Professor Michael Dodson AM

Recent Speaker

Chairperson of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Arrive from 11.30am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm

'Address to the National Press Club'

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Professor Michael (Mick) Dodson, AM, was born in Katherine in the Northern Territory. He is a Yawuru man, traditional owners of land and waters in the Broome area of the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Professor Dodson was educated in Katherine, Darwin and Victoria. He completed a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Laws at Melbourne’s Monash University in 1974 and was the first Aboriginal person to graduate from law in Australia.

Professor Dodson also holds an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Technology Sydney, an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of New South Wales and received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Canberra, in recognition of his contribution to human rights, social justice and Indigenous affairs in Australia and around the world.

Professor Dodson is the Chairperson of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University (ANU), a professor of law at the ANU College of Law and a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

From August 1988 to October 1990, Professor Dodson was Counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. In April 1993 he was appointed Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC).

Professor Dodson is a prominent advocate on issues affecting Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as well as other Indigenous peoples of the world. He was Chairman of the United Nations Advisory Group for the Voluntary Fund for the Decade of Indigenous Peoples and in January 2005, was appointed a member to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Professor Dodson participated in the crafting of the text of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations (WGIP), and the Inter-sessional Working Group of the Human Rights Commission. In 2007, the declaration was adopted overwhelmingly by the United Nations General Assembly.

From September 2011 to February 2012, Professor Dodson attended Harvard University where he was the Malcolm Fraser and Gough Whitlam Harvard Chair in Australian Studies and a Visiting Professor, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

Professor Mick Dodson’s contribution and service to Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities were recognised in January 2003 when he was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2009, he was the Australian of the Year.

Luke Sayers

Recent Speaker

CEO of PwC Australia and Vice Chairman of PwC Asia

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Arrive from 11.30am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm

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Luke Sayers is the CEO of PwC Australia and Vice Chairman of PwC Asia.

Luke joined the firm in 1991 and was appointed CEO in 2012, at age 42, making him the youngest ever CEO of PwC Australia.

Luke is actively involved in his local and national community, holding positions on the Boards of Special Olympics Australia, Carlton Football Club, and the Australian Business and Communities Network. Luke is also a member of the Human Capital Taskforce for this year’s B20.

Luke lives in Melbourne with his wife and four daughters.

The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Recent Speaker

Leader of the Opposition

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Arrive from 11.30am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm

'Address to the National Press Club'

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Bill Shorten is the Federal Member for Maribyrnong and the Leader of the Federal Labor Party.

Bill joined the Labor party at 17 and has devoted his entire adult life to serving the labour movement and its ideals.

Bill’s love for the Labor party, and his belief in equity, opportunity and social justice stem from his family story.

His parents, Ann and William worked hard to give Bill and his twin brother Robert the best possible start in life. Bill attended Xavier College before going on to do a double degree in Arts/Law at Monash University. He also completed an MBA at the Melbourne Business School.

Bill was first elected as the Member for Maribyrnong in 2007 and was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Children’s Services and Bushfire Reconstruction.

He joined the Ministry in 2010 and the Cabinet in 2011.

As a senior member of the Rudd and Gillard Governments, Bill played a key role in securing a number of historic Labor reforms.

Bill had championed the idea of a National Disability Insurance Scheme since his time as a Parliamentary Secretary and its launch in 2013 will soon guarantee that Australians with a disability get the support they need as well as proving them with new opportunities in education and employment.

During his time as Minister for Workplace Relations, Bill continued the Labor Government’s ongoing commitment to a fair and productive workplace relations system.

After what he had seen as Parliamentary Secretary for Bushfire reconstruction, Bill used his position as Minister for Financial Services to ensure that Queenslanders devastated by the floods of 2011 received fair treatment from their insurance companies.

As Minister for Superannuation, he delivered an increase in universal superannuation to 12 per cent, ensuring that Australians don’t work hard their whole lives only to retire poor.

After Labor lost office in 2013, Bill contested the leadership and became the first leader of the Labor Party to be elected by both Caucus and rank-and-file members.

Before entering Parliament, Bill already had extensive experience representing the rights of working Australians.

As State Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union from 1998 to 2006 and National Secretary from 2001 to 2007, Bill has a fundamental belief in workers’ rights, equal opportunity and workplace safety and his respect for industry bargaining and advocacy.

During his time as National Secretary of the AWU, Bill gained national attention after dramatic Beaconsfield mine collapse in Tasmania in 2006. During those remarkable days, Bill led negotiations between the miners and management and also played a key role in the media, keeping millions of Australians informed.

As a former director of both AustralianSuper and the Victorian Funds Management Corporation, Bill believes strongly in the importance of national retirement savings and giving Australians comfort and dignity in their old age.

Bill is the loving husband of Chloe, proud dad and stepdad of three children and the patient owner of Theo the bulldog (named after US President Theodore Roosevelt).

Chloe, a former resources industry manager, shares many of Bill’s policy passions and has worked with him to support disability reform, science and medical research and maternal and child health organisations.

Bill, Chloe, the children and Theo live in the electorate of Maribyrnong – the home of the Cox Plate, Dame Edna Everage and some of Melbourne’s best food and coffee.