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Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement)

 Professor John Cole OAM
Professor John Cole OAM 
 Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement)

Professor John Cole OAM

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) leads and manages the development and execution of USQ’s strategic engagement, philanthropic and fundraising programs. John provides leadership in key engagement activities across all campuses and manages a portfolio encompassing advancement and alumni, stakeholder engagement and communications.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) also fulfils the responsibilities of Head of Springfield and Ipswich campuses with a focus primarily on external (including industry, business and community) engagement and contact at those locations.


John commenced at USQ as Director of the Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development in 2009, before assuming the role of Executive Director of the Institute for Resilient Regions in 2013. He commenced as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) in 2019.

John has more than 30 years of senior leadership experience in all three levels of government, industry and academia and is a long-time adviser internationally on sustainable development, innovation, and the future. Recognised in 2016 with an Order of Australia Medal for his services to the environment, community, and higher education, John was also a recipient of The Queensland Premier’s Award for Leadership in Sustainability in 2012.

John gained a PhD in Australian demographic history from UQ (1981), received a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship (1983) and was in the US Government’s International Visitor Program (1999).

Memberships and affiliations

John serves as Chair of Queensland’s Rural Economies Centre of Excellence and the Clean Growth Choices Consortium.

John serves as a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland’s Policy Advisory Board and the Queensland Urban Utilities’ Customer and Community Reference Group.

He is an Honorary Professor at The University of Queensland Business School, advising on corporate social responsibility and business, sustainability innovation as business strategy, and business in a climate changing world.

A passionate promoter of civic engagement and community initiative, John is also an Ambassador for the Queensland Plan, a 30-year vision for the state.

Contact details

Phone: +61 7 3470 4426
Executive Assistant: Brenda Delaney