Celebrating the Centre for Ethical Leadership’s transition

Celebrating the Centre for Ethical Leadership’s transition

Through the leadership and vision of Professor Robert Wood the Centre for Ethical Leadership was founded 9 years ago and shortly afterwards was able to secure the very important role as the provider and steward of the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship.

Under Professor Wood’s leadership the Centre has:

  •  Seen the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship grow and flourish as its Fellows make important contributions to ethical leadership in Australia.
  •  Created for the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship a globally distinctive curriculum combining moral philosophy and moral psychology to senior leaders to deepen their ethical leadership skills in challenging times.
  • Produced world leading and award winning research on important contemporary ethical issues, especially in the area of gender equality. Of particular note was the Jay Forester award for best publication in system dynamics over the previous 5 years. Professor Wood was the first psychologist, not systems theory person, to win this highly prestigious award.
  • Worked with leading Australian organizations to tackle critical ethical issues especially gender equality. Developed outstanding research and professional staff who have made significant contributions both to programs of the Centre and to its internationally recognized research program across the years
  • Developed and coached 3 International Business Ethics Competition teams from Ormond College who all won major awards up against leading universities from around the world.

Four years ago Professor Wood saw the Centre move to Ormond as part of a strategic plan to ensure its longevity and its ability to continue to provide an outstanding Vincent Fairfax Fellows program. Since then he has done much to make the CEL an integral part of Ormond with the College playing host to two of the Vincent Fairfax Fellows modules and some of the Speakers Series as well as the Yearly Vincent Fairfax Oration, coveted internships for students in the Centre, the IBECC competition, staff talks in the Senior Common Room and advice to students.

It is a mark of his ability to create longevity that his successor comes from amongst the core team of outstanding people Professor Wood has attracted to work in Centre.
The new Director will be Peter Collins, who will begin his role in mid-July. Peter has been core Faculty for the VFF program since it came to the Centre for Ethical Leadership, a coach to almost 200 Fellows and the Curriculum Director. Peter has been a leadership coach to a great many ASX 20 leaders and senior members of the public service over the last 13 years. All of this built on an early career where he worked and wrote on social justice issues, served two Australian Government ministers and worked at McKinsey & Company as a consultant who went on to specialise in organizational change and leadership work.
Professor Wood will return to his first love of research. He has studied one question for 30 years “Why, when confronted with a challenge, are some people adaptable to respond in constructive ways, while others retreat, defend or flounder”? Ethics was an applied area of challenges. He is now turning to new areas as he tackles that question.
Professor Wood will also continue his entrepreneurial activities, which have been a hallmark of his career. A particular focus will be his company Cognicity, which is based on products of his research and has attracted the attention of several large firms who may fund further product development from his research.We are delighted Professor Wood will stay associated with the Centre as a Senior Research Fellow.

Jennifer Jones has also played a pivotal role in the development of the Centre for Ethical Leadership. Everyone associated with the Centre knows that she has been central to the management of the whole operation and to working with its many partners. She has also been integrally involved in the development and delivery for clients of the Centre’s work on gender equality.

We congratulate Professor Wood on his achievement and wishing him well in this next chapter of his distinguished career and in congratulating Peter Collins on his role as the new Director of the Centre for Ethical Leadership