University of Sydney welcomes alumni to Cabinet

16 September 2013

The University of Sydney today congratulated the three alumni who will be Cabinet Ministers in the newly elected Abbott Government.

When he becomes the 28th Prime Minister of Australia, Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott will be the seventh University of Sydney alumnus to be elected to the position.

Since graduating from the University of Sydney in 1981 with a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws, Mr Abbott, a Rhodes Scholar, has worked as a journalist, business manager and political adviser.

He will serve alongside fellow University alumni Treasurer Joe Hockey (BA 1990, LLB 1990) and the Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull (BA 1977, LLB 1978).

Mr Abbott is the most recent in a succession of Sydney alumni who have held the prime ministership, including Sir Edmund Barton (MA 1870), Stanley Melbourne Bruce (LLD 1926), Earle Page (MBBS 1902 DSc 1952), Sir William McMahon (LLB 1933 BEc 1949), Gough Whitlam (BA 1938 LLB 1946 DLitt 1981) and John Howard (LLB 1961).

He also joins an extraordinary list of alumni who have shaped the national and international agenda, from former President of the United Nations General Assembly "Doc" Herbert V Evatt QC KStJ (BA 1915, MA 1917, LLB 1918, LLD 1924, DLitt 1944, Hon DSc 1952) to Martin Indyk (BEc 1973), US Special Envoy for Israeli Palestinian Negotiations and former US ambassador to Israel, and former President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn AO KBE (BA 1954, LLB 1957, Hon DScEc 1997).

"At the University of Sydney we develop people's potential to create and lead for the benefit of Australia and the world across many areas, including education, business, social justice, politics and culture," Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University said today.

"So we look with enormous pride on the success of these particular alumni on their election to this most prestigious of offices.

"We note that many other Cabinet members were educated at other universities within Australia's excellent higher education system. The nation is indeed fortunate to be served by such well-qualified individuals.

"For the University of Sydney, it is an honour to have played a part in this new chapter for our nation," Dr Spence concluded.

A list of all prominent alumni can be found on the University's Alumni and Friends website.

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Media contact: Kirsten Andrews, 02 9114 0748, 0413 777 404,