The formal investiture of Professor Eeva Leinonen as Murdoch University’s Vice Chancellor has been held at the University’s Perth campus.
The ceremony was officiated by Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC, Governor of Western Australia, and attended by high ranking representatives from each of WA’s universities.
Professor Leinonen joined Murdoch in April and the investiture ceremony formally grants her the authority and symbols of high office.
The Governor said Murdoch had found a leader with an international pedigree and a depth of experience in education and innovation.
“What has struck me since meeting Professor Leinonen is how well she fits into the local psyche,” she said.
“Her resolve is almost palpable; her commitment to innovation real. Murdoch’s new Vice Chancellor is also passionate about education and its potential to change lives for the better.
“These are all hallmarks of success in this part of the world, and I am confident she will make a remarkable Vice Chancellor.”
Immediately prior to joining Murdoch, Professor Leinonen was Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic at the University of Wollongong where she worked to improve educational outcomes, learning and teaching, community participation and the overall student experience. This led to the University being ranked number one in the 2016 Good University Guide.
This role followed an impressive career within the higher education sector in United Kingdom with senior roles at King’s College London and the University of Hertfordshire.
In her investiture address, Professor Leinonen said: “I am truly honoured and humbled to have the opportunity to serve Murdoch University as its ninth Vice Chancellor.”
Professor Leinonen said that Murdoch today resonated closely with the original sentiments of the University, as a place characterised by idealism, thoughtfulness and, above all, humour.
“Doing something differently, breaking free from the known, and taking bold steps is what universities are and should be about. Not accepting convention is a key to creativity and innovation,” Professor Leinonen said.
The investiture ceremony included an academic procession of delegates from other universities as well as Murdoch’s own community. Those in the procession wore the colourful regalia of their institution.
Professor Leinonen was officially invested when she was presented with the Vice Chancellor’s gown by the Governor. Under the Murdoch University Act, the Governor is the ultimate authority to whom people can address matters concerning the university.
Professor Leinonen's speech is available to read here.
Watch the investiture video, including Professor Leinonen's speech, in full below.