University of Melbourne’s twenty-first Chancellor installed

January 12 / 78

Elizabeth Alexander has been officially installed as the 21st Chancellor of the University, succeeding Victorian Governor Alex Chernov.

The installation occurred at a ceremony in late December, during which former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser was also awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa).

Ms Alexander – formerly Deputy Chancellor of the University – has been a member of the University Council since 2003, when she became chair of its finance committee.

During her installation speech, Ms Alexander said she was committed to helping the University strive for excellence in all its endeavours.

“We are number 37 in the world rankings, but we aim to go higher. We have to do this, because the world has changed,” she said.

“We live in a far more competitive world for higher education than any earlier era.”
A Melbourne graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Ms Alexander worked as an accountant and became the first woman to be admitted to partnership in one of the ‘big six’ Australian accounting firms. She is a specialist in risk management and corporate governance, has served on numerous public and private sector boards and committees and recently retired as Chairman of Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL).

Ms Alexander was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1990 and received the Centenary Medal in 2003.

As Chancellor, Ms Alexander plays the key ceremonial role and also participates in the governance of the University by chairing its governing body – the Council.

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