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Australia names first woman to lead its central bank

Australia’s central bank says it will be led by a woman for the first time since it was founded in 1960.

Michele Bullock will succeed Philip Lowe, who is coming to the end of a seven-year term as governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

Her appointment comes as the country has been battling rising prices and the RBA is facing a major shakeup.

It has raised interest rates to their highest level in over a decade in a bid to tackle inflation.

The Australian financial services industry is male-dominated and has one of the nation’s widest gender pay gaps.

Ms Bullock, who is currently the RBA’s deputy governor, is due to start her seven-year term as governor on 18 September.

“It is a challenging time to be coming into this role, but I will be supported by a strong executive team and boards,” Ms Bullock said in a statement on Friday.

“I am committed to ensuring that the Reserve Bank delivers on its policy and operational objectives for the benefit of the Australian people,” she added.

Ms Bullock has been described as an RBA insider, having joined the central bank as an analyst nearly four decades ago.

In that time she has held senior management positions, including assistant governor and head of the payments policy department, before being appointed as the RBA’s deputy governor in April 2022.

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a post on Twitter that Ms Bullock was “an outstanding economist, with a long and distinguished career at the central bank.”

“We believe she has the experience, expertise and fresh perspective to lead the RBA as Australia – and the world – face ongoing economic challenges,” Mr Albanese said in another tweet.


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