New Victorian Cabinet represents depth of alumni community

The Honourable Daniel Andrews MP (BA 1996) is the first Monash graduate to be sworn in as Premier of Victoria following his victory at the November 2014 state election. Premier...

The Honourable Daniel Andrews MP (BA 1996) is the first Monash graduate to be sworn in as Premier of Victoria following his victory at the November 2014 state election.

Premier Andrews, who began his career in politics soon after graduation, has appointed five fellow Monash graduates to his Cabinet, with the group set to lead key government portfolios.

Arts graduate the Hon. Gavin Jennings MLC (BA 1979) has been appointed Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council and Special Minister of State whilst the Hon. Adem Somyurek MLC (BA 2001) will oversee the Small Business, Innovation and Trade portfolio.

The Hon. Martin Foley MP (BA(Hons) 1988) has been assigned four portfolios: Housing, Disability and Ageing; Mental Health; Equality; and Creative Industries.

The Hon. Jill Hennessy MP (BA 1997, LLB 1997) has become Minister for the Health and Ambulance Services portfolios while fellow arts/law graduate the Hon. Martin Pakula MP (BEc 1990, LLB (Hons) 1992) has been appointed Attorney-General and Minister for Racing.

In addition four of the seven Secretaries leading Victorian Departments are Monash alumni:

• Richard Bolt (MPPM 1999) becomes Secretary of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

• Gill Callister (BA 1981, BSocWk(Hons) 1982, Monash Fellow 2014) becomes Secretary of the Department of Education and Training

• Adam Fennessy (BEc(Hons) 1993, LLB 1996) becomes Secretary of the restructured Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

• David Martine (BEc(Hons) 1988) remains as Secretary of Treasury and Finance

The Premier was elected to the Victorian Parliament in the Legislative Assembly seat of Mulgrave in 2002 and was soon promoted to the role of Parliamentary Secretary for Health.

Following the 2006 Victorian election, Mr Andrews became Minister for Gaming, Minister for Consumer Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs.

Prior to being appointed as leader of the Victorian Opposition in 2010, Premier Andrews was the Minister for Health in the Brumby government.

Monash President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO said the membership of the Cabinet highlighted the depth and talent in the University’s alumni community.

“It prompts me to reflect on the guiding principles of Sir John Monash, the namesake of our University, which offer us a reminder of the importance of public service to others as well as to ourselves,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

“I am proud that many members of the Monash community reflect this ethos.”

The Premier and his Cabinet were sworn in on 4 December.