Dr Matt Beard

Dr Matt Beard, new Vincent Fairfax Fellowship Program Director

10 March, 2021

Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Matt Beard as the new Program Director of the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship following a far-reaching search.

Dr Beard has had an extensive career as a moral philosopher and ethicist, working as a Fellow with The Ethics Centre in Sydney since 2015. He has taught philosophy and ethics at the University of New South Wales in Canberra and The University of Notre Dame Australia and has been published extensively in academic journals.

Dr Beard is a highly sought-after speaker at national and international conferences and in 2016 won the Australasian Association of Philosophy prize for media engagement, recognising his ‘prolific contribution to public philosophy’. He is a presenter on the ABC’s Short and Curly program, an award-winning ethics podcast for children, and regularly contributes articles to well-read news sites.

Dr Beard will assume the role of Vincent Fairfax Fellowship Program Director from Peter Collins, who has been instrumental in shaping the Fellowship into a contemporary program, responsive to the issues of the day, for over 11 years. Peter Collins commenced with the VFF as a guest facilitator in 2009 and stepped into the role of Director of the VFF in 2019. Peter’s energetic curiosity has inspired and challenged more than 250 Fellows across these years and the Board of Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership thank him for his dedicated leadership and wish him all the best as he completes his PhD at Oxford University.

On Dr Beard’s appointment, Cranlana Centre Chair Gail Hambly, said, “The board of Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, in partnership with Monash University, is delighted to welcome Dr Matt Beard to the team. His extensive experience as a moral philosopher with a background in applied and military ethics will bring to the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship a rigour and perspective which will be invaluable to participants.

“I know Matt’s skills as an engaging communicator, at ease with exploring philosophical concepts with disparate audiences, will ensure the Fellowship continues to offer a unique opportunity for senior leaders to consider the ethical issues they face in their work. I look forward to the continuing evolution and success of the Fellowship under Matt’s direction.”

Director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, Angus White, welcomed Dr Beard’s appointment as Program Director of the Fellowship.

“Dr Matt Beard brings a breadth of knowledge, experience, focused energy as well as dynamic and innovative thinking in leading the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship.

“The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation very much looks forward to supporting Dr Beard as he builds on over 25 years of influence in ethical leadership across a wide-range of sectors.”

On his appointment, Dr Beard said, “Some of the people I admire most are alumni of the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship, so I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the program. My work tries to make philosophical ethics practical, accessible and impactful, and I’m excited to continue that work with The Vincent Fairfax Fellowship. 

“Australians deserve leaders who know how to use their power and influence wisely and responsibly. The last year has reminded us that leading well is not just a question of cleverness and strategy – it’s an ethical practice. Programs like the Fellowship play an important role in forming leaders who are courageous, imaginative, caring and trustworthy – leaders who we would be happy to follow.” 

Each year The Vincent Fairfax Fellowship sees a select group of senior executives complete a 12-month program of residential modules and individual coaching to explore and untangle the moral challenges that arise in their high-level leadership positions. Assisted by expert senior consultants, each participant chooses and develops a change project to be implemented within their organisation as a concrete way to drive ethical improvement.

The Fellowship was established in 1994 by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and has been part of Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership since 2019.

Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership’s programs include the 2 day Executive Ethics, 6 day Executive Colloquium and year-long Vincent Fairfax Fellowship. We also deliver online and tailored corporate programs. Find the right program for you. They are all held under the Chatham House Rule to encourage genuine and open debate, and allow participants to candidly discuss sometimes sensitive issues in private while allowing the topic and nature of the debate to be made public, and contribute to a broader conversation. The alumni program offers ongoing leadership development support and a lifelong connection with Cranlana.