Marise Payne joins Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University is pleased to announce the appointment of the Hon. Marise Payne as a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow and Professor of Practice – International Relations and Public Policy.

A highly-respected Australian politician with a distinguished federal parliamentary career spanning 26 years, Marise Payne was a Senator for NSW from 1997 to 2023.  As the longest serving female senator in Australia’s history, she announced her retirement from the Senate in September 2023.

During her time in government she held many senior ministerial positions including Minister for Human Services, Minister for Defence – the first woman to hold the portfolio, as well as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women.

The University is pleased to accord Marise Payne the title ‘Professor of Practice’, in recognition of her extensive professional experience and expertise.

Professor Payne will officially commence her appointment on 1 February 2024. Her role will include advising the University on its strategic priorities and its international engagement strategies, particularly in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.

Students and staff will benefit from her experience through guest lectures and other teaching-related activities, supporting the University’s programs in international relations, public policy, political science, international business, and humanitarian and development studies.

She will also be involved in providing leadership and mentoring opportunities with senior staff and students, particularly women.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover AO warmly welcomed Professor Payne to the University.

“On behalf of the University community, I congratulate Marise Payne on her appointment. I know she will make an outstanding contribution to the University’s future direction. Her extensive knowledge and depth of experience will be invaluable in helping to shape our growth and development both locally and internationally,” said Professor Glover.

Chancellor Professor Jennifer Westacott AO also congratulated Professor Payne and acknowledged her years of dedicated service to the people of NSW and Australia.

“In addition to her political insight and astute diplomacy, Marise Payne brings a deep understanding and respect for Western Sydney and its communities. She will contribute significantly to our relationships and engagement with industry and help strengthen our research partnerships and innovation collaborations with this economically-important region,” said Professor Westacott.

Professor Payne said she is delighted to join the University.

“I am passionate about Western Sydney and its communities. I know the positive impact this University has made to our region when it comes to opening up higher education and being a catalyst for its economic and social transformation,” said Professor Payne.

“I am very much looking forward to working closely with the Vice-Chancellor, Chancellor, staff and students in the new year, helping to support the continued success of both the University and the broader Western Sydney region.”


10 January 2024

Amanda Whibley,  Manager, Media and Public Relations

Professor Payne pictured with Chancellor, Professor Jennifer Westacott AO