The 2024 Rodney Wylie Lecture

The Rodney Wylie Eminent Visiting Fellowship Lectures brings a globally respected visitor to the University each year to provide intellectual leadership and engage with alumni and the community through its annual public lecture series.

Rodney Wylie Lecture 2024
Negotiating Brexit and the future of the European Union

About the presenter

Michel Barnier siiting at a desk in a suitMichel Barnier

Michel Barnier is the former European Union Chief Negotiator, heading the Task Force; between 2016 and 2021, for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom following the 2016 Brexit referendum.

He is married to Isabelle and a father of three children. He graduated from the ESCP European Business School in Paris. Michel Barnier engaged at an early age in the Gaullist party in his native Savoie, in the French Alps and was elected at the age of 27 as Member of the French National Assembly, and then as President of the department. In that capacity, he organized, together with the triple gold medalist Jean-Claude Killy, the XVI Olympic Winter Games in 1992 in Albertville.

Michel Barnier has served as minister in several governments in France, as Minister of Environment (1993-1995), for European affairs (1995-1997) and for Foreign affairs (2004-2005). From 1999 to 2004, he was European Commissioner responsible for Regional policy and Institutional reform. In 2007, the newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy appointed him Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

In June 2009, Michel Barnier led the French campaign for the European elections and a few months later he was a second time appointed European Commissioner for Internal market and Services. It is in this capacity that he proposed and built the Banking Union. Michel Barnier has also been a special advisor to Jean-Claude Juncker over security and defence matters.

Michel Barnier has published a dozen of books including, Each One for All, the Ecological Challenge (1990/Stock) , The Atlas of Major Risks ( Plon / 1992) - Who will the feed the World ( Acropole / 2007) - And more recently, My Brexit Secret Diary (Polity / 2021).

Watch previous lectures


The Rodney Wylie Eminent Visiting Fellowship program was created in 2009 through a visionary gift from Mr John Wylie AC, and is named in honour of his father, Mr Rodney Wylie OBE. 

Rodney graduated from UQ with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1948 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1950. He went on to have a distinguished career as a leader in the Australian accountancy sector, and as the non-executive director of several Queensland companies. 

Rodney was awarded the Order of the British Empire – Officer (Civil) in 1988 for his contributions to the accountancy profession.  In 2017, he was inducted into the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame, which recognises outstanding contributions and achievements made by organisations, companies and individuals to develop the Queensland economy and society.

Previous Rodney Wylie Eminent Visiting Fellows

  • 2023: Sir Peter Donnelly, CEO and Co-Founder of Genomics plc, and Emeritus Professor of Statistical Science at the University of Oxford.
  • 2022: Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, CEO and Managing Director, Mirvac Group
  • 2019: Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner Emeritus and Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company
  • 2018: Ben Gray, Founding Partner of BGH Capital 
  • 2015: Manuel Pinho, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • 2014: Jean-Charles Rochet, Swiss Finance Institute Professor of Banking, Banking and Finance Institute, Zürich University
  • 2011: David Carpenter, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Albany, New York
  • 2011: Sharon Strauss, Professor in Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis
  • 2010: Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences

About John Wylie AC

John Wiley AMMr John Wylie AC is Chairman of the Australian Sports Commission and President of the State Library of Victoria Board.  

In 1983, John graduated from UQ with a Bachelor of Commerce with first class honours. After graduating, he spent time as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University where he completed a Master of Philosophy.  In the 1990s, he was the Australian Chairman of investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston. In 2000, he co-founded Carnegie Wylie, a corporate advisory and private equity investment firm acquired by Lazard in 2007.  John was Managing Director and Head of Corporate Advisory for Lazard Australia until his retirement in 2014. 

John is known as a leading Australian investment banker and has advised companies and governments globally for over 25 years.  He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007, and a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2022 for eminent service to the community through leadership in the sporting, cultural, philanthropic and business sectors.

As former Chairman of the Melbourne Cricket Ground Trust, a position he held for 14 years, John chaired the MCG Redevelopment Steering Committee for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

John is married to Myriam Boisbouvier, who was appointed France’s honorary consul in Victoria in 2011.