Julie Bishop to be next Australian National University chancellor

Former deputy Liberal leader to assume the reins from Gareth Evans

August 1, 2019
Julie Bishop ANU chancellor

Former Australian foreign minister and deputy Liberal Party leader Julie Bishop will be the next chancellor of the Australian National University, taking over from another long-serving foreign minister, Gareth Evans.

Ms Bishop will assume the role at the start of next year. “Together we will continue to build on the long and successful foundations created by so many individuals since 1946,” she said in a recorded statement.

She said the planet faced unprecedented change through the fourth industrial revolution, “geostrategic and geopolitical shifts” and shifting demographics. “ANU is playing a vital role in research and development to create a better world, and equipping our students with the skills, abilities and knowledge to make a significant contribution to that world,” she said.

Ms Bishop was minister for education, science and training from early 2006 to late 2007. Glyn Davis, former vice-chancellor of the University of Melbourne, credited her with facilitating the Melbourne model of postgraduate professional education, one of the few major diversions from the norm in Australian higher education in decades.

With then treasurer Peter Costello, Ms Bishop helped conceive and argue for the A$6 billion (£3.4 billion) Higher Education Endowment Fund – later renamed the Education Investment Fund – which bankrolled dozens of major university research and teaching facilities, and helped Australia navigate last decade’s global recession.

Arguably her most enduring contribution to Australian higher education emerged from her years as foreign minister, when she launched the New Colombo Programme in 2014. The scheme is credited with vastly increasing Australian students’ international mobility.

Ms Bishop failed in a bid to become prime minister when former leader Malcolm Turnbull was pushed out of the office last August, and she vowed to quit politics soon afterwards. She did not contest the May federal election.

She recently courted controversy after accepting a position with global investing and consultancy group Palladium, a move that the opposition said breached code of conduct provisions for former ministers.

ANU pro chancellor Naomi Flutter said Ms Bishop, who will be ANU’s first female chancellor, met the requirements laid out by the university community in “chancellorship forums” staged earlier this year.

“It was clear you wanted someone who understands our distinctive role as the National University and appreciates the transformative power of universities,” Ms Flutter said in a statement. “In Julie, we have such a person – her credentials for this critical role are exceptional.”


Register to continue

Why register?

  • Registration is free and only takes a moment
  • Once registered, you can read 3 articles a month
  • Sign up for our newsletter
Please Login or Register to read this article.

Related articles

Recent controversies in Australia over vice-chancellors’ pay, Ramsay Centre funding and the role of academic presses have raised questions about whether university boards have too few – or, perhaps, too many – members from scholarly backgrounds. John Ross chairs the discussion

16 May