New Director for ANU Australian Studies Institute

Professor Mark Kenny. Photo by Lannon Harley, ANU.
Tuesday 23 April 2024

The ANU Australian Studies Institute has undergone some changes at the top as Professor Mark Kenny takes over as Director.

Founding Director, Professor Paul Pickering moves into a new role as Chair of a revamped AuSI Advisory Board. The reshuffle will allow Paul, now professor-emeritus, a greater capacity for his own research interests, although he will continue to contribute to two internationally focused programs run by AuSI – the First Eight Prime Ministers series, and the Winter Institutes partnership series.

Mark said Paul’s ongoing participation in these important programs will ensure that knowledge and relationships will not be lost to AuSI as Paul moves into a new phase. Paul described Mark as “exactly the right person to lead the AuSI as it goes forward”.

“I’m moving to the role as Chair of the Advisory Board and so I’ll continue to be involved in the Institute,” he said.

“I want to thank those who have worked with me over the years, without whom AuSI would not be where it is today: Morgan, Jem, Fi, Angie, Xinyuan, Beatrice, Shirley, Dave and Mark. I would also like to thank those I have had the pleasure of working with as friends, collaborators, and supporters of our ‘Australia and the World’ Program.”

As new Director, Mark said he wanted to strengthen where possible AuSI’s resilience in an increasingly constrained financial environment for all higher education.

“I’m really honoured to take on this role given the success and engagement AuSI has already achieved,” he said.

“I want to specifically recognise that the Institute’s effectiveness as a hub for Australian studies scholars both here and abroad turns on the diligent professionalism of our Manager, Fiona Preston and her team.

While thanking the previous ANU-based board, Mark said the new advisory board will tap senior academic and public policy expertise from other universities also, as well as the Australian Public Service and the private sector, in the hope of turbo-charging cross-disciplinary and sector-wide cooperation.

“ANU has led the way with the creation of AuSI which has elevated collaborative Australian studies in this country and abroad under the rubric of 'Australia and the World'. There are vast numbers of scholars working away in institutions and centres in many countries, focusing on every conceivable aspect of Australia and its place in the world,” he said.

“As the 'national' university, it makes sense that ANU should foster that research and encourage the global understanding of our history(s), cultures, science, economics, literature and more.”

Updated:  23 April 2024/Responsible Officer:  Institute Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications