The Honourable Dr Anna Bligh AC

The Honourable Dr Anna Bligh is a respected Australian leader and former Premier of Queensland. In 2017, she was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for services to the Parliament of Queensland, and as an advocate for education and the role of women in public life, and services to the not-for-profit sector.

In politics, Dr Bligh spearheaded significant economic reforms and led Queensland with compassion and authority during the 2011 flood crisis and recovery.

Subsequently, in her role at Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) she made
an important contribution to furthering the organisation’s goal of creating a safer world for women and children.

At the Australian Banking Association, Dr Bligh has played a pivotal leadership role through a period of critical reform, delivering on the recommendations of the Royal Commission, and leading through COVID-19.

What’s a surprising or fun fact people wouldn’t know about you?

“In my early twenties I was briefly part of a women’s fire-eating troupe! We performed at several events and did some street busking. It was a lot of fun, and something I can still do, but I don’t anymore.”

Do you have a favourite quote, motto or piece of advice to give to new graduates?

“On the day I was sworn in as a member of parliament, my mother gave me a card with the simple quote ‘to thine own self be true’. I pinned the card on the notice board of every office I held as an important reminder to listen to my own compass and resist the many forces that can push people around in public life.

“For students I think the sentiment in this quote means learn about yourself and find the things that excite and motivate you and then hold onto them dearly.”


Vice-Chancellor's Alumni Excellence Award
Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award for unwavering commitment to positive change, leadership, and serving communities.


Bachelor of Arts
Doctor of Laws (honoris causa)