|Her Excellency Professor
|37th Governor of New South Wales|
1 March 2001
|Preceded by||Gordon Samuels|
|17th Chancellor of the University of Sydney|
1 June 2007 – 15 December 2012
|Preceded by||Kim Santow|
|Succeeded by||Belinda Hutchinson|
1 December 1930 |
Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia
|Spouse(s)||Sir Nicholas Shehadie|
|Residence||Mosman, New South Wales
Government House, Sydney
|Alma mater||University of Sydney|
|Profession||Medicine and Psychiatry|
Marie Roslyn Bashir AC CVO (born 1 December 1930) has been the Governor of New South Wales since March 2001. Born in Narrandera, New South Wales, Bashir graduated from the University of Sydney in 1956 and held various medical positions, with a particular emphasis in psychiatry. In 1993 Bashir was appointed the Clinical Director of Mental Health Services for the Central Sydney Area Health Service, a position she held until she was appointed Governor. She has also served as the Chancellor of the University of Sydney (2007–2012).
Early life and education
Marie Roslyn Bashir was born in 1930 in Narrandera, New South Wales, to Lebanese-born parents Michael Bashir and Victoria Melick. Her father and her paternal uncle were both medical graduates from the American University of Beirut. Her maternal family had come to Australia in the 19th century.
Bashir attended Narrandera Public School and in 1943 enrolled at Sydney Girls High School, which her mother had also attended. Bashir then moved to Sydney to live with her grandmother in order to attend. Upon graduating, Bashir studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, becoming a proficient violinist.
She completed the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in 1956 at the University of Sydney, residing at The Women's College from 1950 to 1955. In 1959, she was elected to the College Council, became Honorary Secretary in 1960 and was Chair from 1982 to 1990. She took up life membership of the College Union in 1969. While at university, she met rising rugby player, Nicholas Shehadie, to whom she was married on 23 February 1957, in St Philip's Church, Sydney, by Felix Arnott, then the Warden of St Paul's College, University of Sydney. They had their first child, Michael, in 1959, followed by two daughters, Susan and Alexandra.
Upon her graduation in medicine, Bashir took up a posting as a junior resident medical officer at St Vincent's Hospital and then to the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children. After first living in Elizabeth Bay, Bashir and Shehadie moved their family to Pendle Hill in Western Sydney, where Bashir worked as a General Practitioner. However, wanting to assist people suffering from mental illnesses, Bashir eventually decided to take up postgraduate studies in Psychiatry. To make this easier, Bashir and her family moved back into central Sydney to Mosman on the North Shore.
In 1971 Bashir was named as "Australian Mother of the Year". When Shehadie was made Lord Mayor of Sydney, Bashir became the Lady Mayoress of Sydney from 1971 to 1973. When Shehadie was knighted in 1976, Bashir acquired the title 'Lady Shehadie', a title she seldom uses, preferring to use her maiden name. After completion of postgraduate studies in psychiatry, she was made a Member of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 1971, becoming a Fellow in 1980. From 1972, Bashir was a teacher, lecturer and mentor to medical students at The University of Sydney.
In 1972 Bashir was appointed Director of the Rivendell Child, Adolescent and Family Service, which provides consultative services for young people with emotional and psychiatric issues. In 1987 she was appointed director of the Community Health Services in the Central Sydney Area Health Service, which put emphasis on early childhood services, migrant and Indigenous health as well as the elderly. On 13 June 1988 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) "In recognition of service to medicine, particularly in the field of adolescent mental health".
From 1990 to 1992, she served on the New South Wales Women's Advisory Council. In 1993, she was appointed as Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Sydney, and in 1994 as the Clinical Director of Mental Health Services for the Central Sydney Area. This was a time of major reform in mental health service delivery, which contributed to substantial change in the provision of public sector mental health services. She served until 2001. In her university role, Bashir is instrumental in developing collaborative teaching programs between colleagues in Vietnam and Thailand with Australian psychiatrists, chairing the University of New South Wales Third World Health Group (1995–2000) and supporting various financial and social support programmes for International students.
