New appointment to the Board of Trustees of Western Sydney University

Mr James Christian PSM

Western Sydney University is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr James Christian PSM, to its Board of Trustees. The appointment of Mr Christian follows the retirement from the Board of Emeritus Professor MaryAnn Bin-Sallik AO, after six years of outstanding service.

An experienced senior public servant and proud Wiradjuri man, James Christian is a highly-respected leader in his field. He has held numerous senior roles including CEO, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Acting Deputy Secretary, Australian Government Department of Social Services, and CEO of the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

Emeritus Professor MaryAnn Bin-Sallik AO

He will commence his four-year term as a Board-appointed member on 1 January 2022, after Professor Bin-Sallik announced her intention to retire at the completion of her term on 31 December this year.

A member of the Djaru people of the East Kimberley, Emeritus Professor Bin-Sallik has been a Board-appointed member of University’s Board of Trustees since 2016 – a role she has served with distinction.

Western Sydney University Chancellor, Professor Peter Shergold AC, warmly thanked Emeritus Professor Bin-Sallik for her distinguished service to the University. He also congratulated Mr Christian on his appointment to the Board of Trustees, welcoming him to the University community.

“Emeritus Professor Bin-Sallik has been an outstanding member of the Board, making significant and sustained contributions to the governance of our University, and for this we offer her our appreciation and thanks,” said Professor Shergold.

“A highly-distinguished scholar specialising in Indigenous studies and culture, MaryAnn’s life and career has involved many firsts, including the first Aboriginal to work in the higher education sector in 1975 and the first Aboriginal Australian to receive a Doctorate from Harvard University. Before joining the Board in 2016, she also served as Pro Vice-Chancellor, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership at Western Sydney University from 1 July to 31 December 2015.

“She has been a leading voice for increasing Indigenous participation in higher education, something which she has continued throughout her tenure with the Board, and has been vital to the advancement of Indigenous education, cultures and heritage at this University.

“Similarly, I very much look forward to James joining the Board. A respected leader who also champions the transformative role of higher education, I have no doubt he will bring passion and energy to the University’s mission, to open up educational opportunities for all, and be an important advocate for our students, staff and communities of Western Sydney.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the University community, I congratulate Mr Christian on his appointment, and wish Emeritus Professor Bin-Sallik all the best in her future endeavours.”


17 December 2021

Amanda Whibley, Manger, Media and Public Relations