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Aware Super chair named governor-general

Samantha Mostyn has been confirmed as Australia's new governor-general after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's recommendation was approved by King Charles III.

Mostyn said she was honoured by the appointment and was ready to serve with "integrity, compassion and respect".

"I'm deeply honoured by this great privilege and look forward to representing the values, hopes, and aspirations of all Australians," she said.

Mostyn will succeed His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley (Ret'd) and will be Australia's 28th governor-general, and the second woman to hold the position, when she is sworn in on 1 July 2024.

Mostyn has had an extensive career in the Australian business community, including being the current chair of Aware Super and Alberts Music Group as well as sitting on the board of Mirvac. She has also worked at senior levels in telecommunications and insurance companies in Australia and globally. She held senior non-executive roles on boards including Transurban, Virgin Australia, and has been chair of Citibank Australia.

Mostyn has also chaired multiple not-for-profit boards, including Beyond Blue, the Foundation of Young Australians, Australians Investing in Women, Ausfilm and the Australian National Research Organisation for Women's Safety and Australian Volunteers International.

She has been president of the Australian Council for International Development and president of Chief Executive Women as well as a National Mental Health Commissioner. She also led the government's Women's Economic Equality Taskforce.

Aware Super chief executive Deanne Stewart confirmed Mostyn would step down from her role as chair following her appointment.

"We wholeheartedly congratulate Sam on her appointment as only the second woman to hold the office of Governor-General. Sam is an exceptional leader with deep experience, vision and integrity, and we've been incredibly privileged to have someone of her calibre serve as Chair of Aware Super. While we're of course saddened to be losing her, we appreciate that this appointment will allow the nation as a whole to experience her empathetic approach and commitment to improving the lives of all Australians," Stewart said.

"Sam brought great dedication to the role of Chair, and brought with it a passion for the issues that matter to Aware Super's 1.1 million members, such as enhancing their retirement outcomes and improving equity in the superannuation system, particularly for women."

Aware Super said it has now commenced the search for a new independent chair.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) also welcomed Mostyn's appointment to the new role.

"I congratulate Samantha Mostyn on her well-deserved appointment," ASFA chief executive Mary Delahunty said.

"The office of the Governor-General is strengthened by Samantha Mostyn's dedication to gender equality and expertise in the superannuation sector, given it's such a critical component of Australia's prosperity.

"Samantha Mostyn has made a significant contribution to Australia's superannuation system and to delivering equity in retirement outcomes for women and low-income earners, in particular."

The governor-general holds office "at the pleasure of The King", however the term is usually understood to be five years.

"On behalf of the government and the people of Australia I thank General Hurley for his service to our country and convey our deep respect for the outstanding way he discharged his duties as governor-general," Prime Minister Albanese said.

"I extend sincere congratulations and best wishes to Ms Mostyn on her appointment."

In 2021, Mostyn was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to business, the community and women.

She has been a member of the Australian Faculty of The Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme for 12 years, and a senior associate in the International Programme.

Read more: Governor-GeneralAware SuperSamantha MostynASFAAssociation of Superannuation Funds of AustraliaAustralian Council for International DevelopmentChief Executive WomenCitibank AustraliaFinancial StandardMary DelahuntyMirvac