Chancellor wins prestigious Weary Dunlop medal

26 Aug 2022

ANU Chancellor the Hon Julie Bishop has been awarded the Weary Dunlop Medal for 2022, in a special ceremony at Asialink in Melbourne this week.

Named after Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop, the medal is presented to Australians who have shown long-term commitment to enhancing the quality of life in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as improving Australia-Asian relations.

A former prisoner of war, Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop spent much of his post-war life serving Australia by rebuilding Australia's links with Asia, particularly promoting reconciliation and partnerships with the Japanese. He is considered a pioneer of Australia-Asia relations.

Ms Bishop was Australia's first female foreign minister. During her time in the role, she was the architect of the New Colombo Plan, which sees thousands of Australian students study on exchange in the Asia Pacific each year, building long-lasting ties and deepening mutual understanding and relationships.

Winners demonstrate outstanding long-term commitment to developing relations between Australians and people from Asia and enduring humanitarian qualities in their work.

As foreign minister Ms Bishop also oversaw the largest expansion of Australia's international presence, as well as developing the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.  

In presenting the medal, Peter Varghese, Chair of Asialink and said Ms Bishop was "deeply committed to building strong people to people relationships".

"Julie's a relationship entrepreneur," he said.

A part of the annual Dunlop lecture, Ms Bishop said it was a great honour to be presented with the Sir Edward Weary Dunlop medal.

"The very qualities that guided his leadership and judgement will be needed in the years ahead. For we gather at a time of great uncertainty," Ms Bishop said.

"Australian and international policymakers are facing an increasingly complex international environment that will be shaped by some powerful long-term trends.

"The challenge for all nations is to determine how to navigate the complex environment of this era of great power competition.

"Building domestic resilience and working with like-minded partners will be more important than ever.

"That will take visionary leadership at a time when there appears to be leadership deficit globally."

First presented in 1994, the Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop medal has been given to a number of imminent Australians, including ANU expert Professor Peter Drysdale, former Prime Minister the Hon Gough Whitlam, former politician and ambassador to the Vatican Tim Fisher, as well as former ANU Chancellor the Hon Gareth Evans.