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The Doherty Council - Independent Chair
The appointment of Martyn Myer AO
Martyn Myer-Doherty-Institute-Brooker-Co
Science Lab

“Martyn’s leadership and success in a range of ambitious development programs will be invaluable to the Doherty Institute realising our strategic objectives in the next five years. We are delighted that he will be joining us, and I look forward to working closely with him.  His expertise in strategy, governance, complex stakeholder engagement and philanthropy will play a vital role in facilitating the Doherty’s bold vision to improve human health globally.”

Doherty Institute Director & Council member,
Professor Sharon Lewin

The Organisation

The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital partnered to create the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute). It is a centre of excellence where leading scientists and clinicians collaborate to find solutions to prevent, treat and cure infectious diseases and better understand the immune system. 

Under the expert stewardship of its Director, University of Melbourne Professor Sharon Lewin, a leading infectious diseases expert, the Doherty Institute has more than 700 staff who work on infection and immunity through a broad spectrum of activities. This includes discovery research; diagnosis, surveillance and investigation of infection outbreaks; and the development of ways to prevent, treat and eliminate infectious diseases.

The Institute is located in the heart of the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct and, through its 30 Precinct Partners (which include major hospitals, universities and research institutes), delivers outstanding clinical care and education, and undertakes world-class biomedical research.  Together, the Precinct Partners employ around 28,000 people, including 10,000 researchers, contributing around A$3.6 billion to Victoria’s gross regional product. The impact of the Precinct goes far beyond geographical boundaries, with collaborations and impact extending to other universities, hospitals and research organisations locally and globally.

The Brief

The Doherty Institute has a governance arrangement that supports integration and fosters collaboration, strong leadership and management, creating a unified organisation.  A key part of this structure, the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), provides advice to the Director and the Council on matters related to the scientific achievements and impact of the organisation. The SAB identifies relevant opportunities and/or barriers to the institute’s success in achieving its vision. It made a recommendation that the Council should consider changing its composition to include an independent chair as well as incorporating members with specific key skills.

In response to this recommendation, the joint venture partners agreed to evaluate the composition of the Council and its operations, and commissioned a consultancy to complete a review focussing on membership, the Terms of Reference, and the effectiveness of the Council in supporting the Institute Director to ensure the ongoing success of the entity. 

In keeping with the terms of the joint venture between the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the role of Chair has thus far been filled by a representative of one or other of the partners in alternation. The acceptance of the external consultancy’s report led to the creation of the role of an Independent Chair to replace the previous rotational arrangement.

The Process

After demonstrating a successful track record of relevant past appointments in the sector, Brooker Consulting was engaged to conduct an executive search and selection process to identify the inaugural Independent Chair for the Doherty Council.

An extensive strategy was outlined and the campaign was launched by Brooker after a detailed briefing with key stakeholders. A comprehensive combination of external advertising and targeted executive search generated an impressive level of interest and a high-quality shortlist. 

The Outcome

After presentations to joint venture partners and the Institute Director were concluded, consensus was reached and Martyn Myer AO was appointed as the first independent Chair of the Doherty Council. 

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