The Honourable Dr Penelope Wensley AC
Patron, Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland
Penelope Wensley was born in Toowoomba and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with First Class Honours at the University of Queensland in 1967. In 1968, Ms Wensley joined the Australian Foreign service and pursued a highly distinguished career as a diplomat, representing Australia in a wide range of overseas posts and senior policy positions until 2008, when she became Queensland’s twenty-fifth Governor.
Among her prestigious diplomatic appointments, she served as Australia’s Ambassador to the United Nations for seven years, in both Geneva and New York, as Ambassador for the Environment, High Commissioner to India and Ambassador to France. She has been awarded honorary Doctorates by The University of Queensland, Griffith University, JCU (James Cook University), and the Queensland University of Technology.
In 1994, The University of Queensland named her as the first woman Alumnus of the Year. In 2001, Penelope was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for her distinguished contributions to Australia’s international relations. On Australia Day 2011 she was appointed a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia: “For eminent contribution to the people of Queensland, and to Australia’s international relations through senior diplomatic representational roles and as a key contributor to initiatives of the United Nations.”
Penelope is a Fellow of The Women’s College and of Kings College within the University of Queensland, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (FAIIA) and an Honorary Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (HFEIANZ). In addition to her role as Patron of Alumni Friends, she is the National Patron of Soil Science Australia. She is Chairman of the Australian Institute of Marine Science Council and of the Reef Advisory Committee, established by the Australian and Queensland Governments to advise on the implementation of Reef 2050-the Long term Sustainability Plan for the Great Barrier Reef.
- Recognising and celebrating the valuable contribution of Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland Afternoon tea in the St Lucia Campus Alumni Court, hosted by the University Senate, 27 February 2017. Address by The Honourable Dr Penelope Wensley AC, Patron, Alumni Friends of the University of Queensland, at the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in Alumni Court to celebrate the 50th anniversary year of Alumni Friends.
- The AGM Address, given by The Honourable Dr Penelope Wensley AC at the May 2015 Alumni Friends’ AGM.
- Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland Centenary Celebration Reception Address by The Honourable Dr Penelope Wensley AC (when Governor of Queensland), 4 July 2010.