25 May 2010: Former Defence Force chief, General Peter Cosgrove AC, MC, has been appointed as the new Chancellor of Australian Catholic University (ACU).
He will be the third Chancellor in the University’s history, succeeding Brother Julian McDonald CFC AO, who retires from the position after 10 years of outstanding service.
Professor Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor at ACU, said it was a coup for the University to have secured the services of such a prominent and well-respected Australian.
“I am delighted that General Cosgrove has accepted this position,” he said. “Throughout a long and distinguished military career, he demonstrated outstanding leadership, care of the men and women under his command and a cultural awareness of the lives of others,” he said.
“It is these leadership skills, commitment to serving the common good, and immense experience which will prove invaluable in helping the University build on its reputation of quality teaching and research.”
General Cosgrove said Australia's universities play a vital role in developing the intellectual capital of the nation.
“For our own citizens and for many of our overseas neighbours our universities are the key which unlocks their future,” he said. “I am extraordinarily proud to be appointed as the new Chancellor of Australian Catholic University, a seat of learning and increasingly of research, serving vital needs within our whole community.
“I pay special tribute to the wonderful work and unstinting commitment of Brother Julian McDonald - he has been an inspiration to all at ACU."
General Cosgrove served in the Australian Army from 1965 and was Chief of the Australian Defence Force from July 2002 until his retirement in July 2005.
He first leapt into the public consciousness when he headed the 9000-strong multinational INTERFET force sent to restore order in East Timor. For his guidance, skill and sensitivity, he was appointed a Companion of the Military Division of the Order of Australia.
General Cosgrove was also awarded the Military Cross for his service in Vietnam, and in 2001, was named Australian of the Year. Last year he was awarded an honorary doctorate by ACU.
General Cosgrove, who lives in Sydney with his family, will take up his appointment in November for a five-year term.