In 1995, in a partnership with the Aboriginal Medical Service, Redfern, she established the Aboriginal Mental Health Unit, which provides regular clinics and counselling at both the Aboriginal Medical Service in Sydney and mainstream centres. From 1996, Bashir also took up the consultative role of senior psychiatrist to the Aboriginal Medical Service. As well as championing the health of indigenous Australians, Bashir also continued her focus on youth and juvenile issues, particularly through her terms chairing the NSW Juvenile Justice Advisory Council (1991–1999) and as consultative psychiatrist to Juvenile Justice Facilities (1993–2000). On 1 January 2001, Bashir was awarded the Centenary Medal.
Governor and Chancellor
In early 2001, on the recommendation of Premier Bob Carr, Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, appointed Bashir Governor of New South Wales, making her the state's first female governor, and the first governor of any Australian state of Lebanese descent. She was sworn in on 1 March 2001, and on 30 March she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC). Upon her appointment, Sydney Morning Herald journalist David Marr noted, "what could be more valuable behind the scenes in Macquarie St than this woman's unique expertise with troubled adolescents?" Bashir's appointment was welcomed by both sides of politics and commended in a Sydney Morning Herald editorial as "an inspired choice" as well as noting that Bashir would be "a powerful advocate for the powerless". In that role, Bashir departed from past practice. For Australian aborigines, Bashir launched an indigenous health initiative to support indigenous medicine and nursing students as well as supporting the progress of reconciliation. On the very day of her inauguration, Bashir agreed to become Patron of the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service, which addresses mental and social issues in the LGBT community. This was the first time a NSW Governor had supported a gay organisation.
In 2002, Bashir became Patron of the Australia-Vietnam Medical Trust and became intimately involved in collaborative health programs in Vietnam, particularly in rural areas. On 17 May 2001, the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, invested Bashir as a Dame of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (DStJ). Having previously studied violin at the Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, in 2002 Bashir was asked to become the Patron of the Sydney University Graduate Choir. She is also a Patron of Opera Australia, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Pinchgut Opera and the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens.
In 2003 Bashir received the Mental Health Princess Award, awarded by Princess Galyani Vadhana of Thailand, for contribution to collaborative mental health programs between Australia and Thailand and in 2004 she was recognised as an Australian Living Treasure. In 2004 she was made an Honorary Member of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). In March 2004, during a visit to Lebanon, Bashir was appointed a Grand Officer of the National Order of the Cedar by General Emile Lahoud, President of the Republic of Lebanon. On 14 September, Premier Carr announced that he would recommend to the Queen that Bashir's term be extended for another three years. Buckingham Palace confirmed his recommendation on 1 October saying that: "The Queen is content for Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, to remain in her current position until February 2008 as recommended."
On 31 March 2006, the Queen appointed her a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO). In April 2007 Bashir was elected by the University Senate to take up a four-year appointment as Chancellor of the University of Sydney on 1 June 2007. It was announced on 15 October 2007 that the Queen, on the recommendation of Premier Morris Iemma, had extended Bashir's appointment as Governor for a further four years to February 2012. On 4 November 2009, she was invested as a Chevalier of the Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur by the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, and presented by the Ambassador of France to Australia, Michel Filhol.
As the longest serving State Governor, Bashir holds a dormant commission to act as the Administrator of the Commonwealth when the Governor-General of Australia is absent from Australia. She has held the position of Administrator many times: from 10 to 17 July 2007, 30 September to 12 October 2007, and 20 April to 4 May 2008 in the absence of Michael Jeffery, and from 30 July to 6 August 2008, 5 to 19 November 2008, 17 March to 2 April 2009, and 7 to 12 June 2010, in the absence of Quentin Bryce.
In May–June 2010, the New South Wales Government experienced a series of resignations: Karyn Paluzzano over expenses abuse, David Campbell over a personal scandal, Ian Macdonald over expenses abuse and Graham West's retirement. These were widely seen as highlighting the NSW Government's inability to govern effectively and in response to this there were various calls for Bashir to take action as Governor and dismiss the government. She played down these calls in a radio interview on 10 June, saying that:
"The only way that they [the NSW Government] can disappear, so to speak, is if there's a vote of no confidence... Elections do come round from time to time so it's back in the hands of the people."
