3 April 2024

Canberra-raised Samantha Mostyn named next Governor-General

| Ian Bushnell
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Samantha Mostyn will be the second woman to hold the position of Governor-General. Photo: LinkedIn.

Prominent businesswoman and gender equity advocate Samantha Mostyn, who grew up in Canberra, will be Australia’s next Governor-General.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced her appointment today as the replacement for General David Hurley. She will be sworn in on 1 July.

Mr Albanese said Ms Mostyn, the current chair of the Federal Government’s Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce, was known for her exceptional service to the Australian community and was a leader with a long history in executive and governance roles across diverse sectors.

Ms Mostyn was born at the old Canberra Hospital, grew up in Curtin and retains strong family connections with the ACT. She said she was “shaped” by her Canberra childhood and will be the first Canberra local appointed to the vice-regal role.

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Ms Mostyn has had an extensive career in business, including working at senior levels in telecommunications and insurance companies in Australia and globally.

She has also held senior non-executive roles on boards, including Transurban and Virgin Australia, and has been chair of Citibank Australia. She currently chairs AWARE Super and Alberts Music Group and is on the board of Mirvac.

Ms Mostyn has been a Commissioner with the Australian Football League (AFL) and a driving force behind the AFL Women’s (AFLW).

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

She has been a member of the Australian Faculty of The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme for 12 years, and a senior associate in the International Programme.

Ms Mostyn is a daughter of an army officer and a lawyer by training, who started her career as an associate in the Court of Appeal of the NSW Supreme Court, and has worked at law firms Freehills, and Gilbert + Tobin.

She was recently awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from the Australian National University.

Ms Mostyn has chaired multiple not-for-profit boards, including Beyond Blue, the Foundation of Young Australians, Australians Investing in Women, Ausfilm, the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety and Australian Volunteers International.

She has been president of the Australian Council for International Development and president of Chief Executive Women, as well as a National Mental Health Commissioner.

“On behalf of the government and the people of Australia, I thank General Hurley for his service to our country and convey our deep respect for the outstanding way he discharged his duties as Governor-General,” Mr Albanese said.

“I extend sincere congratulations and best wishes to Ms Mostyn on her appointment.”

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General Hurley said his replacement had dedicated her life to making positive change in the community.

“I have had the privilege of working with Ms Mostyn previously and know that she will represent and serve all Australians with distinction,” he said.

“I congratulate her on her appointment as our next Governor-General, look forward to spending time with her in coming months and, with all Australians, supporting her as our Governor-General.”

Ms Mostyn will be the 28th Governor-General and the second woman to be appointed to the role, after Quentin Bryce.

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For all the talk about diversity and inclusion, it seems only white women qualify as diverse.

It’s not a good look or transparent start when you hear she wiped all her social media accounts and content before the announcement. Do think any of our previous GGs would have done that?

Won’t hear squat from her after her first big, fat paycheck and associated perks

I see you are maintaining your usual “public office jealousy” rage, Fp.

Capital Retro3:40 pm 04 Apr 24

That’s “tax free” paycheque.

@Capital Retro
As usual, CR, you are big on cynicism but the facts undermine you. Until 2001, governors-general did not pay income tax on their salary; this was changed after Elizabeth II agreed to pay tax.

So yet again, you come up with zero.

Capital Retro7:57 pm 04 Apr 24

I was unaware of that change so I apologise, as I always do.

Capital Retro7:55 am 04 Apr 24

She has already said she doesn’t recognise January 26 as Australia Day so will she be also changing the title of Governor General to Governess General?

@Capital Retro
Bill Hayden was a very public rusted on republican, yet he carried out the role of GG with honour and dignity and was highly regarded in that position. So what’s your point, CR?

Governor is a gender-neutral job title (like ‘Magistrate’ or ‘President”). You are inventing things to get outraged about.

Capital Retro2:40 pm 05 Apr 24

Well if that’s the case, governor isn’t appropriate either because the position isn’t one of governing or ruling.

Ticks all the Labor boxes, nicely progressive, totally woke, women’s issues, gender equity guru, feminist, tick, tick, tick

Yes … she’s definitely a misogynist’s nightmare choice

Yes – isn’t it great that we will have some different issues being brought forward? Diversity makes for a better society.

What diversity – the only beneficiaries of all this talk about diversity are white women. A very privileged lot as compared with many other sections of society.

Capital Retro2:42 pm 05 Apr 24

Too right!

White men are at the bottom of the feeding chain these days.

HiddenDragon9:04 pm 03 Apr 24

An interesting choice for a government which, you might think, would be tempted to let the role of GG wither further on the vine.

In spite of some murmuring today, including a mild backhander from Dutton, this should not set back the chances of eventual bipartisan support for a republic.

Elle Cehcker8:51 pm 03 Apr 24

Equality, equality, gender diverse equality…that’s all it takes to get a job these days. If you tick the right box.

So a well-qualified female is not entitled to get this job because she is only getting the job because of equality? What does one have to do to get the job but not just because someone had to tick a box?

Someone hasn’t done their homework on the new appointee. Or is that you just prefer old white military men?

Most political pick of GG in a long time.

@Oscar Mike
Why – because she’s not an ex-military type male?

Do we actually need this useless role

As per the Constitution … yes!

Ok still a useless role that most couldn’t give a hoot about

John Coleman8:37 am 05 Apr 24

in a stable system of government, it’s arguably good that some roles usually go unnoticed

Actually, just re-read the item, and seek to change my comment to – why does one parents job rate a mention and not the others?

Perhaps the author wants to show there’s an ongoing GG connection to the military?

Why does her dad’s job rate a mention and nothing is said about her mum?

This is wonderful news! The last GG was an absolute dud, got the position because he was a right wing fundy christian friend of scumo, what a comparison to this wonderful lady

Amanda Kiley2:42 pm 03 Apr 24

Actually he is not. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both the GG and his wife on two occasions. They are both lovely and hard working. What did he do that makes you think he is a dud?

Amanda Kiley2:44 pm 03 Apr 24

This appointment, while it is likely deserved, reads like the Labor government is filling a quota. Something they are quite famous for.

@Amanda Kiley
Did you actually read her CV? She is very accomplished in a number of areas. A real change from tiresome ex-military types.

The obvious question asked by any Canberra reader – what school did she go to?

Anyone know what school she went to in Canberra if she was raised here?

Says in the article that she grew up in Curtin, no mention of school however

Capital Retro12:10 pm 03 Apr 24

It won’t surprise many of you but until today, I had never heard of this person.

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