Speakers

Professor Allan Fels AO

Recent Speaker

Chair of the National Mental Health Commission

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

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

'Time to aim higher: mental health must be part of Australia’s economic and social reform agenda'

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Professor Allan Fels was until recently Dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), an institution established by the governments of Australia, New Zealand, the states and territories and 16 leading universities that educate and train senior public sector leaders. He also is Chairman of the Haven Foundation, which seeks to provide accommodation and support for the long-term mentally ill.

Professor Fels was Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission from 1995 to 2003 and before that Chairman of the Trade Practices Commission and Chairman of the Prices Surveillance Authority.

In the field of mental health Professor Fels serves or has served on a number of government advisory boards. He also is patron of many mental health networks. He was a member of the Bayside Health Board for a number of years. Professor Fels is a long-term advocate of mental health policy reform and a carer for his daughter.


Dr Brendan Nelson

Recent Speaker

Director of the Australian War Memorial

Thursday, 6 August 2015

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

'The Gallipoli August Offensive—last throw of the dice'

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The battles on Gallipoli in early August 1915 were the largest and most costly in the entire eight-month-long campaign. Anzac and British troops launched an all-out series of assaults to break the deadlock on the Peninsula and force a decisive victory. All the attacks ended in heart-breaking failure and produced heavy losses on both sides. Many of the sites of the bloody struggle—places such as Lone Pine, The Nek, Chunuk Bair, and Hill 60—became sadly familiar names in Australia and New Zealand. Join Australian War Memorial Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, to hear their story and how their names continue to resonate a century on.

Dr Brendan Nelson commenced as Director of the Australian War Memorial on 17 December 2012. Prior to this, he was the Australian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union and NATO (2009–12). Apart from overseeing a major transformation in Australia’s relationships with the European Union and NATO, Dr Nelson forged deep links with the communities of Flanders, where almost 13,000 Australians lost their lives during the First World War. He regularly made the trip from Brussels to the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial at Ieper, where the names of 6,190 Australians who died in the First World War and have no known grave are listed.

Born at Coburg, Victoria, in 1958, Dr Nelson studied at Flinders University, South Australia, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. He worked as a medical practitioner in Hobart from 1985 to 1995. In 1993 he was elected unopposed as National President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), becoming the youngest person ever to hold this position. He had previously served as National Vice President, and Tasmanian Branch President, of the AMA. During his time as National President, he campaigned on a wide range of social policy issues, including Aboriginal health and immunisation, and led the campaign against tobacco advertising and sponsorship of sport. He was also a relentless advocate for private health insurance. In 1995 Dr Nelson retired as president of the AMA following his preselection as the Liberal candidate for the Sydney seat of Bradfield.

On 2 March 1996 Dr Nelson was elected to the Federal Parliament of Australia. After the 2001 election, he was promoted from parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Defence to Cabinet in the senior portfolio of Minister for Education, Science and Training driving major reforms to universities and a focus on school standards and reporting. In 2006 he became Minister for Defence when troops were deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands. He oversaw major new investments in Defence including the decision to purchase 24 FA-18F super hornets, three air warfare destroyers, two Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs), two additional battalions for the Australian army and a multibillion dollar recruitment and retention package. In November 2007 Dr Nelson was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, serving as Leader of the Opposition until September 2008. The following year he retired from federal politics before taking up his ambassadorial appointment.

In 1995 Dr Nelson was awarded the AMA’s highest honour, the Gold Medal for “Distinguished Service to Medicine and Humanity”. In recognition of his commitment to public health, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and in 2011 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Flinders University.

In addition to being Director of the Australian War Memorial Dr Nelson is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at ANU; a member of the Chief Scientist’s Advisory Council; Patron of Lifeline ACT; Patron of Trish MS Research; Patron of the Weary Dunlop Foundation; Patron of the Kangaroo March Centenary Re-enactment and Patron of Soldier On.

Dr Nelson is married and has three adult children; his interests include Australian military history, music, motorcycles, and tennis.


Hon Andrew Robb AO MP

Recent Speaker

Minister for Trade and Investment

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

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

'Address to the National Press Club'

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On the 10th anniversary of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement, Minister Robb will outline how the Australian Government is promoting increased economic activity and prosperity through its trade and investment policy agenda.

