CQU welcomes human rights champion as new Chancellor

06 December 2022

CQUniversity Australia has installed its new Chancellor – Australian human rights champion' Mr Graeme Innes AM – at a graduation ceremony in Rockhampton on Tuesday' 6 December 2022.

The appointment of Mr Innes' an internationally renowned lawyer' author' and company director' was announced by the University earlier this year.

CQUniversity's Vice-Chancellor and President' Professor Nick Klomp told assembled guests that Mr Innes brought with him extensive background in advocating for human rights' both in Australia and overseas.

"Mr Innes is perhaps best known for his nine-year tenure as a commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission' holding responsibility for issues relating to disability' race' and human rights.

"Having been born blind' Mr Innes is a champion of rights and access for people living with disability and was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his work on the development of the Disability Discrimination Act.

"I would like to congratulate Graeme on his appointment to the role of CQUniversity's Chancellor and on his official installation today.

"I am excited about working with him and I am certain he will provide astute leadership and guidance when it comes to the University's social innovation agenda and accessibility strategy. He will inspire our people to advocate for others and ensure that we continue to promote education as a way to overcome disadvantage'" said Professor Klomp.

Mr Innes said he was humbled and honoured by his appointment and his official installation to the role by Her Excellency' The Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM' Governor of Queensland.

"Being installed as Chancellor of CQUniversity is an immense honour and I was especially delighted to be sharing this occasion with all the students (now alumni) who celebrated the conclusion of their studies at the ceremony.

"Being appointed as the first Australian university Chancellor who identifies as a person with a disability is also an extraordinary honour' and I am moved to think of how proud my parents would have been today if they were still with us'" said Mr Innes.

Mr Innes also said that he hoped his appointment would be an inspiration to everyone and that it would also encourage people to not place limitations on others.

"As a child' I was fortunate to be supported by a family who didn't believe in limitations and who saw the power of education in creating opportunities. This of course shaped my own attitudes and belief in myself.

"Being given opportunities to succeed helps everyone to stand taller and I am now excited to be in a position where I can advocate for and influence others.

"Most importantly' I am committed to promoting that education and access to education is our most powerful tool when it comes to overcoming disadvantage and creating change."

CQUniversity's former chancellor and Gladstone industry identity Mr John Abbott AM announced his retirement at the beginning of 2022 after six years in the role. Mr Abbott will be officially farewelled at the Gladstone graduation ceremony on Friday' 9 December 2022.