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Australia’s New Governor-General Praised for Embracing Diversity and Inclusion

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She was the first female commissioner of the Australian Football League and played a crucial role in establishing the women’s league, the WAFL.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced that Australia’s new governor-general will be businesswoman Samantha Mostyn, the country’s second woman to hold the position as the King’s representative.

“Sam Mostyn is an exceptional leader who represents the best of modern Australia,” Mr. Albanese said today in Parliament House.

Ms. Mostyn, 58, is a prominent Australian businesswoman, philanthropist, and advocate for gender equality and social inclusion. She is the current chair of the Federal government’s Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce and has held various leadership positions across the corporate, government, and not-for-profit sectors, making significant contributions to advancing women’s leadership and diversity in Australia.

Ms. Mostyn began her career as a lawyer before moving into corporate roles, including positions at Insurance Australia Group (IAG) and Citibank. She has served on the boards of several major companies, including Virgin Australia, Mirvac Group, and Transurban.

She has also been involved in various industry organizations and advisory roles, focusing on corporate governance, sustainability and climate issues, and social responsibility. Notably, she was the first female commissioner of the Australian Football League and played a pivotal role in establishing the women’s league, the AFLW.

Post-pandemic, Ms. Mostyn championed the role of women in health services, putting forth a case for them to be more valued in the health services.

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“The pandemic has left women exhausted and deepened their inequality, particularly in the workplace. For too long, the uncelebrated driving force behind our luck has been underpaid, or unpaid, women,” she said.

As a philanthropist, she has supported a range of causes, including Indigenous reconciliation, mental health, and the arts. She has been recognised for her contributions to business and society, receiving awards such as the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence award.

Ms. Mostyn was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2021 for distinguished service to business, community and women.

Australian Governor-General David Hurley (Right) has served since 2019. Prime  Minister Albanese thanked him for his outstanding service. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)
Australian Governor-General David Hurley (Right) has served since 2019. Prime Minister Albanese thanked him for his outstanding service. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

She will be replacing David Hurley, who has served since 2019 and is moving on as the term of service of a governor-general is limited to five years.

The prime minister paid tribute to Mr. Hurley, who has served since 2019, complimenting his “outstanding” service to Australia over the past five years.

“David Hurley has done his duty with dignity, humility and great respect for the country that he has served and the country that he loves so deeply,” Mr Albanese said.

“And on a personal note, I thank him for his engagement with me as Prime Minister that we have had a respectful dialogue between the Governor-General and Prime Minister, which is so important for the nature of our democracy. “I wish him and Mrs. Hurley all the very best for the next chapter of their lives together.”

Role of the Governor-General in Australia

The role of the governor-general in Australia is largely ceremonial and symbolic, representing the Australian monarch, currently King Charles III. The governor-general performs various constitutional and ceremonial duties on behalf of the monarch and the Australian government.

These include giving formal approval to bills passed by the Australian Parliament before they become law and summoning, proroguing (suspending), and dissolving the Australian Parliament on the advice of the prime minister.

The governor-general represents the Crown at official functions and ceremonies, both in Australia and overseas, and attends state and ceremonial occasions, hosting visiting dignitaries, and presenting awards and honours.

Ms. Mostyn’s ascent to the position on July 1 follows King Charles’s approval of prime minister Anthony Albanese’s recommendation that she be appointed as his representative in Australia.

Mr. Albanese said that she has “lived her life in the service of a powerful Australian principle. When more people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, our nation is a better place. Her leadership reflects our enduring Australian values of equality, fairness, and a responsibility to build a better future for the next generation.”

“She has lived her life in the service of a powerful Australian principle. When more people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, our nation is a better place. This understanding has driven Sam’s tireless advocacy for gender equality, particularly in the world of business, for women’s safety and reconciliation,” he added.

Ms. Mostyn said she was “deeply honoured” by being appointed to the role adding she saw it as a “great privilege” and is looking forward to “representing the values, hopes, and aspirations of all Australians.”

“I will never underestimate or take for granted the expectations that come with high office and I am ready to serve with integrity, compassion, and respect,” Ms. Mostyn said.

“Millions of Australians know this to be true, that being of service is what often provides a person with their greatest happiness and sense of purpose. That is certainly the case for me, and I can think of no greater purpose … than to serve this country I love as governor-general.”



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