Mr Robb has qualifications in Agricultural Science and a first class Honours Degree in Economics.

In the 70s Mr Robb worked as an animal health officer and then as agricultural economist. In the 80s he was Executive Director of the Cattle Council of Australia, and later, Executive Director of the National Farmers' Federation.

From 1990 to 1997 Mr Robb was the Federal Director and Campaign Director of the Liberal Party. The highlight of that time was directing the successful 1996 federal election campaign.

From 1997 to 2004 Mr Robb worked for Mr Kerry and James Packer, as well as advising major companies around Australia and overseas. During this time he also built an Australia-wide direct marketing technology company, was on the investment team for the Gorgan Gas Project, and was a Board Member of Sinclair Knight Merz, Australia’s largest consulting engineering company.

Mr Robb has also been a Board Member of the Garvan Medical Research Foundation, the Menzies Research Centre, the Big Brother Big Sister mentoring organisation, a member of the YWCA Leadership group and was honorary Treasurer of the Liberal Party in NSW. He also served as Chairman of the Australian Direct Marketing Association.

In 2003 Mr Robb was awarded the Office of the Order of Australia for his service to agriculture, politics and the community.

Mr Robb was elected to the Federal seat of Goldstein in October 2004, holding positions as Chairman of the Government’s Workplace Relations Taskforce, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and then Minister for Vocational and Further Education. In Opposition, he held positions as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Climate Change, Chairman of the Coalition Policy Development Committee and Shadow Minister for Finance, Deregulation and Debt Reduction.

Following the Coalition victory at the 2013 election, Mr Andrew Robb was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister for Trade and Investment.

Mr Robb lives in Brighton with his wife Maureen, and has three adult children Tom, Joe and Pip.


Gillon McLachlan

Recent Speaker

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Football League

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

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

'Address to the National Press Club'

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Gillon McLachlan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Football League.

He has worked for the AFL since 2000, initially as a consultant in strategic planning and in November, 2003, was appointed General Manager, Commercial Operations.

He subsequently assumed additional responsibilities for broadcasting and major projects in 2006 and in 2008, was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2008 with responsibility for AFL broadcasting, digital media, fixturing, venue agreements and stadia infrastructure.

In December, 2012 he was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer, a position he held until his appointment as Chief Executive Officer on April 30, 2014 to succeed Andrew Demetriou.

Key outcomes in his various roles with the AFL have included the last AFL Media Rights Deal, still the largest in Australian Sports Rights History, the establishment of AFL Media, and the establishment of the two new clubs.

He has a Bachelor of Laws from Melbourne University, a Bachelor of Commerce from Adelaide University and completed the Senior Executive Program at Stanford University.

He and his wife Laura have 3 children.


Christopher Pyne in conversation with David Speers

Recent Speaker

Minister for Education

Thursday, 27 August 2015

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

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In partnership with the Melbourne Writers Festival, the National Press Club presents Education Minister and author Christopher Pyne in conversation with David Speers. In this special event, Christopher will discuss A Letter to My Children, his honest and compelling account of why he chose a life of public service in the cauldron of federal parliament.

thumbnailIn 1993, at the age of 25, Christopher Pyne was elected to the House of Representatives for the seat of Sturt. Christopher is the Minister for Education and Training, and Leader of the House of Representatives.

In his time in Parliament he has been Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training, Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives, Shadow Minister for Justice, Border Protection and Assisting Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Minister for Ageing, Assistant Minister and Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing as well as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Family and Community Services and Chairman of the Electoral Matters and Communications Committees of the House of Representatives.

Before entering Parliament, Christopher practised as a solicitor and was a senior member of the Liberal Party, serving on both the Federal Executive (1990-91) and the South Australian State Executive (1988 -1992).

Christopher has written for The Adelaide Advertiser, The Melbourne Herald Sun, The Age The Sunday Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Adelaide Review, The Australian Financial Review and The Australian newspapers, as well as The Bulletin magazine. He regularly appears on radio and television as a commentator and advocate. From 1993 – 2004 he published his own issues journal, Options.

Christopher is a member of many community, social and sporting groups in his electorate, and is a strong supporter of the mighty Redlegs Football Club!

