2012 UWA Fairfax Oration
Gail Kelly, CEO and Managing Director Westpac Group
Gail Kelly is CEO and Managing Director of Westpac Group. She began her banking career in 1980, and by 2001 had held various senior management roles in a broad range of areas including retail and commercial banking, strategy, marketing and human resources. Gail has spent the last ten years as CEO of two Australian banks, St. George Bank from 2002 to 2007 and Westpac since 2008.
Gail has presided over a period of enormous change and challenge for the Westpac Group. In 2008, Gail led Westpac through its merger with St. George, the largest merger in Australian financial services history. Gail also led Westpac as it successfully navigated through the turbulence and risk of the Global Financial Crisis and the consequent and continuing structural shifts in world banking and financial markets. Westpac has grown to become one of the twenty largest banks in the world by market capitalisation. Under Gail’s leadership, Westpac Group today serves around 12 million customers, employs around 40,000 people and has over 1,500 branches.
Gail holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and Higher Diploma of Education from Cape Town University, an MBA with Distinction from the University of Witwatersrand, and an Honorary Doctorate of Business from Charles Sturt University. She is a non-executive director of the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Bankers’ Association, the Financial Markets Foundation for Children; and is a member of the Financial Sector Advisory Council and Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust. Gail is also CARE Australia’s Ambassador for Women’s Empowerment.
Vincent Fairfax Oration
The Vincent Fairfax Oration, part of a wider program funded by the Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Foundation, was established as a way of engaging leaders from different sectors of society in discussion, debate and on-going conversations about ethics and leadership. The Oration focuses on ethics and leadership as they apply to topics of relevance to Australian society.
Sir Vincent Fairfax was a leading member of the Australian business community. Sir Vincent believed that senior leadership roles brought responsibility in one’s business life and to the broader community and that ethical leadership should not be left to chance but be developed.
The Fairfax Oration is presented by The University of Western Australia and the Centre for Ethical Leadership, Melbourne Business School.