Fred Hilmer

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Professor Hilmer

Frederick George Hilmer AO (born 2 February 1945)[1] is an Australian academic and business figure. He was the president and eighth vice-chancellor of the University of New South Wales, an appointment he held from June 2006 till January 2015.[2] He has also served as a director and deputy-chairman of the Westfield Group since 1991.[3]


Hilmer was the chief executive officer of John Fairfax Holdings Limited from 1998 to 2005.[4] Before joining Fairfax he was Dean and director of the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at the University of New South Wales from 1989[5] until 1998. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Sydney, where he graduated in 1966,[6] a Master of Laws from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he was appointed a Joseph Wharton Fellow.[7]

He was a member of the Commonwealth Higher Education Council and chairman of the Business Council of Australia's Employee Relations Study Group. In 1992 and 1993 he chaired the National Competition Policy Review Committee, which led to the introduction of National Competition Policy in 1995.

Prior to joining the AGSM, Professor Hilmer was with McKinsey & Company for 19 years, spending the last 9 year managing the Australian practice.[8] Professor Hilmer has also held a number of other senior business positions including chairman of Pacific Power, deputy chairman of Foster's Group Limited and a director of Coca-Cola Amatil, TNT and Macquarie Bank.[9]

He was vice-chancellor of the University of New South Wales from June 2006 till January 2015.[10]

Hilmer was appointed chair of the Group of Eight (Go8), the coalition of Australia's leading research universities, in December 2011, and chair of Universitas 21 (U21), the global network of research-intensive universities, in May 2013.


Fred Hilmer has written extensively on strategy, organisation and economic reform and is the author of a number of books, including:

  • When The Luck Runs Out,
  • New Games/New Rules,
  • Strictly Boardroom (co-author),
  • Working Relations and Management Redeemed, and
  • The Fairfax Experience—What The Management Texts Didn't Teach Me.


Hilmer was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1998 for his service to management education, competition policy, and workplace.[11]


  1. ^ UNSW Records and Archives Office
  2. ^ University of New South Wales. "Vice-Chancellor Exhibition". Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Westfield Group Annual Report 2008". 16 March 2009. p. 18. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  4. ^ John Fairfax Holdings Limited. "David Kirk replaces Fred Hilmer on Board of Directors" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  5. ^ McKinsey & Company. "The Continuing Journey of Rob McLean". Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  6. ^ University of Sydney. "Vice-Chancellor's Sesquicentenary Distinguished Lecture by Frederick Hilmer AO". Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  7. ^ University of NSW. "Biography". Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  8. ^ McKinsey & Company. "Catching up with Fred Hilmer, the new Vice-Chancellor and President of Australia's University of New South Wales". Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  9. ^ Fairfax Media. "2005 Australasian Investment Conference" (PDF). p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  10. ^ SMH. "Professor Ian Jacobs replaces Fred Hilmer as vice-chancellor of University of NSW". Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  11. ^ It's an Honour - Officer of the Order of Australia
Academic offices
Preceded by Vice Chancellor of UNSW
2006 – January 2015
Succeeded by