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Fred Hilmer
, 2018

by Evert Ploeg

oil on linen (support: 195.0 cm x 135.0 cm)

Fred Hilmer AO (b. 1945), economic policy and reform strategist, was the chief executive officer of John Fairfax Holdings from 1998 to 2005 and vice- chancellor of the University of New South Wales from 2006 to 2015. Hilmer graduated in law from the University of Sydney and undertook further law studies at the University of Pennsylvania before winning a Joseph Wharton Fellowship and completing his MBA at the Wharton School of Finance in the late 1960s. He published his first books, When the Luck Runs Out and New Games, New Rules in the 1980s and was awarded the John Storey Medal from the Australian Institute of Management in 1991. From 1989 to 1998 he was a professor of management in the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales, of which he later became dean and director. In the early 1990s he chaired the National Competition Policy Review Committee, which led to far-reaching reforms in competition policy, and was a member of the Higher Education Council. Meanwhile, he began his long corporate involvement, over the course of which he has served as a director of TNT, Coca-Cola Amatil, Port Jackson Partners, McKinsey and Company and Macquarie Bank; chair of Pacific Power; and deputy chair of Foster’s Brewing Group and Westfield Holdings Ltd and related companies. More recently, he has chaired the Group of Eight Universities (Go8) and Universitas 21. His writings include Strictly Boardroom: Improving governance to enhance company performance (1993, 1998), The Fairfax Experience: What the Management Texts Didn’t Teach Me (2007), as well as the co-authored Management Redeemed: The case against fads that harm management (1998) and Working Relations: A fresh start for Australian enterprises (1993).

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Commissioned with funds provided by Dr Helen Nugent AO
Accession number: 2018.53