New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian was awarded the McKinnon Political Leader of the Year and Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp the McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year.
Premier Berejiklian was recognised for her outstanding leadership of New South Wales, reflected in her balanced and empathetic handling of reproductive health reform, a strong economic and budget position, and record infrastructure expenditure.
In accepting her award, Premier Berejiklian said she was honoured to be selected as the McKinnon Political Leader of the Year for 2019.
“While the people of New South Wales will ultimately be the ones to judge my role as Premier, I am flattered to be recognised in this way,” Premier Berejiklian said.
Lord Mayor Capp was named the McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year, for politicians with less than five years in office, for her outstanding leadership of the Melbourne City Council. In particular, she was noted for her stabilising presence in Town Hall, where she has fostered a high degree of consensus amongst councillors for advancing an impactful policy agenda.
Lord Mayor Capp said she was humbled to receive the award.
“Getting involved in local government has been an extremely rewarding and life-changing experience,” she said. “I am still new to this role but I have learned a huge amount in less than two years. All of the challenges of the job are outstripped by the amazing connection you are able to build with the residents, businesses and organisations that make Melbourne such a great city.
“It’s extremely exciting to receive this award; it reflects a team effort and I hope it encourages more people – particularly women – to choose a life in politics to make positive change for their communities.”
University of Melbourne Provost Mark Considine chaired the 2019 McKinnon Prize selection panel which included former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, former New South Wales Premier Mike Baird, former Chief of the Australian Defence Force Sir Angus Houston and a number of distinguished business, political, education and sporting leaders.
Professor Considine said the McKinnon Prize recognises Premier Berejiklian’s and Lord Mayor Capp’s leadership on issues of public importance.
“The selection of Ms Berejiklian and Ms Capp as the winners of the McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership demonstrates the tremendous impact Australian women are having on the political landscape,” Professor Considine said.
“Since the McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership began in 2017, a woman has been awarded at least one of the prizes each year. Ms Berejiklian and Ms Capp’s success this year can only inspire more women from all walks of life to stand for public office, which will benefit Australia’s democracy.”
Premier Berejiklian and Lord Mayor Capp will each deliver a keynote speech at the McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership Oration later this year, where they will be awarded a trophy of recognition. The McKinnon Emerging Political Leader will also receive a $20 000 financial prize for professional development.
The McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership is a collaboration between the Susan McKinnon Foundation and the University of Melbourne. It is a non-partisan and independent award that recognises two outstanding Australian political leaders each year.
Politicians with over five years in office, whether leaders in local communities or on the national stage, are eligible for the McKinnon Political Leader of the Year. The McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year highlights a recently elected federal, state, territorial or local politician, with less than five years in office, who is working collaboratively with communities and developing workable solutions to critical issues.
Read the citation for Premier Berejiklian.
Read the citation for Lord Mayor Capp.