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ECU hosts Professor Cheryl de la Rey as the 2010 Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Orator

Friday, 08 October 2010


This week it was my honour to join our Chancellor to welcome Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, Professor Cheryl de la Rey to ECU as the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Orator for 2010.

Professor de la Rey spoke about ‘Gender Equity in the 21st Century’ and the common hurdles facing women’s progression in the workplace and how to overcome these issues.

Before joining the University of Pretoria, Professor de la Rey was the Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Higher Education in South Africa, a position she assumed after having been Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town.

Professor de la Rey is well published in the international literature in the form of books and journal articles in her discipline, Psychology. Gender equity and women's issues have been a consistent theme of her research work. She has undertaken extensive work on gender equity in higher education and women and leadership.

Some 100 members of the ECU community and visitors attended the event including 2008 Orator, the Honourable Dr Fred Chaney AO; Chief Scientist of WA, Professor Lyn Beazley AO; ECU’s Chancellor, the Honourable Dr Hendy Cowan; and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engagement, Equity and Indigenous), Professor Brenda Cherednichenko.

Professor de la Rey spoke about the journey to senior leadership being more complex for women, with career steps often coinciding with key life choices, including raising a family.

Gender equity in the workplace is an important strategic issue facing all organisations. I thank Professor de la Rey for providing an insightful and informative presentation that will be beneficial to the whole ECU community as we strive to become more inclusive.

Professor Kerry O. Cox *

* Professor Kerry Cox was Vice-Chancellor of Edith Cowan University from March 2006 to September 2014.

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