The first female at the helm of Victoria’s State Library is Greek

For 165 years since the State Library of Victoria was established, men have had the monopoly in the presidency of its Board.

Christine Christian AO, a Greek Australian, is the first woman to take the post.

Following her appointment last month by Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson, she became the 24th president of the Library Board, succeeding John Wylie AM.

Raised in Melbourne by Greek-born parents, Ms Christian is known in business circles as a leading company director and investor.

Her 35-year experience includes executive and advisory roles in Australia, China, India and the US, and spans financial services, investment, private equity, credit risk, government and media.

Ms Christine is known as the first woman to have led a high-profile management buyout in Australia, that in fact she sold back to the US parent company ten years later at ten times the original sale price.

In recognition of her contribution to women in business, emerging entrepreneurs and services to the financial and investment sectors, she was appointed Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2020.

On top of an impressive CV, Ms Christian was deemed a perfect fit for SLV’s President post thanks to her continuing support for the Library.

“Christine has been a devoted supporter of the Library for many years – both in her role as Deputy Board President and as a major donor, whose generosity resulted in StartSpace, the Library’s first free business support service for new and early-stage business founders,” State Library Victoria CEO Kate Torney said.

Stating thrilled to be appointed to the role, Ms Christian said she feels privileged for the opportunity to work with the Board and management for the Library’s next chapter.

“I look forward to continuing to promote the Library in its crucial task in society and to deliver on community expectations. Libraries have a major impact on society by creating equal opportunities and access to lifelong learning and education, research and innovation, and culture and recreation for all,” Ms Christian said.