UWA graduate appointed first female Governor of WA

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The University of Western Australia is proud that another of its graduates, former Fremantle Ports chief Kerry Sanderson AO, is to be the next Governor of Western Australia.

As announced by WA Premier Colin Barnett

today, Mrs Sanderson will take over on October 20 from the Honourable Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC, also a UWA graduate.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said Mrs Sanderson was an outstanding choice as Governor. An economics and science graduate of the University, Mrs Sanderson was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2005.

"Kerry Sanderson exemplifies the University's principle of service to the community. In addition to being widely respected for her business acumen, Mrs Sanderson is well known for her commitment to championing industry, research and the community," Professor Johnson said.

"The University is delighted to see Mrs Sanderson has been chosen to continue the excellent contribution made by UWA graduates Malcolm McCusker and Dr Ken Michael."

Mrs Sanderson was the Agent General for Western Australia in London from 2008 to 2012 and actively promoted and facilitated support for Australia's successful bid for the Square Kilometre Array Project.

For 17 years from 1991 Mrs Sanderson was Chief Executive Officer of Fremantle Ports, Western Australia's major general cargo port. Under her leadership, trade through Fremantle Ports grew substantially, and the organisation was acknowledged for its excellence under the Australian Business Excellence Framework, receiving a rare Gold Award, the People Award and the Excellence Award in 2007.

Before that Mrs Sanderson held the position of Deputy Director General of Transport for Western Australia covering all modes of transport, and Director of the Western Australian Treasury's Economic and Financial Policy Division.

She has also held positions on numerous boards and associations including the Board of the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), the Council of Curtin University, the Board of Agricultural Research Western Australia, the Rio Tinto Western Australia Future Fund, the Fremantle Hospital Medical Research Foundation and the Australian Logistics Council as well as having been President of Ports Australia.

Mrs Sanderson was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honour list for service to the development and management of the port and maritime industries in Australia, and to public sector governance in the areas of finance and transport. She was the inaugural inductee to the Lloyds List Shipping and Transport Hall of Fame, and received an award from Australian Institute of Export in 2008. In 1996, she was named Telstra WA Business Woman of the Year.

Mrs Sanderson is currently the Independent Chairman of the State Emergency Management Committee and holds several non-executive director positions in the commercial sector as well as roles in the community and not-for-profit sector.

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