Sophie Mirabella will teach ’em a thing or two

SOPHIE Mirabella will head back to her old university to pass on her experiences on the hustings in Indi and in the corridors of power in Canberra.

The University of Melbourne yesterday announced the former Liberal frontbencher had been appointed a public policy fellow.

Mrs Mirabella said she was glad the university was willing to let students consider all political views

She said there had been some “valid” criticism in the past about universities not taking a spectrum of ideology or a political opinion into account.

“If in some small way I can contribute to adding to that spectrum of political thought and ability I think that’s a good thing,” she said.

“(That’s) because people have had this belief — and have certainly had this aspiration — that universities should be a place of free and open inquiry where students and academics alike are unafraid to explore ideas and to voice their opinion.”

That created “a very exciting learning space”, she said.

Mrs Mirabella’s comments were made in a video released by the university with the announcement of her part-time appointment, which takes effect immediately.

She has kept out of the public spotlight since losing Indi to independent Cathy McGowan.

In December, she was appointed to the board of the federal government’s naval shipbuilding firm ASC Pty Ltd, formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation.

Mrs Mirabella did not respond after being left a message by The Border Mail yesterday.

The university said her duties would include delivering lectures, holding seminars, contributing to workshops and helping students.

Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences Professor Adrian Little said recruiting Ms Mirabella was “a real coup”.

“Sophie’s experience in public policy and deep understanding of politics will be invaluable,” he said.

Mrs Mirabella, 45, gained law and commerce degrees at the University of Melbourne.

She is a former president of its Liberal Club and vice-president of the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation.

“What I hope to be able to contribute is imparting firstly some real life experiences about politics to those students who are studying politics,” Mrs Mirabella said.

“It’s one thing looking at politics 101, it’s another deal about how it actually operates.”

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