Thursday, May 20th, 2021

The University of Adelaide has congratulated Frances Adamson, a distinguished alumna of the University, on her appointment as the next Governor of South Australia.


Ms Adamson, who is currently Secretary of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has today been announced as South Australia’s new Governor, to replace His Excellency the Hon. Hieu Van Le AC.

Last month, the University of Adelaide awarded Ms Adamson an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University (honoris causa) in recognition of her enormous and continuing contribution to Australian international relations, as a diplomat, advisor, and leader.

“We are delighted that Frances Adamson has been chosen as South Australia’s next Governor, continuing to apply her leadership and vast diplomacy experience in this critical role for our State and for the community,” says the University’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj AC.

“Frances is widely recognised for her ground-breaking roles, taking on positions that had previously only been held by men. She has sensitively navigated complex geopolitical challenges and has made a significant contribution to Australia's international standing.

“An exemplary leader in her field, she is an inspiration to us all, and the University of Adelaide is justifiably proud of her many achievements,” Professor Høj says.

Ms Adamson graduated from the University of Adelaide with a degree in Economics in 1985, and embarked on a career in international relations when she joined the Department of Foreign Affairs, securing her first international posting in 1987 as Vice Consul in Australia’s Consulate-General in Hong Kong.

Across her career, she has served as political counsellor, representative to the Australian Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei, Deputy High Commissioner and Acting High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, and Australian Ambassador to the People's Republic of China from 2011 to 2015.

Ms Adamson worked as Chief of Staff for former Foreign Affairs Minister the Hon. Stephen Smith in the Rudd/Gillard Government, and later, as senior international advisor to Prime Minister the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, before being appointed as the most senior diplomat in the country. She is the first woman to hold the position of Secretary of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In 2015, Ms Adamson was awarded the prestigious Sir James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship to study at Harvard University.

Repeatedly ranked as one of South Australia's most influential people, Ms Adamson is a member of the Champions of Change Coalition, and of Chief Executive Women.

Ms Adamson’s honorary doctorate speech can be viewed below:

Video

Keywords

Frances Adamson, who is currently Secretary of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has today been announced as South Australia’s new Governor, to replace His Excellency the Hon. Hieu Van Le AC.

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