Profile with Marnie Hughes-Warrington

Marnie Hughes-Warrington (Tasmania & Merton 1992) is Deputy Vice Chancellor at the Australian National University. She was previously Pro-Vice Chancellor at Monash University. She is the author of several books, including Fifty Key Thinkers on History and Revisionist Histories. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Tasmania and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. She is currently writing a book on Historiography and Wonder.

Rhodes Project: Where do you call home?

Marnie Hughes-Warrington: Wherever my family and I are. Right now that’s Canberra, the capital of Australia.

Rhodes Project: Who is your favorite author?

Marnie Hughes-Warrington: Hegel.

Rhodes Project: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Marnie Hughes-Warrington: When I was little, I wanted to be a librarian. And then somebody told me that when you’re a librarian you don’t get to the read the books all day, and I was very disappointed. I was determined then to find a job that would let me read books!

Rhodes Project: What’s the best part of your job now?

Marnie Hughes-Warrington: It’s very dynamic. I get to deal with a wide range of opportunities every day, and I love it.

Rhodes Project: What’s the most challenging part of your job now?

Marnie Hughes-Warrington: I often have to meet with people when there’s a change that they aren’t happy with, or they are frustrated with something that’s happening. That’s certainly very challenging. But it’s also a core part of the job, and I don’t have a problem with it.

Rhodes Project: Can you tell me about a favorite past project?

Marnie Hughes-Warrington: My favorite education project is taking ANU into edX, the massive online open course provider. That is great fun because we really feel like we’re looking around the next corner of education.  We don’t quite know the answers, but it’s great fun. My favorite research project is always the book I’m currently working on. I just finished a book on Revisionism and I’m just about to start a book on the role of wonder in history making.

Rhodes Project: What advice would you give to a young woman starting her career?

Marnie Hughes-Warrington: Don’t be shy about asking for mentoring. And don’t think it’s the wrong thing to do to ask for opportunities.

Rhodes Project: If you had unlimited resources to address any one issue, global or local, what would it be and why?

Marnie Hughes-Warrington: The thing that would most change the world is everybody having better access to education. Then we would see people who live in very desperate financial and social situations being given the opportunity to change the world in a way that empowers them.

Rhodes Project: Is there any one moment in your career that you’d like to revisit and change?

Marnie Hughes-Warrington: No, actually. I think everything has happened the way it’s happened, and I don’t beat myself up for things that happened in the past. I think I’ve had a very lucky life!

Rhodes Project: What’s something you’re looking forward to right now?

Marnie Hughes-Warrington: I’m having a holiday with my family in North Wales in two weeks. We’re just going to go out and walk the hills and just appreciate how beautiful the world is!

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