Prof. Graeme Samuel AC (OW1963)
On Wednesday 3 May, the College was pleased to bestow a fellowship of Wesley College upon Professor Graeme Samuel AC LL.B (Melb.) LL.M (Monash) FAICD.
Graeme began as a student in The Hutch in 1950. He was a talented swimmer and still holds a school record as part of the Under 16, 4 x 50 yards relay team. This is a record unlikely to be broken since the College received a donation from one Graeme Samuel to take the pool at the St Kilda Road Campus from 25 yards to 25 metres!
His father Ralph (OW1930) (dec) attended the College between 1927 and 1929 before the economic headwinds of the Great Depression forced his withdrawal. Graeme’s brothers Brian (OW1965), Ian (OW1967) and Neil (OW1970) and children Warren (OW1990), Grant (OW1995), Davina Onas (Samuel) (OW1996), Georgia (OW1999) and Jack Davies (OW2020) also attended the College.
Upon leaving school, Graeme completed a law degree at University of Melbourne and a Masters of Law at Monash University before joining the law firm Phillips Fox and Masel. He was awarded the Law Institute of Victoria’s Solicitor Prize in 1971 and became a Partner of the firm in 1972.
He developed a reputation as a leading lawyer in takeover and tax law and developed a lifelong passion for public policy. He became Executive Director of Hill Samuel Australia, which later became Macquarie Bank, before starting his own boutique investment bank, Grant Samuel and Associates.
Graeme was a member of the National Competition Council of Australia from 1995, and President from 1997-2003. He was Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and Associate Member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority until 2011.
He has been Chair of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust, a Commissioner of the Australian Football League, President of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chair of Playbox Theatre Company and Opera Australia, Trustee of the Melbourne Cricket Ground Trust, a Commissioner of the Australian Rugby League Commission and Chair of its Risk, Audit and Investment Committee from 2013 to 2017. He was also a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council and Chair of the Health Innovation Advisory Committee from 2015 to 2018.
Graeme is currently a Professor in Monash University’s Business School, President of Dementia Australia, Chair of Australian Dementia Network Ltd (ADNet) and Chair of Dementia Australia Research Foundation.
He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1998 and in 2010, elevated to Companion of the Order of Australia for ‘eminent service to public administration through contributions in the areas of economic reform and competition law, and to the community through leadership with sporting and cultural organisations.’
Graeme first became involved at the College through the Wesley College Foundation, succeeding Geoff Wagstaff (OW1949) as President in 1988, a role he held until 1995. He was an integral part of the raising of funds to rebuild the College after the Great Fire of 1988, at the same time the College was raising funds to build the new Senior College at Glen Waverley. He was a member of Wesley College Council from 1990 until 1995 and while on Council, was a member of the Executive and Property Committees.
In his time on the Wesley College Council, he was part of the decision-making process for an extraordinary range of decisions, including but not limited to:
- the development and building of the Senior School at Glen Waverley
- the integration of Cato College and the creation of the Elsternwick Campus
- the progression of coeducation at the College
- the adoption of notebook computers as an integral part of a Wesley College education
- the adoption of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
Graeme has been involved in the OWCA Business Breakfasts since the very beginning and has played an integral role in their ongoing success. Wesley College has gained an enormous amount from the service of Graeme Samuel and it is with great pleasure that we bestow upon him the highest honour in the gift of the College, that of Fellow of Wesley College.