Dr John Vallance attended the University of Sydney where he studied classics and archaeology, followed by Cambridge where he completed his MA and PhD in classics at St John’s College. After graduating with starred First Class Honours in Classics, he became a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and taught in the Faculty of Classics at Cambridge for eight years. He has published widely in the field of ancient Greek science and medicine. Between 1999 and 2017 he was Headmaster of Sydney Grammar School.
He served for nine years as a member of the Library Council of NSW and has also been a Trustee of the State Library Foundation. Until recently he was a non-executive director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Dr Vallance is Honorary Professor for the Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of New South Wales.