New Governor named, Atlas loses director
New Governor, Kerry Sanderson, Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

Former Agent General and current Atlas Iron and Downer EDI director Kerry Sanderson AO has been named WA's 32nd governor and the first woman to be appointed to the role.

Premier Colin Barnett made the announcement at Government House today following the Queen's approval of the appointment.

However the announcement is bittersweet for both Atlas Iron and Downer EDI with Mrs Sanderson required to vacate any corporate board positions before her official appointment on October 20.

Mrs Sandersn also sits on the board of St John of God Health Care and chairs both the State Emergency Management Committee and the Gold Corporation, operator of The Perth Mint. She is also involved in a number of charities.

"Kerry Sanderson is eminently suited to undertake the role and I congratulate her on her appointment," Mr Barnett said.

"Mrs Sanderson has had a distinguished career in the public sector and is widely respected throughout the community for her business acumen, her commitment to science and learning and her active involvement in the work of several charities.

"I am very confident that Mrs Sanderson will excel in the role and continue the excellent contribution that Malcolm McCusker made in the position."

For 17 years Mrs Sanderson was chief executive of the Fremantle Port Authority, steering the organisation to a pre-eminent position, with Fremantle Ports being awarded the Australian Business Excellence Medal, the most prestigious award of its kind in Australia.

Mrs Sanderson also represented the State in London as WA's Agent General between 2008 and 2011, forging strong links in Europe for WA exports and investment.

In 2004, Mrs Sanderson was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and in 2005 was the inaugural inductee to the Lloyds List Shipping and Transport Hall of Fame. In 1996, she was the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year for WA.

Aged 63, Mrs Sanderson was born in Subiaco and has two sons. Her husband, Lance, passed away in 2007. Mrs Sanderson is a graduate of Churchlands Senior High School and The University of Western Australia.

Supreme Court chief justice Wayne Martin has performed the role as administrator of the State since July.

He will continue in the role until Mrs Sanderson is sworn in on October 20.

The West Australian

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