Professor Caroline McMillen commenced in the role as Chief Scientist for South Australia in October 2018 after serving as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle for 7 years from 2011.
She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales and a Bragg Member of the Royal Institution, Australia. She holds a BA (Honours) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and completed her medical training graduating with an MB, BChir from the University of Cambridge. She has served in academic leadership positions at Monash University, the University of Adelaide and at the University of South Australia where she held the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation prior to her move to Newcastle.
Professor McMillen’s research focusses on the role of the environment in early development in determining the metabolic and cardiovascular health of the offspring in later life. Her research group was funded for two decades by both the ARC and the NHMRC, she was a member of the PMSEIC Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health focusing on maternal, fetal and post-natal health and she has been a chair and member of international and national research policy, review and assessment panels. She has also served on a range of industry boards including the National Automotive Industry Innovation Council, Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Automotive Technology, Cooperative Research Centre for Rail Innovation, the South Australian Premier’s Climate Change Council, the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council as well as a range of state industry and government leadership groups.
Professor McMillen has been invited to speak in international and national fora on the critical role of STEMM in driving innovation and on the role of universities as national and regional catalysts of economic and social transition. Throughout her career she has been committed to building collaborations between universities, government, industry and communities which deliver a positive impact on the economic, social and cultural health of Australia. She was honoured at the end of her term as Vice-Chancellor to be presented with the Key to the City of Newcastle by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle.