It is my immense honour to announce that the next Chancellor of The Australian National University will be The Hon. Julie Bishop.
Continuing her long list of 'firsts', Julie will be our University's first female Chancellor. Her three year term will begin on 1 January 2020.
Earlier this year, I wrote to the ANU community, to invite you to participate in the Chancellorship Forums which I co-hosted with our Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC and my Council colleague, Anne-Marie Schwirtlich AM.
Helpfully, these Forums - coupled with engagement with the Academic Board and the ANUSA and PARSA leadership teams - provided great insight into your priorities for our next Chancellor. You highlighted the need for an eminent, distinguished individual, befitting our University's stature. It was clear you wanted someone who understands our distinctive role as the national university - contributing to matters of great national and international significance - and someone who appreciates the transformative power of universities, through their teaching and research.
In Julie, we have such a person. Her credentials for this critical University role are exceptional. I am confident she will serve our University with distinction.
After a 20 year Parliamentary career representing the seat of Curtin in Western Australia, Julie is very well known. Over the coming years, our ANU community will get to know her much better, as she leads us through the next phase of our strategic transformation.
For most of her professional life, Julie has maintained a deep interest in education. Her generation was the first in her family to attend university; she studied law at the University of Adelaide. Julie served on the Council of Perth's Murdoch University in the late 1990s and from 2006 - 2007 as the Federal Minister for Education and Science. The New Colombo Plan is one of her signature initiatives, aimed at lifting knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.
In Julie, I know we will have a compelling and effective advocate for our University including with the Australian Government. As Australia's Foreign Minister, she always represented our national interests strongly, navigating often sensitive foreign policy issues.
Julie has long been a regular visitor to ANU and knows our University well. In 2017, she opened the Crawford Australia Leadership Forum, saying that ANU is "the Australian Government's university and I believe it plays a vital role in the development of public policy".
Between now and January, when Julie's term commences, we will also have opportunities to farewell our current Chancellor, The Hon. Gareth Evans QC AC. Gareth has served ANU for nearly a decade with incredible energy and intellect, always being a source of great encouragement, helping us realise our potential and providing wise, steadfast guidance to the University's Council, three Vice-Chancellors and the executive leadership team. In the interim, Gareth has much still to do - including the launch today of our new Acton Campus Master Plan.
With warm regards,