University of Sydney legal services director graduates to GC role

The new GC has over two decades of experience in commercial law and was senior counsel at IBM

University of Sydney legal services director graduates to GC role
Olivia Perks

University of Sydney legal services director Olivia Perks has been named the institution’s new GC.

She succeeds Richard Fisher AM in the role, and will be making the transition over the next few months. According to vice-chancellor and principal Mark Scott, the appointment followed a “competitive search process.”

“As well as being the most qualified candidate, Olivia is highly respected in our internal community. She is known for her deep commitment to and understanding of the university, and her collaborative and inclusive approach makes her an excellent choice for this important leadership role,” Scott said in a staff announcement.

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Perks has worked in commercial law for over two decades, 15 years of which were spent in the higher education sector. She recorded a stint as a private practitioner with Corrs Chambers Westgarth, and was senior counsel at IBM Australia.

In 2006, she made the jump to the University of Sydney, operating as senior solicitor in its Office of General Counsel. She went on to be named director of legal services in 2014.

Perks has handled all facets of the university’s operations, and has been key to several of its landmark initiatives. This includes the launch of the institution’s China centre, the growth of its western Sydney presence and its address of modern slavery issues.

Recently, she joined the University of Sydney’s COVID-19 operational response team, helping the institution to navigate the pandemic’s effects.

As University of Sydney’s GC, Perks will take the reins on the institution’s overall legal services offering. She will also head up and oversee the provision of services to Senate and senior executives.

“Her experience and counsel will serve us well as we continue to strive for excellence, education for all and leadership that improves lives in all of the communities that we serve,” Scott said.

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