Robert Hill (Australian politician)

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The Honourable Professor
Robert Hill
AC
Robert Hill (1).jpg
Chancellor of the University of Adelaide
Incumbent
Assumed office
9 April 2010
Preceded by John von Doussa
Senator for South Australia
In office
1980 – 15 March 2006
Preceded by Sir Condor Laucke
Succeeded by Cory Bernardi
49th Minister for Defence
In office
12 November 2001 – 27 January 2006
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Peter Reith
Succeeded by Brendan Nelson
Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations
In office
27 March 2006 – May 2009
Preceded by Caroline Millar (acting)
Succeeded by Gary Quinlan
Personal details
Born (1946-09-25) 25 September 1946 (age 67)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Diana Marie Hill (née Jacka)
Children Victoria Hill (daughter)

Robert Murray Hill AC (born 25 September 1946) is Chancellor of the University of Adelaide and a former Australian politician. He is also the former chairman of the Australian Carbon Trust.

Early life and family[edit]

Born in Adelaide, Hill studied at the University of Adelaide where he took degrees in Arts and Law, and later the London School of Economics, where he gained a Masters degree in Law. Robert Hill was a barrister and solicitor before entering politics. He was Vice-President of the Liberal Party in South Australia 1977–79 and President 1985–87. Like many South Australian Liberals, Hill belonged to the liberal or moderate wing of the Liberal Party. He was also a member of the Liberal Party's Federal Executive 1985–87 and 1990–93. Hill came from political family and his father, Murray Hill, was a prominent Liberal member of the South Australian Legislative Council from 1965 to 1988. His daughter, Victoria, is an Australian actress.

Career[edit]

Political career[edit]

Robert Hill was elected as a Senator for the State of South Australia, representing the Liberal Party, at the 1980 Federal election. He took his seat in the Senate on 1 July 1981, and served until 15 March 2006.

After the Liberals' defeat (their fifth consecutive loss) at the 1993 federal election, Hill became Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (1993–96), and held appointments as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs (1993) and Defence (1993–94), Public Administration (1993–94), and Education, Science and Training (1994–96). In 1994 he was Chairman of the Senate's Policy Review Committee.

Following the landslide election victory of the Liberals under John Howard in 1996, Hill became Leader of the Government in the Senate (1996–2006) and Minister for the Environment (1996–98). He was subsequently appointed Minister for the Environment and Heritage (1998–2001) and Minister for Defence (2001–06).[1] On 1 January 2001, Hill was awarded the Centenary Medal for "service as Minister for Defence".[2] In July 2005 the Coalition parties took control of the Senate and Hill became the first Government Leader in the Senate since 1981 to command a majority in the chamber.

In January 2006, Hill announced his resignation from the Ministry and as Leader of the Government in the Senate.[3] Hill did not specify any reason for his resignation, but said it was his decision to retire and he had not been pushed into it by the Prime Minister. However, one of The Age's senior journalists, Michelle Grattan, said on 31 March 2008 "Hill had not really wanted to leave Parliament, but John Howard was anxious to get him out."

On 15 March 2006, Hill resigned from the Senate and, two days later, was appointed Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Australia, replacing Caroline Millar. He served in that position until May 2009.[4]

Prior to Robert Hill's retirement in 2006 he voted for legalizing the abortion drug RU486 which had been banned in Australia up until that point.[1]

Later career[edit]

Following his return to Australia in 2009, Hill accepted an appointment as Adjunct Professor in Sustainability at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney[5] where he was involved in the development of the $2 million Dow Sustainability Program, funded by the US-based Dow Chemical Company Foundation, to bring together academic and policy experts from Australia and the US to develop action-oriented solutions to a range of sustainability challenges concerning energy, water, food and biodiversity that are technologically innovative, commercially scalable and politically viable.[6] In July 2009, Hill was appointed by the Australian Government to head the Australian Carbon Trust.[7]

The University of Adelaide announced on 9 April 2010 that Hill had been appointed Chancellor of the University. He commenced his two year role on 26 July 2010.[8] On 11 June 2012, Hill was named an Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for "eminent service to the Parliament of Australia, particularly through the development of policy reform in the portfolios of the environment and defence, and to Australia's international relations through senior diplomatic representation to the United Nations."[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ See Who's Who in Australia 2010, p.1031
  2. ^ "HILL, Robert Murray - Centenary Medal". It's an Honour database. Australian Government. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Schubert, Misha (20 January 2006). "Defence minister steps down". The Age. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Media Release (25 February 2009). "Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations". Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Hon. Stephen Smith MP. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Fudala, Nina (23 July 2009). "Robert Hill appointed to Rudd's Australian Carbon Trust". Media Release. University of Sydney. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Fudala, Nina (15 February 2010). "US Studies Centre announces Dow Sustainability Program". Media Release. University of Sydney. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Kerr, Christian (21 July 2009). "Rudd picks Robert Hill to head carbon trust". The Australian. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Husband, Kate (9 April 2010). "New Chancellor appointed to University of Adelaide". Media Release. University of Adelaide. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia". The Queen's Birthday 2012 Honours Lists. Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia. 11 June 2012. p. 4. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Robert Hill at Wikimedia Commons

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Sir Condor Laucke
Senator for South Australia
1986 – 2006
Succeeded by
Cory Bernardi
Party political offices
Preceded by
Fred Chaney
Leader of the Liberal Party in the Senate
1990 – 2006
Succeeded by
Nick Minchin
Political offices
Preceded by
John Faulkner
as Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories
Minister for the Environment
1996 – 1998
Succeeded by
Himself
Preceded by
Himself
as Minister for the Environment
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
1998 – 2001
Succeeded by
David Kemp
Preceded by
Richard Alston
as Minister for the Arts
Preceded by
Peter Reith
Minister for Defence
2001 – 2006
Succeeded by
Brendan Nelson
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Caroline Millar
(acting)
Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations
2006 – 2009
Succeeded by
Gary Quinlan
Academic offices
Preceded by
John von Doussa
Chancellor of the University of Adelaide
2010 – present
Incumbent