The Honourable George Souris AM

Library Council President
The Hon George Souris AM on the steps of the historic Mitchell building.


A career spanning 34 years in elected office, first in local government for seven years and then 27 years in the NSW Parliament where he has occupied 13 portfolios over three governments (Greiner, Fahey and O’Farrell) and a further 13 shadow portfolios in Opposition including a period as the Parliamentary Deputy Leader and then as Leader of the National Party. Mr Souris started his professional career as an accountant in public practice. 

He is currently a Director of the Australian Film Institute | Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, a Director of the Australian Rugby Foundation, Director of Racing New South Wales and Chair of  Upper Hunter Development Corporation. Mr Souris is also a Director of the Board of Destination NSW. 

What inspired you to take this role?

I’ve always had a respect for the State Library and libraries in general so when I had the opportunity as the Minister for the Arts to have direct portfolio responsibility, I learned to appreciate what a powerhouse institution it is and what a priceless collection of Australia’s heritage it holds. I am an enthusiastic friend of the State Library. There are many hundreds of friends and benefactors of the State Library and it is our duty to ensure their support is not wasted and that the State Library remains as vital tomorrow in Sydney, Western Sydney and Regional NSW as it is today. 

I record my thanks to our State Librarian and our wonderful staff. I could not be happier than to see the Reading Rooms full and events and exhibitions of our treasures heavily patronised. More of the treasures held by the State Library will progressively be placed on exhibition. The Open Day in 2018 demonstrated a great engagement and interest from the public and it is my hope this continues. 

Our obligation as Trustees is to leave the institution in better shape than we found it.

Photo: The Hon George Souris AM is standing at the main entrance of the historic Mitchell building, which houses the Mitchell Reading Room. The entrance was constructed as part of a redesign of the building in the early 1940s, and features a portico of Ionic columns.