Meet Jann Gardner

BA/LLB(Sydney), MBA(Newcastle), GAICDJann Gardner

Why did you join the University Council?

I am a long term and proud Novocastrian and completed my MBA at the University of Newcastle. When I ceased full time legal practice I was looking for opportunities to use my experience and skills to assist the local community. Joining the Council of the University seemed an ideal way to achieve this.

What do you look back on most fondly when it comes to your own education?

I lived on campus for 2 years and loved college life. I still have good friends from that time. I also enjoyed the social aspects of university, not only the entertainment events, but the discussion of ideas and debates that continued in the coffee shop or the bar after lectures and tutorials.


Ms Jann Gardner is the Chair of Hunter United Employees Credit Union Ltd (HUECU), the largest credit union in the Hunter Region, and a non executive director of StateCover Mutual Ltd, an insurer of local government instrumentalities and Arch LMI Ltd, a mortgage insurer. She sits on the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Law and Business at Newcastle University, on Sancta Sophia College Council at the University of Sydney and on the Nursing and Midwifery NSW Council.

Ms Gardner has previously served on the Boards of Hunter Water Corporation and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), where she also chaired the Foundation. In addition, she has held executive director roles in professional service firms and private companies.

Previously, Ms Gardner spent 27 years as a lawyer in private practice, the majority of which was as a partner in a national law firm, Sparke Helmore. She was managing partner of Sparke Helmore’s Newcastle office for 9 years and was a member of the Sparke Helmore Board.  Jann specialised in insurance, risk, dispute resolution and litigation.

Currently, Ms Gardner is concentrating on expanding her non-executive director career, while consulting to corporations on strategic issues and business development, as well as mentoring young female students and lawyers.

Ms Gardner has an Arts/Law degree from Sydney University and an MBA from Newcastle University. She has specialist accreditation from the Law Society of NSW and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She went on to complete the Mastering the Boardroom programme with AICD and was awarded an Order of Merit.