In late 2010, Mosman Municipal Council decided to name the new Sports centre in Rawson Park for Bashir in recognition of her service to both New South Wales and the Mosman community. She officially opened the "Marie Bashir Mosman Sports Centre" on 10 December 2010 with the Mayor, Cr. Anne Connon. On 14 September 2011, Liberal Premier Barry O'Farrell announced that he had recommended to the Queen that Bashir's term be extended for another two years to 2014, which had been accepted: "Over the past 10 years the Governor's caring nature, her genuine interest in local communities and her extraordinary work rate have endeared her to people everywhere...Because of her diverse background, career and interests, Professor Bashir has given a historic and important post a contemporary relevance and resonance."
From the time of her commencement as Governor, Bashir, like her immediate predecessor, did not reside in Government House, Sydney, retaining it for reception and official purposes. However, in October 2011, the new Premier Barry O'Farrell announced that the Bashir had agreed with O'Farrell's offer to move back into Government House: "A lot of people believe the Governor should live at Government House. That's what it was built for ... [A]t some stage a rural or regional governor will be appointed and we will need to provide accommodation at Government House so it makes sense to provide appropriate living areas". However, because Government House has not been a residence for fifteen years, O'Farrell also announced that the Bashir would initially move into a smaller adjacent building, called the chalet, while refurbishments of the main wing occur, with a proposed move into the main house "before Christmas".
On 19 April 2012, Bashir was presented with the insignia of a Grand Cordon of the National Order of the Cedar by the President of Lebanon, General Michel Suleiman, at Government House, Sydney, during his state visit to Australia. At a meeting of the University of Sydney Senate in May 2012, Bashir announced her intention to retire as Chancellor.
On 21 October 2013 Premier O'Farrell and the Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli announced that the new state primary school in Strathfield on the old site of the Sydney Adventist College would be named the "Marie Bashir Public School" in her honour. At the announcement O'Farrell noted that: "Naming this school after Professor Bashir honours her outstanding contribution to NSW and is a reminder that she achieved all her distinctions after being educated at public schools - from Narrandera Public School to Sydney Girls High School". On 28 November 2013 the Premier of NSW announced that the Queen had given approval for the title of "The Honourable" to be accorded to the governors and former governors of New South Wales.
Titles, styles and honours
|Viceregal styles of
|Reference style||Her Excellency|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
- 1930 – 1956: Miss Marie Bashir
- 1956 – 1971: Doctor Marie Bashir
- 1971 – 1973: Doctor Marie Bashir, Lady Mayoress of Sydney
- 1973 – 1976: Doctor Marie Bashir
- 1976 – 1988: Doctor Marie Bashir, Lady Shehadie
- 1988 – 1993: Doctor Marie Bashir AO, Lady Shehadie
- 1993 – 2001: Professor Marie Bashir AO, Lady Shehadie
- 2001 – 2006: Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, Governor of New South Wales
- 2006 – 2013: Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales
- 2013 – date: Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales
- As Administrator: Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir AC CVO, Administrator of the Commonwealth of Australia.
The Governor's style and title in full is: Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir, Companion of the Order of Australia, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Governor of the State of New South Wales in the Commonwealth of Australia.
|Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)||2001|
|Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)||1988|
|Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO)||2006|
|Dame of Grace of the Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem||2001|
|Grand Cordon of the National Order of the Cedar (Lebanon)||2012|
|Grand Officer of the National Order of the Cedar (Lebanon)||2004|
|Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (France)||2009|
- 1980 Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP).
- 2004 Honorary Member of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
- 2006 Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE).
- 2007 Honorary Member of the Australian Medical Association.
- On 11 October 2002, she was appointed a Doctor of Medicine (honoris causa) by the University of Sydney.
- On 20 April 2012, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University (D.Univ) by Macquarie University.
Honorary military appointments
- 1 March 2001 – : Honorary and Regimental Colonel in the Royal New South Wales Regiment.
- 1 March 2001 – : Honorary Air Commodore of No. 22 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force.
- 9 October 2008 – : Honorary Commodore, Navy Warfare Training, Royal Australian Navy.
