/ 04 April 2024

Mostyn Makes It

Samantha Mostyn

The Squiz

Prominent businesswoman and gender equality advocate Samantha Mostyn will become Oz’s next Governor General with a kick-off date of 1 July. The 59yo will replace incumbent David Hurley – a former Chief of Australia’s Defence Force – who has been in the role since 2019. Mostyn is the second woman to take up the position and the 28th GG since Australia became a thing in 1901. PM Anthony Albanese says she’s a modern and optimistic person whose “leadership reflects our enduring Australian values of equality, fairness and a responsibility to build a better future for the next generation”. And for her part, Mostyn says she’s “deeply honoured” to represent the “values, hopes and aspirations of all Australians.”

Umm, remind me who she is… 

We’ve got you. A lawyer by trade, Mostyn’s held a lot of fancy public and private sector roles spanning business, sport, climate change, and the arts. She’s been on a lot of boards – her most notable current engagement is as the chair of Citi Australia’s consumer bank. And she’s the president of Chief Executive Women, “the pre-eminent organisation representing prominent and influential women leaders”. Mostyn was also the first female commissioner of the AFL – she held that role for over a decade until 2017 and Albanese yesterday noted that she remains a “strong advocate” for the women’s competition. All of that and her work in the charity sector has seen Mostyn recognised with numerous accolades, including the Order of Australia for “distinguished service to business, community and women”. 

And what is the gig exactly?

The Governor General is technically appointed by the Crown – aka King Charles as the head of the Commonwealth – but he makes that decision based on advice from Australia. That means Mostyn will be the King’s representative here and she’ll have a role overseeing some pretty important governmenty things. So, given all that, Mostyn’s suitability for the role has been raised… Conservative campaigners yesterday questioned her support for our constitutional monarchy – one of those was Matthew Sheahan from Advance, who said Albanese has “rewarded a republican with a $500,000 a year salary to represent an institution she doesn’t believe in.” Mostyn wouldn’t be the first GG to support the idea of Australia becoming a republic – former GGs Bill Hayden and Dame Quentin Bryce were all for an Aussie becoming our head of state.

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