University of Divinity Vice-Chancellor to step down in 2024

Professor Peter Sherlock

Peter will be well known to HAFS members as a regular contributor to our Journals and Newsletters over the past 30 years.  Peter is the son of Rev Charles Sherlock (long time editor of our publications) and is a founding member of HAFS.  Peter was a Committee Member from 1990 to 2005, HAFS Archivist from 1990-1991, editor of the Journals and Newsletters from 1990-2004. Peter also developed the coding system used by HAFS. The family tree book of the Hungerfords in Australia & New Zealand first appeared in 1988 as a small booklet collated by Peter Sherlock under the title Hungerfords of the Hunter, listing some of the descendants of Emanuel and Catherine. Through the contributions of many family members, it has evolved through several editions into the present version, now with the title Hungerfords Down Under (HDU), which contains details of thousands of individuals. Peter was made a life member of HAFS in 1994 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to our Society
Following is the press release announcing Peter’s resignation as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Divinity.

University of Divinity Chancellor Dr Graeme Blackman AO announced on 8 September 2023 that Professor Peter Sherlock [E.4.1a.6b.5c.1d.2e] will step down as Vice-Chancellor in March 2024 after 12 years leading the University of Divinity. Dr Blackman said that Professor Sherlock was appointed as inaugural Vice-Chancellor in January 2012 and had been an outstanding leader and innovator, not only building the foundations of a new University but also ensuring its enviable position as Australia’s top-ranked University for student experience.

“Other highlights of Peter’s Vice-Chancellorship include a ground-breaking development in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theologies and ministries, the relocation of the University’s headquarters to an expanded campus, and steering the University effectively through the challenges of COVID-19.”

“Professor Sherlock has also provided significant leadership to theological education beyond the University, as Chair of the Council of Deans of Theology and as President of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Theological Studies. In the former capacity, he led the Australian theological sector’s engagement with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.”

“Throughout the past 12 years, Peter has used his intellect and wisdom to make significant contributions to public debate advocating the importance of theology in addressing some of Australia’s most pressing issues. Remarkably for a Vice-Chancellor, Peter has remained research active by continuing to publish and supervise research students in his primary discipline of history.”

“We are very proud of Peter’s accomplishments during a period of major change in both the higher education and theological education sectors. He has made a very significant personal investment in the sustainability and vibrancy of the University and on behalf of the University community, I express our deep gratitude to him.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sherlock said that it had been a great privilege to be called by the University of Divinity to be its Foundation Vice-Chancellor.

“This unique role has given me so many opportunities to contribute to the vital work of Christian organisations in Australia and beyond, and to play a part in helping our students and graduates – of many faiths and none – in realising their vocation to serve others and contribute to the common good.”

“Twelve years is a long time to be a Vice-Chancellor and I could not have sustained the energy and passion for this role without the extraordinary support of my colleagues throughout the University’s Colleges, Schools, Council and committees and in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor. I give thanks for them, and pay tribute to their wisdom, dedication and expertise in equipping our students and partners to be agents of transformation in the world.”

“Theology calls our attention to the largest questions of all about God, our world, humanity’s purpose, and our obligations to both friends and strangers. This is critical not only to our partners in the Christian churches, but to our whole society as it navigates the future. I continue to pray for God’s blessing on the University’s staff and students, and look forward to watching the University of Divinity flourish and grow in the delivery of its vital mission.”

Professor Sherlock will conclude as Vice-Chancellor at the University’s Melbourne Graduation Ceremony on 15 March 2024.

The University Council has commenced the recruitment process to appoint the University’s next Vice-Chancellor

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