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She will be involved in all aspects of public life at the University, including contributing to workshops, seminars and public lectures, and undertaking her own research.
Ms McKew had a distinguished journalistic career spanning more than three decades. She was part of flagship ABC news programs including the 7:30 Report and Lateline, and wrote regularly for The Bulletin.
At the 2007 Federal Election, Ms McKew defeated Prime Minister John Howard in his seat of Bennelong. She was immediately appointed the Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education in Kevin Rudd’s government and later served as Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Regional Development.
University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis, said Ms McKew’s extensive experience in politics, education policy and the media made her a great asset to the University.
“Ms McKew’s broad knowledge and professional network mean she’s well placed to take a lead in public debate and discourse at the University,” Professor Davis said.
“We warmly welcome her appointment.”
Past VC’s Fellow appointments include former Federal MP’s Petro Georgiou and Dr David Kemp and former Victorian Premier, John Brumby.
Former Liberal Prime Minister Malcom Fraser also served as a Professorial Fellow at the University’s Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law.
Ms McKew will use the part-time posting to write a book reflecting on her own experiences in politics.
“I am extremely excited about this new role,” Ms McKew said
“I’m very keen to engage and contribute to public debate, and help enhance the national discussion about how we best teach and nurture the next generation.”
“It will be terrific to be part of one of Australia’s great national institutions.”
Ms McKew will also undertake research around aspects of Australia’s education system with a particular focus on classroom practice and help promote the Melbourne Graduate School of Education’s Master of Teaching program.
Since 2010, Ms McKew has worked on education strategy for the not-for-profit group, Social Ventures Australia.
She is also the chair of Playgroup Australia and is a director of the progressive think-tank, Per Capita.