understanding of the operation of government and parliamentary processes, as well as broad policy experience and knowledge.”


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Ms Jackson said Mr Chesworth would have large shoes to fill.

“Deputy chief executive Anne-Marie Lansdown is a consummate professional, with deep skills in both producing and influencing the direction of robust public policy for universities,” she said.

“She has served twice as deputy chief executive at UA and has made a profound contribution to the sector we all serve. We will miss her precision, dedication, insight and unfailing good humour.

“I’m sure UA’s members all join me in offering Anne-Marie our profound thanks for her service to the sector, not only in her time at UA, but across her entire career.”


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