The university said that the rector had fulfilled all the requirements, but had no proof that she revealed having starred in a MinRes video before its publication.
The Australian National University (ANU) has no record of Julie Bishop declaring her work with MinRes, but the university says she has met all the requirements.
Last month, mining company MinRes posted an induction video for its new Walters Drive office with Julie Bishop as “ambassador”, it has since been revealed that she works as a strategic advisor to the firm. The video, with cameos by AFL player Jeremy McGovern and Grey’s Anatomy actress Kate Walsh, drew criticism for Bishop’s endorsement while also serving as ANU’s figurehead.
Bishop was re-elected to a second term as ANU chancellor in October last year, after a 20-year career as a federal politician.
The ANU adopted a Socially Responsible Investment Policy in 2013, which includes the exclusion of companies that derive more than 20% of their revenue from coal. (The decision was heavily criticized by Bishop’s then-colleagues, including Joe Hockey and Jamie Briggs.) More recently, the ANU’s Below Zero initiative has committed to reducing carbon emissions to below zero by 2030.
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A freedom of information request submitted to the ANU regarding Bishop and MinRes was rejected because staff were unable to find any relevant documents on the matter. Essentially, there is no paper trail to show that Bishop told the university about her new role and her video.
Crikey raised questions with the ANU about whether Bishop had told the ANU about his role in MinRes and whether there was a conflict of interest in promoting a mining company as the university sought to move away from fossil fuels.
A spokesman for the ANU simply said: “Please note that the Rector has fulfilled all the requirements of the University.”
Crikey understands that Bishop has declared working with his firm Julie Bishop & Partners, but is not required to disclose who the firm has worked with.
Bishop did not immediately respond to a request for comment via his signature.
The seven-minute MinRes video, titled “New Video Showcases Our New Headquarters,” follows Bishop as he shows off the company’s workplace wellness amenities. Notably absent is any mention of the company’s actual mining work.
“While the video’s humor and use of satire will capture the attention of our new and potential employees, there is a serious message behind the content,” the video description reads.