Alumni profile

Andrew Robb AO

Bachelor of Economics (Honours), 1977

Former Australian Minister for Trade and Investment

Until his retirement from politics in 2016, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP was the Australian Minister for Trade and Investment and Federal Member for Goldstein.

Andrew is currently a Board Member of the Kidman cattle enterprise, Chair of Asialink, Asialink Business and CNSDose, and strategic advisor to Beef Innovations Australia, as well as a range of national and international businesses.

With a background in economics and agriculture, Andrew's early career was largely dedicated to advocacy for rural Australia. During the 1990s, Andrew was the Federal Director and Campaign Director of the Liberal Party, where he was instrumental in leading the successful 1996 federal election campaign. 

Andrew believes La Trobe was crucial in the development of his career, helping to form his views in both business and politics.

“If you’re going to succeed and achieve things, you have to have that reasonable measure of self. A lot of that came out at La Trobe," Andrew said.

“I met two lecturers who, in many respects, fundamentally changed the course of my life… and crystallised my philosophy. 

“I established my own view of the world and it’s been a big part in my subsequent development."

Andrew believes that the diversity of La Trobe enables the University's free-thinking approach.

“I feel at La Trobe, because of the culture, the diversity, the natural acceptance of other cultures and backgrounds, it leads to more of an acceptance of other ideas and other dispositions," he said.

Andrew's contributions to community and public life are extensive. He has been a board member of the Garvan Medical Research Foundation, the Menzies Research Centre and the Big Brother Big Sister mentoring organisation. 

Following a personal struggle with depression in 2011, he released his memoir, Black Dog Daze: Public Life, Private Demons. He was widely praised for raising public awareness and diminishing the stigma associated with this debilitating illness, which is now the largest cause of disability worldwide.

Distinguished Business and commerce

Last updated: 1st May 2019