Friday, September 5, 2008

Quentin Bryce

Today, Quentin Bryce was sworn in as Australia's new Governor General.

Ms Bryce made headlines earlier this years as she is the first female to be appointed to this role - see my post "Australia's First Female Governor General" (April 2008).

From The Australian:
"The Longreach-born lawyer took the oaths of allegiance and office at Canberra’s Parliament House in the presence of the Prime Minister and chief Justice Robert French

"Australians, you have entrusted a great deal to me. I will honour your trust wholeheartedly," she told dignitaries, friends and family in the crowded Senate chamber.

She has been a lifelong supporter of women's and human rights and served as federal sex discrimination commissioner and Queensland director of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

She also lectured in law, founded the Queensland Women's Information Service and served as chair of the National Breast Cancer Centre Advisory Council and Australian Women's Cricket Board.

For her many achievements, she was made an officer of the Order of Australia in 1998."

From ABC News:
"Ms Bryce has made history by becoming the first woman to be sworn-in as the Queen's representative to Australia.

The former Queensland Governor took her oath of office at a ceremony at Parliament House this morning, followed by a 21-gun salute to herald her transition."

From The Brisbane Times:
"The announcement yesterday by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that Ms Bryce would become Australia's first female governor general culminates a spectacular five-decade- long career that marked her as a trailblazer, much of it in a Queensland noted as no country for women, old or young. And sometimes, as Sir Billy proved, southern Australia wasn't much better country either.

For much of the time since she became public property in the 1980s, Ms Bryce seems to have managed to combine family and career seamlessly while somehow convincing both sides of whatever issue she was running on that she understood exactly their positions, an enviable knack when dealing with politicians."

From The Courier Mail:
"Meanwhile, it has been speculated that Ms Bryce could possibly be the last vice-regal as a resurgent Republican movement pushes to cut ties with the Monarchy.

Mr Rudd acknowledged the Labor Party's commitment to a Republic may soon make the governor-general's office redundant. He said he spoke to his deputy Julia Gillard before choosing Ms Bryce who has a strong commitment to women's issues, rural Australia and Indigenous people.

He also discussed the appointment with the Queen at Windsor Castle last week, and denied he was favouring his home state with a "pineapple coup". He said: "She will be a governor-general for all Australians."

The appointment was warmly welcomed in Queensland with Premier Anna Bligh calling Ms Bryce an outstanding role model."

No doubt there will be many more articles appearing celebrating Ms Bryce's appointment and her achievements.

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