Former deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop has been announced the first female chancellor of the Australian National University. Bishop replaces Gareth Evans in the position.
The former foreign minister will commence the role in 2020. Evans, who has been chancellor of the university since 2010, has coincidentally been one of Australia’s longest-serving foreign ministers.
Bishop recently exited her parliamentary career, months after she unsuccessfully contested the Liberal leadership against Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton. She served as foreign minister between 2013 and 2018, and was deputy leader of the Liberal Party from 2007 to 2018.
Bishop has expressed that she is “delighted and honoured” to work with ANU online, in a tweet and on video.
“It is a great honour to take up the role of chancellor of [the] Australian National University,” she said in a video released on Thursday.
“ANU’s strong links globally, and in our region, make it one of Australia’s most important institutions, and I look forward to working with it as we continue to support and further our national interest.”
Pro chancellor Naomi Flutter gave her approval of the appointment, and acknowledged the work of Evans.
“As Australia’s foreign minister, [Bishop] always represented our national interests strongly, navigating often sensitive foreign policy issues,” she said.
“In Julie, I know we will have a compelling and effective advocate for our university, including with the Australian Government.
“Between now and January when Julie’s term commences, we will also have opportunities to farewell our current chancellor, Gareth Evans.
“Gareth has served ANU for nearly a decade with incredible energy and intellect, always being a source of great encouragement.”
On the same day as the appointment was announced, Evans unveiled a new master plan to revamp ANU over the next two to three decades.
Among the developments will be a new research school, a car-free green zone for pedestrians and cyclists, a campus shuttle bus, and changes which will allow the university to use 100% renewable energy.
Evans has been consulting on the design for the past 18 months.
“The master plan will impose a sense of structure across the whole campus — visible bones and joints — which we have never had before,” he said.