Mark Scott (businessman)

Mark Walter Scott AO (born 9 October 1962) is a public servant and university administrator who serves as the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney. He was the managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from 2006 to 2016.[1] Prior to commencing at the ABC, Scott had previously held a senior role at Fairfax Media, responsible for the editorial content of the group's major newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age.

Mark Scott
Mark Scott at University of Melbourne by Stevage.jpg
Scott speaking at the University of Melbourne in 2014
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney
Assumed office
19 July 2021 (2021-07-19)
Preceded byStephen Garton
Secretary of NSW Department of Education
In office
1 September 2016 (2016-09-01) – 23 April 2021 (2021-04-23)
Preceded byMichele Bruniges
Succeeded byGeorgina Harrisson
Personal details
Mark Walter Scott

(1962-10-09) 9 October 1962 (age 59)
Los Angeles, California, United States
CitizenshipUnited States
Spouse(s)Briony Scott
Alma mater
OccupationUniversity administrator
public servant

In June 2016, Scott was appointed Secretary of the New South Wales Department of Education.[2] In March 2021, Scott was announced as being appointed the 27th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, commencing in July 2021.[3]

Career and backgroundEdit

Scott was born in 1962 in Los Angeles. He holds dual Australian and United States citizenship.[4]

Educated at Knox Grammar School, Scott worked for the New South Wales Greiner Liberal government, as chief of staff to the Education Minister, Virginia Chadwick, and as a senior adviser to education minister, Terry Metherell.[5]

In 2010, he was appointed to a second five-year term as the ABC's managing director.[6] His time at the ABC was marked by extensive change, including the creation of ABC Me, a digital TV channel for children, and the 24-hour news channel ABC News, as well as a major expansion into digital and on-line technology and an expansion of quality drama.[7][8] Scott has been a strong defender of the value of social media in journalism[9] and skeptical on the capacity of news organisations to charge for content they have previously provided free of charge.[10]

In September 2015, Scott announced he would be retiring as managing director and would be leaving the ABC.[11] In December 2015, Michelle Guthrie was announced as Scott's replacement,[12] and took over the role on 2 May 2016.[13]

In June 2016, Scott was appointed secretary of the New South Wales Department of Education. He was responsible for more than 2000 schools and around 49,000 teachers in the state.[14]

Scott is the author of On Us, one of a series of short books produced by Melbourne University Press. He writes it may be time to Marie Kondo our digital lives. “So much on my screens isn’t sparking much joy...there’s just too much and it doesn’t energise me...often, when we stare at our screens, we know we are not our best selves.”[15]

Cuts to the ABCEdit

In November 2014, as Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Scott announced that after 55 years, the Collinswood ABC television studios in South Australia would be closed.[16] The announcement, following the 2011 demolition of the ABC TV facility in Perth[17] and the 2012 closure of Tasmania's TV production unit[18] also revealed the end of state based current affairs show 7.30 Report (state editions) - formally Stateline.

Responding to 2014 Liberal Government budget cuts of $254 million over 5 years,[19] Mark Scott axed ABC Radio National program Bush Telegraph and five regional radio outposts.[20] In a senate inquiry about the cuts, Scott rejected claims that ABC management was using the Abbott Government's cuts as an excuse to pursue unpopular cost-saving initiatives.[21]

Awards and honoursEdit

On 13 June 2011, Scott was named an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to media and communications, and to the community through advisory and governance roles with a range of social justice and educational bodies.[22]

Personal lifeEdit

Scott is married to Briony Scott, the principal of Wenona School, a private day and boarding school for girls. He is a grandson of Sir Walter Scott AC who was responsible for the introduction of decimal currency in Australia. His father Brian reviewed the NSW Department of Education in the 1980s.[23]

Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Diploma of Education and a Master of Arts from the University of Sydney; and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University.[24]


  1. ^ "Mr Mark Scott". Our people. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  2. ^ Urban, Rebecca (12 December 2016). "New education boss told to review controversial sex-ed course". The Australian. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Mark Scott appointed Vice-Chancellor of University of Sydney". University of Sydney. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  4. ^ Kissane, Karen (13 March 2010). "The ABC goes forth into a brave new world". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Scott of the ABC: A family affair of service". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 May 2006.
  6. ^ Meade, Amanda (29 October 2010). "Mark Scott's ABC contract extended". The Australian.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "The Golden Age for Australian journalism". 24 November 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  10. ^ "THE FALL OF ROME: MEDIA AFTER EMPIRE" (PDF). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 October 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Mark Scott confirms he will step down as ABC managing director in 2016". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Google executive Michelle Guthrie to replace Mark Scott as ABC managing director". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  13. ^ Mitchell, Jake (2 May 2016). "ABC needs more diversity, new boss Michelle Guthrie says". The Australian. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  14. ^ Bagshaw, Eryk; Nicholls, Sean (2 June 2016). "Mark Scott appointed as secretary of NSW Department of Education". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 6 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Mark Scott Twitter post". Twitter. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  16. ^ "ABC Adelaide television studios to close after 55 years". 24 November 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  17. ^ Says, Dialashop. "Western Australian Television History (WA TV History) » Blog Archive » UPDATE: Demolition of ABW Channel 2 Studios in Perth WA". Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  18. ^ "ABC TV closes Tas production unit". 20 November 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Turnbull confirms $254 million cut from ABC funding". ABC News. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  20. ^ Idato, Michael (24 November 2014). "ABC's death by a thousand cuts the work of political bastardry". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  21. ^ Lynch, Jared (1 December 2014). "ABC chief Mark Scott defends cuts at Senate hearing". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  22. ^ "Mark Scott AO". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  23. ^ Scott of the ABC: a family affair of service Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Media offices
Preceded by Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Succeeded by