- Marie Bashir Peace Awards, National Council of Women of New South Wales.
- Geographic Locations
- Coleman, Sarah. "Marie Bashir: From Psychiatry to Politics". World Press Review. Retrieved 20 July 2008.
- Clune & Turner (2009) p.614
- "Distinguished Old Girls". The History of Sydney Girls High School. Sydney Girls High School. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
- Clune & Turner (2009) p.615
- "Marie Bashir". The Women's College. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- Clune & Turner (2009) pp.614-615
- "Professor Marie Bashir elected University Chancellor" (Press release). University of Sydney. 30 April 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Officer of the Order of Australia, AO, 13 June 1988, itsanhonour.gov.au
Citation: In recognition of service to medicine, particularly in the field of adolescent mental health.
- Clune & Turner (2009) p.617
- Centenary Medal, 1 January 2001, itsanhonour.gov.au
- "Companion of the Order of Australia". itsanhonour.gov.au. 30 March 2001. "Citation: In recognition of service as Governor of New South Wales"
- D.Marr, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 March 2001.
- Clune & Turner (2009) p.619
- Clune & Turner (2009) p.625
- "Governor-General's Program – 17 May 2001". Governor-General of Australia. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- "List of Patronages » The Governor of NSW". Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. About us.". Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "9th National Rural Health Conference". Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- "Australia's Living National Treasures". National Trust of Australia. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- Official Website of the Governor of New South Wales
- "Governor of New South Wales Reappointment". Hansard. NSW Parliament. 26 October 2004. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
- Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, CVO, 31 March 2006, itsanhonour.gov.au
Citation: Governor of New South Wales.
- "Bashir named Uni of Sydney chancellor". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 30 April 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- "NSW Governor Bashir to stay on". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 15 October 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
- "Official inauguration of the new building of the Sydney Alliance Française". French Embassy, Australia. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- "Royal sign manual - Commission". Gazette S205. Commonwealth of Australia. 17 June 2003.
- Bennett, Adam (5 June 2010). "NSW ministers quit, forcing new reshuffle". The Age (Melbourne: Fairfax Media). Retrieved 22 August 2010.
- "Governor can't sack NSW Government". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 10 June 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
- "Sports hub named after Marie Bashir". The Mosman Daily. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
- "Play begins at sports facility". The Mosman Daily. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
- "Governor of New South Wales". Hansard. NSW Parliament. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Governor Marie Bashir makes a grand return home to Government House". The Daily Telegraph. 7 October 2011.
- "Statement on the visit of the President of Lebanon" (Press release). Office of the Prime Minister. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- "Senate Meetings". Decisions of the Senate. University of Sydney. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- Press Release (21 October 2013). "Marie Bashir Public School: new school named in honour of NSW Governor". NSW Government. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "The title 'The Honourable' for Governors of New South Wales". New South Wales Government Gazette. 6 December 2013. p. 5716. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Commonwealth of Australia Gazette S55 dated 16 April 2010
- New South Wales Government Gazette dated 6 December 2013
- "Professor Marie Bashir AC". University of Sydney. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- "NSW Governor Marie Bashir awarded honorary doctorate". Macquarie University. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- "Royal New South Wales Regiment memorial". Vasey Housing Association. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- "No.22 (City of Sydney) Squadron, RAAF, Department of Defence". Australian Government. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- "Vice-Regal Review of the National Reserve Forces Day parade". Reserve Forces Day Council. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- Hancock, Shelley (11 October 2011). "Marie Bashir Peace Awards". Hansard - Legislative Assembly. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Clune, David; Turner, Ken (2009). The Governors of New South Wales: 1788-2010. Sydney: Federation Press.
- Governor of New South Wales official website
- University of Sydney – Chancellor Marie Bashir
- Photo: Bashir with RADM Nigel Coates, Commander Australian Fleet, at 2009 RAN Fleet Review.
- Photo: Bashir as Honorary Colonel
- Photo: Bashir with ADCs at ANZAC Day 2008.
|Lady Mayoress of Sydney
1973 – 1975
|Governor of New South Wales
2001 – present
|Chancellor of the University of Sydney
2007 – 2012