On This Day … 01 December

People (Births)

  • 1930 – Marie Bashir, Australian psychiatrist, academic, and politician, 37th Governor of New South Wales.
  • 1937 – Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Latvian psychologist and politician, President of Latvia.

Marie Bashir

Dame Marie Roslyn Bashir AD CVO (born 01 December 1930) is the former and second longest-serving Governor of New South Wales. Born in Narrandera, New South Wales, Bashir graduated from the University of Sydney in 1956 and held various medical positions, with a particular emphasis in psychiatry. In 1993 Bashir was appointed the Clinical Director of Mental Health Services for the Central Sydney Area Health Service, a position she held until appointed governor on 01 March 2001. She has also served as the Chancellor of the University of Sydney (2007-2012).

Bashir retired on 1 October 2014 and was succeeded as governor by General David Hurley.

Vaira Vike-Freiberga

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (born 1 December 1937) is a Latvian politician who served as the sixth President of Latvia from 1999 to 2007. She is the first woman to hold the post. She was elected President of Latvia in 1999 and re-elected for the second term in 2003.

Dr. Vaira Freiberga is a professor and interdisciplinary scholar, having published eleven books and numerous articles, essays and book chapters in addition to her extensive speaking engagements. As President of the Republic of Latvia 1999-2007, she was instrumental in achieving membership in the European Union and NATO for her country. She is active in international politics, was named Special Envoy to the Secretary General on United Nations reform and was official candidate for UN Secretary General in 2006.

She remains active in the international arena and continues to speak in defence of liberty, equality and social justice, and for the need of Europe to acknowledge the whole of its history. She is a well-known pro-European, as such, in December 2007 she was named vice-chair of the Reflection group on the long-term future of the European Union. She is also known for her work in psycholinguistics, semiotics and analysis of the oral literature of her native country.

After her presidency Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga serving as Co-Chair Nizami Ganjavi International Centre, served as the President of Club of Madrid, the world’s largest forum of former Heads of State and Government, from 2014 to 2020. She is also a member of the International Programme Board of the Prague European Summit.

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