Sector hails appointment of Australia’s second female governor-general

Posted on 09 Apr 2024

By Greg Thom, journalist, Institute of Community Directors Australia

Sam Mostyn GG

The not-for-profit, charity and community sector has welcomed the appointment of Sam Mostyn AO as Australia’s 28th governor-general.

Among her many and diverse roles in sport, business, and politics, Ms Mostyn has served on NFP boards including the Climate Council, Beyond Blue and the Sydney Theatre Company.

Diversity Council Australia CEO Lisa Annese described Ms Mostyn as a “long lasting friend and associate” of the organisation and paid tribute to her time as deputy chair of the DCA board.

She said Ms Mostyn had provided invaluable leadership and insight into DCA’s shared vision of achieving a gender-equal and inclusive Australia for all.

“Sam Mostyn's appointment as governor-general is a testament to her remarkable leadership and dedication to advancing gender equality in our nation,” said Ms Annese.

As chair of the federal government’s Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce, Ms Mostyn made recommendations that helped secure increased welfare payments for single parents in the 2023 federal budget.

She was also the first female AFL commissioner, and a champion for the rights of women in her former role as president of Chief Executive Women.

“Her extensive experience and unwavering commitment make her an outstanding choice for this prestigious role, and on behalf of the DCA Board and staff we offer our sincerest congratulations and wish her every success in this new chapter,” said Ms Annese.

Appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2021 for her service to business, community and women, Ms Mostyn will be the nation’s second female governor-general.

While her appointment was attacked by conservative commentators and media over her ALP connections, her support for the Voice and her so called “woke” agenda, the decision was warmly welcomed by many sector organisations.

“Sam is an outstanding choice for governor-general. She is someone that can bring Australians together, to inspire us and shape a better future for everyone.”
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie.

Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said Ms Mostyn had been an effective and passionate advocate for better mental health and suicide prevention.

“The community will continue to benefit from her compassion and service as she takes on this role as our next governor-general,” said Ms Harman.

“We will be a better and more inclusive country for it.”

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said Ms Mostyn’s tenure as chair of the Climate Council was one marked by exceptional leadership and steadfast commitment to scientific integrity.

“Her appointment as the next governor-general is a testament to her deep care for Australians and our environment.

“Sam is an outstanding choice for governor-general. She is someone that can bring Australians together, to inspire us and shape a better future for everyone.”

Australian Council for International Development CEO Marc Purcell worked with Ms Mostyn when she served as ACFID president between 2013 and 2017.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald Ms Mostyn had used her governance experience to gather diverse groups together to help drive policy change.

“She’ll be able to deal with people from all walks of life, I think, and she’ll do that with grace and humility,” said Mr Purcell.

“I think she will be a uniter in her role.

“She understands people have different styles, different views, different starting points, and she’s able to hold that, but she also keeps her eye on the bigger goal.”

Sam Mostyn and Albo
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announces Sam Mostyn as Australia's new Governor General at a press conference in Canberra.

Australian Republic Movement chair and former Socceroo Craig Foster described Ms Mostyn’s appointment as an inspired choice.

“Sam would be a wonderful president of the Australian republic,” he said.

Chief Executive Women president Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz said Ms Mostyn had transformed the agency at a critical time for Australian women.

“During her tenure, Sam was influential in government advocacy that saw the reinstatement of the single parenting payment, the expansion of Commonwealth paid parental leave and landmark investment in affordable early childhood,” said Ms Lloyd-Hurwitz.

“As a highly empowering and consultative leader, Sam will no doubt excel in her new role as governor-general.”

Speaking while standing alongside Prime Minister Anthony Albanese after he announced her appointment as governor- general, Ms Mostyn said many of the values she holds today come from her parents and her family life.

“My memories are of deep service, community involvement, education and learning, sport and music, volunteering, and engaging in the disability sector,” she said.

“My parents instilled in us the values that they lived so consistently: generosity, care for others, respect, curiosity, being of service to society, and always humility.”

Ms Mostyn said there was one thing that millions of Australians know to be true – that being of service is often what provides a person with their greatest happiness and sense of purpose.

“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.”

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