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UC celebrates the investiture of its seventh Chancellor

Andy Visser

29 February 2024: Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM formally donned the mantle as seventh Chancellor of the University of Canberra, at an Investiture ceremony held by Council today.

As a traditional academic ceremony, an Investiture takes place in the first year of a Chancellor’s tenure, where they are vested with the symbols and ornaments of office.

In her Investiture address, Ms Paul shared her love for Canberra, and spoke of her passion for social justice and education.

Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM at her Investiture Ceremony making her offical address behind a lectern clothed in her official academic regalia

“And that is why I want to work for the most accessible university in the country,” she said. “I am here to serve you faithfully and openly, with honesty and integrity, to guide the University creatively, and with great care for its people.

“I am here to help us all strive for excellence in everything we do, while enjoying the fun of working together. I want to help the next generation of thinkers and doers – especially the 39 per cent of students who are the first in their family to go to university, to get their start and get ahead.

“I am here because I love the impact of education, and I love Canberra.”

Chair of the University’s Academic Board, Professor Elisa Martinez-Marroquin, officially swore Ms Paul into office. Professor Martinez-Marroquin illustrated the role of the Chancellor as Chair of Council, and the connection between governance and management as she welcomed Ms Paul into the University of Canberra community.

“University governance in Australia follows a tripartite model. If you imagine a triangle, Council sits at one point, the Academic Board at another, and Executive management at the third point – the functions of all bodies overlap and are interdependent,” said Professor Martinez-Marroquin.

“Together we work to serve our community, deliver scholarship, and cultivate wisdom.”

University of Canberra Council Members with Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM at her Investiture as Chancellor

“Council wanted a Chancellor who was committed to our University’s mission and values, to social inclusion and the economic and social development of our region. We wanted a leader with influence, and someone with great energy and passion.

“Lisa Paul is that person – and more – with her wealth of experience, knowledge, and most importantly, a deep commitment to both education and Canberra.”

The ceremony was also a further celebration of the legacy of Ms Paul’s predecessor, Professor Tom Calma, who in his ten years as the University’s Chancellor, instilled a deep sense of value and pride in Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing.

In keeping with the spirit of Galambany, the University’s purpose to work to empower, connect and share knowledge with people, cultures and places, the formal proceedings were opened with a smoking ceremony, and a warm Welcome to Country delivered by Aunty Violet Sheridan.

“Today, I stand on the shoulders of those Chancellors who have travelled this road before me. Each of them brought something unique to this place,” said Ms Paul.

Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM - 7th Chancellor of the University at her Investiture

"It is a great privilege to walk in the footsteps of Professor Tom Calma, he has left a great legacy and I am thrilled to be part of a university where everyone walks together to change the world, and embraces Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing."

Read more about Chancellor Paul's journey and vision on UnCover.

Photos by David Barber, 5 Foot Photography.