Professor Matthew Harding appointed Dean of the Melbourne Law School
World-leading expert on charity law and private law theory, Professor Matthew Harding, has been appointed as the Dean of the Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne.
Professor Harding is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford. He is a long-standing faculty member with a strong international reputation who brings to the role a record of university leadership and networks in the academy, legal community and charity sector.
The appointment follows a global search and selection process.
Provost, Professor Nicola Phillips, said Professor Harding’s commitment to engaging the whole Law School community across education, research, Indigenous recognition and justice, and diversity and inclusion positioned him well to lead the Law School in setting strategic objectives and priorities for the medium to long term. Professor Harding has been interim Dean since April 2022.
“Professor Harding has steered the Law School through the return to campus, fostering re-engagement across international networks and a revitalisation of alumni and public events. He has led a major refresh of the financial support model for Juris Doctor students which aims to widen participation for students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in our university community. He has also demonstrated a deep commitment to the groundbreaking work of the Indigenous Law and Justice Hub in teaching, research and community engagement.”
Professor Harding joined the faculty in 2005 as a Lecturer after practising as a solicitor at Arthur Robinson and Hedderwicks in Melbourne. He has held many leadership roles at the Law School, including as Director of the Obligations Group, Associate Dean (Staff Development) and, from 2016-2020, Deputy Dean. In 2021-2022 he also served the University as the inaugural director of the Researcher Development Unit.
Professor Harding has made significant contributions to the legal community including as Chair of the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, member of the Advisory Board of the Judicial College of Victoria’s Scholarship for the Legal Community initiative and member of the Law Council of Australia’s Charities Committee.
Professor Harding has held visiting appointments at the University of Toronto, Queen's University Belfast, the University of Otago, and the University of the Western Cape. In 2020 he was the Kwa Geok Choo Distinguished Visitor at the National University of Singapore.
“It is a great privilege to continue leading this law school, enabling and equipping the next generation of law students and supporting colleagues to carry out ground-breaking research for the public benefit,” Professor Harding said.
“It is a tremendous honour to serve as Dean of the Melbourne Law School and I am dedicated to nurturing a welcoming, collegial and intellectually vibrant culture that is outward-looking and engaged across disciplines and beyond the University, especially in our Asia-Pacific region.”