Mike Rann, one of Australia’s most experienced parliamentarians, has joined the Political Studies Department of The University of Auckland as Visiting Senior Research Fellow.
The former South Australian Premier will bring a wealth of political knowledge to the department, where he began his political career as a student. He will make regular visits to Auckland from his South Australian base to present classes in politics and public policy. He will also give public seminars, and provide valuable political insight to research programmes.
“I am delighted to be back in the Political Studies Department after a gap of more than 35 years. I owe so much to the department and its staff. It was my big break which helped me secure the career I wanted. My new role will give me a chance to put back. I have kept in touch with the department over the years and I know it has an outstanding international reputation. I’m looking forward to meeting staff and students and teaching in politics and public policy,” Mr Rann says.
Mr Rann was Premier of South Australia for nine and a half years and Australian Labor Party Leader for a record 17 years. He was National President of the Australian Labor Party during the Prime Ministership of Kevin Rudd. He held numerous Ministerial portfolios during a 22 year career on the front bench including most recently as Minster for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, and Australia’s first Climate Change Minister and first Social Inclusion Minister. He retired from Parliament in January 2012 after 26 years.
Mr Rann is a New Zealand citizen and was brought up in Mangakino, Matamata and Birkenhead in Auckland. He studied at the Political Studies Department in Auckland for five years in the early seventies, completing a BA and Masters Degree. He was editor of Craccum and Vice-President of the NZ Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
He worked at Radio New Zealand as a current affairs journalist before immigrating in 1977 to South Australia to work for former South Australian Premier Don Dunstan. In 2009 Mr Rann was awarded a CNZM and in 2011 received a Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of Auckland.
His areas of interest and expertise include environmental sustainability, social inclusion policies, economic development, governance, and Australian Labor Party and coalition politics.