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August 2008 Issue
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Downer's new role in international politics


Former Australian Foreign Affairs Minister and long-serving Member of Federal Parliament Alexander Downer has accepted a Visiting Professorship with the University of Adelaide.

"I am pleased to announce that Alexander Downer has been appointed to the position of Visiting Professor with the University of Adelaide's School of History & Politics," said the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.

"In this role, Professor Downer will be involved in teaching, writing, research and other University activities on a part-time basis. As well as working in the School of History & Politics, he will also be involved with the University's Institute for International Trade.

"The depth of experience Professor Downer brings to the role will be unique, having served for more than a decade as Australia's Foreign Minister. Our students and staff will greatly benefit from his first-hand knowledge of both politics and foreign affairs," Professor McWha says.

Professor Downer said: "I am delighted to be working at the University of Adelaide to maintain my interest and involvement with politics and international relations at an academic level.

"The University of Adelaide is one of Australia's leading universities and I am proud to be a part of it."

The University's Head of Politics, Dr Clem Macintyre, said Professor Downer's academic work would build on his continued roles in Australia and overseas.

"Professor Downer's continued interest in international relations will help to strengthen our teaching and research in this area," Dr Macintyre said.

"We're really looking forward to what he will bring to Politics at the University. This is an excellent opportunity for our students and staff to benefit from someone with such great experience of international relations."

Professor Downer has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Politics and Economics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and holds a Doctor of Civil Laws (honoris causa), also from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

He had been the elected Member for the Federal seat of Mayo since 1984 until his retirement from politics last month. Professor Downer was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1996 - a position he held until November 2007.

Among his many interests, he is a member of the Institute of International Affairs.

Professor Downer's appointment with the University began last month.

Story by David Ellis

For more information about studies in Humanities & Social Sciences visit Open Day (Sunday 17 August).

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Professor Alexander Downer at the University of Adelaide
Photo by Jennie Groom

Professor Alexander Downer at the University of Adelaide
Photo by Jennie Groom

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