Murdoch Commission Co-chair appointed WA Governor

August 26, 2014

The Co-chair of the First Murdoch Commission, Mrs Kerry Sanderson AO, has been appointed Governor of Western Australia and will be the first woman to occupy the post.

Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Higgott said the appointment was a fitting recognition of Mrs Sanderson's great contribution to Western Australian commercial and public life including 17 years as CEO of the Fremantle Port Authority and several years as WA's Agent General in London.

"As Co-chair of the Murdoch Commission she helped steer its ground-breaking inquiry by a distinguished group of international experts from academia and industry into the key issues and challenges confronting WA and the Asian region," Professor Higgott said.

"The Commission produced an outstanding report on Western Australia’s place in the evolving regional order with 19 recommendations addressing issues around regional stability and prosperity, resources, trade, engagement, and wider economic trends.

“Besides Mrs Sanderson's distinguished public sector career which was firmly based in trade and commerce, she is also noted for her commitment to science and learning and her active involvement in charitable work.

"Her abilities and achievements have been recognised in a number of ways including the award of Telstra Businesswoman of the Year for Western Australia, as inaugural inductee to the Lloyds List Shipping and Transport Hall of Fame and Fremantle Ports winning the Australian Business Excellence Medal.

"Mrs Sanderson's appointments have included service as a Director of Austrade, the Australian Wheat Board, Rio Tinto WA Future Fund and the Western Australian Lands Authority (Landcorp)."

Currently, Mrs Sanderson is the Independent Chair of the State Emergency Management Committee, and is on the boards of Atlas Iron, Downer EDI Limited and St John of God Healthcare.

Professor Higgott said that Murdoch University had been fortunate that Mrs Sanderson had agreed to serve as Co-chair of the Murdoch Commission which highlighted some of the most relevant issues and challenges likely to emerge in Asia over the next decade or so.

Her status in Australian commerce and trade had brought an overarching authority to the Commission's research and had imbued its work with an intellectual rigour leavened with the expertise and pragmatism forged from a high-powered business career.

The Vice Chancellor said he believed Mrs Sanderson would make an unparalleled contribution to Western Australian public life in her new role as Governor. He said Murdoch would recognise Mrs Sanderson's achievements when she receives an honorary degree from the University in February.

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Media contact: Natalie Hailes-Phakos
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