Jubilee Fellow – 2020

Professor J.G. Iain Wallace

MA, MEd (Glasgow), PhD (Bristol)

Discipline: Education

Year Elected: 1980

2020 Reflections


Swinburne University of Technology
Foundation Vice-Chancellor 1992 – 2003(retired)

In this role I was CEO of both the Higher Education and TAFE Divisions of the University.

Swinburne Institute of Technology
Principal Director 1986 – 1992

Swinburne became a university by an Act of the Victorian Parliament in 1992.

Deakin University
Pro-Vice-Chancellor 1984 – 1986

I was the inaugural holder of this position which was, in effect, that of Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Deakin University 1982 – 1986
Director, Centre for Research on Intelligent Systems

This was a multi-disciplinary centre providing a technological problem solving service to industry and business.

Deakin University 1976 – 1983
Dean of Education

During the first five years of this period I was a Planning Dean charged with establishing the Faculty of Education in the new university. All psychology courses in the University were offered by the Faculty.

Deakin University 1976 – 1986
Professor of Psychology

My colleagues and I in the Psychology Department established a complete, professionally recognized sequence of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and a research specialization in cognitive psychology.

University of Southampton, United Kingdom 1974 – 1976
Professor of Educational Research and Head of Department of Education

This was my final position in the UK prior to deciding to accept the offer of a foundation role in the new university being established in Geelong, Australia.

Management Consultant 1972 – 1976

This was a part-time role discharged in parallel with my university duties. I devised and conducted a sequence of management education sessions aimed at encouraging executives to develop a range of problem solving skills based on the findings of cognitive and social psychological research. My major client was Dunlop UK.

University of Warwick, United Kingdom 1971 – 1974
Senior Lecturer in Psychology of Education

During most of this period I was Acting Head of the Department of Education and Chair of the Faculty of Social Studies.

Carnegie-Mellon University, USA 1971 – 1973
Visiting Research Fellow

I spent four months annually engaging in collaborative research with colleagues in the department of Psychology and the Graduate School of Industrial Administration.

University of Warwick, United Kingdom 1969 – 1971
Lecturer in Psychology of Education

I was the first appointment in psychology at Warwick University and, from the Department of Education, devised and offered an introductory course which was available as a highly popular option to the entire university. I left Warwick as a Psychology Department was being established.

University of Stirling, United Kingdom 1967 – 1969
Lecturer in Educational Psychology

I was the first non-professorial staff member in the Department of Education when the University commenced operation in 1967.

University of Bristol, United Kingdom 1962 – 1967
Research Fellow

I held this position in the Research Unit of the Institute of Education where I participated in group projects and produced my first book. Concurrently, I completed my PhD in cognitive development in the Department of Psychology.


University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
MA 1957
MEd in Psychology 1961

University of Bristol, United Kingdom
PhD in Psychology 1967


During my academic career, my research has led to the publication of three books and over a hundred shorter publications. Initially focussing on cognitive development my work has subsequently ranged over the areas of artificial intelligence, information technology and, more recently, cognitive neuroscience. I am still active in research as an Emeritus Professor.


During the last forty years I have served as a director on (and Chair of) many boards operating in a diverse range of areas associated with educational institutions and the delivery of educational services. The examples which follow illustrate the range and variety of my experience.

Technology Supply Company

A Thai company formed to administer a vocational education institution near Bangkok .As a director representing Swinburne’s fifty per cent interest, I was co-chair of the Board.

Swinburne Sarawak

The Malaysian legal vehicle formed to conduct Swinburne’s branch campus in Kuching, Sarawak. My fellow directors included the head of the state public service and government ministers.

IDP Education Australia

I served three terms as a director at different stages in the Company’s development. At the conclusion of my final term in December, 2005,I was chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Business Higher Education Round Table

The Round Table is the major formal venue for interaction between Australia’s universities and senior executive representatives of industry and business.

Australian Qualifications Framework Advisory Board

Representing the AVCC, I participated in determining the advice given to MCEETYA on revisions to the Australian Qualifications Framework to reflect developments in the higher and vocational education sectors.

Australian Higher Education Industrial Association

AHEIA is the peak body representing university employers in industrial matters. My board membership ended when I retired from Swinburne in 2003.

National Institute of Circus Arts

Having been instrumental in its creation, I was a board member from its inception until December, 2003.I still have the status of an Associate of the NICA Board.

Professional and Graduate Education

PAGE was a university consortium specializing in the offering of graduate and professional continuing education by distance education. I was Chair of the Board until PAGE’s amalgamation with the OLA.

Open Learning Agency (renamed Open Universities Australia)

Owned by a group of Universities including Swinburne, the OLA offers a wide range of higher education and TAFE qualifications by distance education on an open entry basis. My involvement as a director ended in December, 2003.

Victorian Vice-Chancellors Committee

I was chair of this group of chief executives when I stepped down from Swinburne in 2003.

Australian Program in Advanced Computing

I represented the Victorian universities on the Board of APAC, the body responsible for overseeing the National Facility in high performance computing and the establishment of the National Grid to support e-research.

Victorian Program in Advanced Computing

I am currently Chair of the Board of VPAC which provides high performance computing and e-research support to all of Victoria’s universities. It also markets services to a range of industrial and other clients on a commercial basis.


I have been a member of the Council since its establishment by NCRIS to oversee the operation of the Platforms for Collaboration strategy.

Tertiary Education Superannuation Scheme

I was a director and member of the executive of TESS until its amalgamation with the Superannuation Scheme for Australian Universities.

UniSuper Limited and UniSuper Management Limited

I was, until 2005, a trustee and director of the two companies which conduct the superannuation scheme for Australia’s universities and their associated bodies. We managed a fund of over $ 20 billion. I chaired the Remuneration Committee and sat on the Membership Committee.


Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia – 1980 – to present

Centenary Medal 2003

Public Service Medal 2004

Member of the Order of Australia 2014