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A message from the Chancellor

Published: 10th March 2023

I am delighted to announce that from 17 May, our new Chancellor will be Gail McGowan – the first woman appointed to the role in Murdoch’s almost 50-year history.

Gail McGowan appointed

Gail McGowan is a distinguished leader who has made a significant contribution to Australian public life over many decades.

She was the inaugural Director-General of the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. She is Chair of the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, a Director of Foundation Housing and former Chair of the Murdoch School of Business. Gail is a member of the Chief Executive Women of Australia and CEOs for Gender Equity. She is also a valuable Senate colleague, and I have appreciated her wise contributions since her appointment in April last year.

In 2019, Gail was awarded a public service medal for outstanding service to WA and in 2021, was named Leader of the Year in State or Federal Government at the Institute of Public Administration (WA) Awards.

Gail is a Murdoch alumnus who also embodies many of our foundational values. From a small country town, she was first in her family to attend university, and she enrolled at Murdoch as a mature student – the mother of three young children at the time. She is an example of the transformative power of education and the importance of providing inclusive, diverse and equitable environments for learning which encourages success and advances society.

The University looks forward to formally welcoming Gail into the Chancellor’s role at an investiture ceremony in coming months.

Finally, I want to say it has been an honour to serve as the University’s Chancellor, and I am delighted that someone with Gail’s experience, skills and values has been appointed as my successor. Rest assured that following my last day as Chancellor on 16 May, I will watch closely and with pride the University’s progress over the years ahead.

Gary Smith