Honorary degree: Ms Sam Mostyn

13 December 2018

Sam Mostyn received a Doctor of Laws from ANU at the College of Law Conferring of Awards ceremony on Thursday on 13 December. 

Sam's citation, that was read out prior to her receiving her honorary degree, is below. 


Chancellor, it is my privilege to present to you for a degree of the University, Ms Sam Mostyn.

Sam Mostyn, in her many leadership roles in business, government, and society, is a pioneer of gender inclusion and equity, and is widely recognised as a leader in sustainability and climate change.

She has been a long-standing and well-respected advocate for issues that are core to the University's key strategic aims including gender equality, the need for diversity in leadership, the recognition of Indigenous Australians, and advocacy and leadership of research-based climate change.

As the daughter of an Army officer, she travelled around Australia when she was young, before enrolling at ANU.

Ms Mostyn received a Bachelor of Arts in 1986 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1989. While studying, she worked for ACT Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill.

After graduation, an early career highlight was being appointed as an Associate to Justice Michael Kirby at the NSW Court of Appeal.

Later she moved to Canberra where she worked for successive Communications Ministers before joining the office of Prime Minister Paul Keating, advising him on communications policy and representing him on the organising committee for the Sydney Olympics.

Ms Mostyn has broken many barriers in her career, notably when she became the first woman appointed as AFL Commissioner. She continues to advocate for the Respect and Responsibility Policy for inclusion of women at all levels of the AFL.

It was no surprise that she was a passionate advocate for the creation of the AFL Women's League.

She also served on the Chief of the Defence Force's Women's Advisory Group.

Ms Mostyn was formerly the President of the Australian Council for International Development, the peak body for Australian non-government organisations involved in international development and humanitarian action.

She has served on the National Sustainability Council, the Advisory Board of the CSIRO Climate Adaption Flagship and the National Mental Health Commission.

She has also been involved in a number of collaborative social and environmental initiatives including the Business Roundtable on Climate Change, and served for several years on the board of Reconciliation Australia.

Her current board roles include Mirvac, Transurban and Virgin Australia and she is Chair of Citibank Australia.

Ms Mostyn was Deputy Chair of the Diversity Council of Australia until recently and she serves on the board on One Million Women, a movement supporting action on climate change.

Chancellor, it is with pleasure that I present to you Ms Sam Mostyn, that you may confer on her the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa for her exceptional contribution to the advancement of gender inclusion, and leadership in sustainability and climate change.