Businesswoman Samantha Mostyn named as Australia’s next Governor-General

Katina Curtis The West Australian
Samantha Mostyn has been named the next Governor General of Australia.
Camera IconSamantha Mostyn has been named the next Governor General of Australia. Credit: Supplied/PA/Alamy

Respected businesswoman and long-time advocate for women and reconciliation Samantha Mostyn will be Australia’s next Governor-General.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese revealed King Charles had approved his recommendation for the appointment.

Ms Mostyn, a recipient of the Order of Australia and renowned for her work in the community, will replace outgoing Governor-General David Hurley in July.

As well as a high-flying career in business, Ms Mostyn has held a number of executive and governance roles, including as a commissioner with the AFL where she was a driving force behind the AFLW.

She 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.

A lawyer by training, she also led Chief Executive Women and has worked for organisations promoting Indigenous, climate and international aid causes.

More recently, she has led the women’s economic equality taskforce established by the Government to advise on budget measures that would be promote gender equality.

The Prime Minister lauded her “tireless advocacy” for gender equality, women’s safety and reconciliation.

“Ms Mostyn is a modern and optimistic leader for our modern and optimistic nation,” he said.

“Her leadership reflects our enduring Australian values of equality, fairness and a responsibility to build a better future for the next generation.”

Ms Mostyn said she was deeply honoured by the appointment and pledged to serve with integrity, compassion and respect.

“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,” she said.

“That is certainly the case for me and I can think of no greater purpose, Prime Minister, than to serve this country I love as Governor-General, particularly at a time in our history when the challenges and opportunities we face are large and complex.”

She also noted taking on the job, while an enormous privilege, meant “considerable changes to our family life” and thanked her husband, barrister Simeon Beckett, and daughter Lottie for their unwavering support.

Ms Mostyn will be Australia’s 28th Governor-General, and only the second woman to be appointed to the role. She is expected to serve a five-year term.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton acknowledged the appointment and noted Ms Mostyn’s long involvement with business and sport.

“Obviously, she’s well known to many people within the government over a long period of time and I wish her very best in her appointment,” he said.

General Hurley welcomed Ms Mostyn’s appointment, saying she was someone who had dedicated their life to creating positive changes 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.”

Mr Albanese and Mr Dutton both thanked General Hurley for his service.

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating, for whom Ms Mostyn worked as a communications policy adviser, said he was certain she would bring “much credit” to the position, having given as much service to public life as to community and business life.

“This service marked her out as a distinguished communitarian with a complex range of interests. And with those interests, experience,” he said.

“Accordingly, that experience and those interests additionally qualify her beyond her innate ability, values and sense of the world for such an exalted position.”

Current president of Chief Executive Women Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz described Ms Mostyn as “a highly empowering and consultative leader”and said it was welcome to see a woman appointed to the role.

Australian Republic Movement co-chair Craig Foster said Ms Mostyn was an “inspired choice” – but the movement still saw the appointment made by the King as a reminder Australia was a dominion of the former British Empire.

“Sam is someone that I’m sure Australians would choose as head of state if we had the choice, rather than asking for approval of a King. In fact, Sam would be a wonderful president of an Australian republic,” Mr Foster said.

Mr Albanese would not be drawn on the topic of a republic, saying he had made it very clear he only had one referendum in mind and that was held last year, on the Voice.

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