Commission biographies

Professor Nick Saunders AO

Professor Saunders is the Chief Commissioner of TEQSA.

Professor Saunders was previously Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Bond University, having taken up this position after retiring as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle, Australia. His other senior academic roles include: Dean of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University (1998-2003); Head of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Dean of Medicine, Flinders University (1993-1998); Professor of Medicine at the University of Newcastle (1983-1993); and positions at McMaster University, Canada and Harvard University, USA.

Professor Saunders holds a medical degree with first class honours from the University of Sydney and has been influential in the advancement of medical education and research through his extensive contribution to and participation on many higher education, research and health care national committees, councils and State Government bodies.

During his career, Professor Saunders has been Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council; a member of the Higher Education Council, the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, the Australian Research Council and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council; Chair of the Committee of Deans of Australian Medical Schools; Chair of the Postgraduate Medical Council of NSW; member of the Board of Universities Australia and Lead Vice-Chancellor for research and international activities; and member of the Victorian Premier’s Council for Knowledge, Innovation, Science and Engineering, and the 2011 Ministerial Review of Health and Medical Research in NSW.

Professor Saunders was a member of the Council of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Chair of the College’s Board of Continuing Education. He currently holds the part-time position of Chair of the Repatriation Medical Authority of Australia.

In 2012, he was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in recognition of his contribution and distinguished service to medicine and higher education. 

Emeritus Professor Cliff Walsh

After completing undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics at the London School of Economics, Emeritus Professor Cliff Walsh initially came to Australia in 1969 as a PhD Scholar at the Australian National University. His subsequent career-track has been as an academic economist and public policy analyst. 

Professor Walsh has held professorial appointments at the University of Adelaide and the Australian National University and visiting appointments at universities in Canada, the USA and the UK. His teaching, research, publications and advisory specialities have been in public sector economics and public policy; regulatory theory and its application to economic, social and environmental issues; economic and social evaluation of public sector programs and regulatory regimes; and intergovernmental economic, political and administrative relations. 

Professor Walsh has also been an advisor to a Prime Minister and State Premiers; an Associate Commissioner for several Productivity Commission Inquiries; an expert advisor to the European Commission and the World Bank; a member of numerous committees of inquiry into public sector policies and programs; and a member of the Australian Competition Tribunal, which reviews, on appeal, decisions of Australia’s competition regulator, the ACCC. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Economics, and a (honorary) Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Economics, at the University of Adelaide.

Dr Linley Martin 

Dr Martin has an extensive knowledge of and experience in Australian higher education. 

From 2009 – 2011 she was the Head of University Services and Vice-Principal (Major Projects) at the University of Melbourne, where she had also held the position of Vice Principal and Academic Registrar from 2001-2005. 

From 2005 – 2008 she was Vice President and Council Secretary at Deakin University and has held many other senior positions at the University of New South Wales, RMIT University, Flinders University and the University of South Australia. 

Dr Martin was also a senior advisor to the Review of Australian Higher Education (the Bradley Review) which was pivotal to the establishment of TEQSA.

As well as being a part-time Commissioner at TEQSA, Dr Martin is also the part-time Ombuds at RMIT University, an independent reviewer of unresolved student and staff complaints. She has completed her PhD on Using assessment of student learning outcomes to measure university performance at the University of Melbourne.