Christopher is married to Carolyn and is the father of Eleanor, Barnaby, Felix and Aurelia. To relax he enjoys reading Australian, US and European history, gardening, following AFL football and spending time with family and friends.

thumbnailDavid Speers has been Political Editor of Sky News Australia since 2000.

He hosts “PM Agenda” each day from Parliament House in Canberra and “The Nation” each week from Sydney, where he regular interviews senior political figures and commentators.

David has been chosen by both sides of politics to anchor every Leaders’ Debate and Forum at the last three federal elections.

He is also President of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

David has also covered the last three US Presidential election campaigns from Washington and interviewed many world leaders, including Tony Blair and George W. Bush.


Elizabeth Broderick

Recent Speaker

Sex Discrimination Commissioner

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

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

'Address to the National Press Club'

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Elizabeth Broderick was appointed for a five year term as Sex Discrimination Commissioner in September 2007. The term has been extended to September 2015. She was also the Commissioner responsible for Age Discrimination from September 2007 until July 2011.

During her term, she has been committed to improving gender equality through her advocacy in preventing violence against women and sexual harassment, improving lifetime economic security for women, balancing paid work and unpaid caring responsibilities, promoting women’s representation in leadership and strengthening gender equality laws and agencies.

Elizabeth has been a key advocate for Australia’s national paid parental leave scheme and domestic violence reform. She has championed the changes to the ASX Corporate Governance Principles to increase the number of women at decision making level. She has developed the Male Champions of Change strategy and worked with the Australian Government to strengthen gender equality laws and agencies.

In April 2011, the Government appointed Elizabeth, as Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, to lead the Commission’s Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force. Four reports on the Review were tabled in Australia’s Parliament and the Review concluded in March 2014. Elizabeth now leads the Commission’s collaborative work with the Australian Defence Force on embedding cultural change across Navy, Army and Air Force.

Elizabeth is Global Co-Chair of the Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Group, a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact and UN Women; a member of the World Bank’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development; Partner Co-Director with NATO on Women, Peace and Security; and Board Director of Supply Nation. Elizabeth is an Ambassador for the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children; the overall winner of the 100 Women of Influence Awards for 2014 and is a recipient of two honorary doctorates of laws, one from the University of Sydney and one from the University of Technology.

Prior to her appointment, Elizabeth was a partner and board member at law firm Blake Dawson (now Ashurst).

Elizabeth is married and has two teenage children.


Salam Fayyad

Recent Speaker

Former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

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

'Address to the National Press Club'

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Salam Fayyad is an economist, independent politician, and former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority (June 2007-June 2013). Dr. Fayyad was born in Nablus, Palestine in 1952. He graduated with a BSc from the American University of Beirut in 1975 and went on to receive an MBA from St. Edward’s University in 1980 and a PhD (Economics) from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986.

Fayyad held several teaching and research positions, including as a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, before joining the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1987 to 2001, where his tenure included serving as IMF resident representative in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from 1996 to 2001. He then worked in banking, and, in June 2002, he was named Minister of Finance of the Palestinian National Authority. Until he resigned in December 2005, Dr. Fayyad served in that capacity on several cabinets, introducing in the process extensive financial reforms. In January 2006, he ran for elections on a slate of independents and was elected for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), where he served as Chairman of the Finance Committee. In March 2007, Fayyad was appointed again as Minister of Finance in a national unity government, and in June 2007, he was appointed Prime Minister, a position he held until he stepped down in June 2013.

In a speech at Al-Quds University in June 2009, Fayyad rolled out the concept of an ambitious plan that subsequently was elaborated and, in August 2009, adopted as the platform of the 13th Government of the Palestinian Authority, for building the institutions of the future Palestinian state. By April 2011, a year and a half into the implementation of the program, according to reports by the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the PA had attained the standing and attributes of a functioning state in the key governance sectors. Fayyad hailed this recognition as the birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine.

In 2010, Fayyad was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world list. He was also named one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2010 and 2011. Part of Fayyad’s state-building effort was documented in the Hollywood documentary “State 194”, produced by Participant Media. In February 2013, the Department of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin created the Salam Fayyad Excellence Fund for Economics. Fayyad had earlier been named a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Texas (2008). In August 2013, Fayyad founded “Future for Palestine”, a non-profit development foundation. In 2014, Fayyad took part in the IMF External Advisory Group review of Fund policy, joined the Atlantic Council as a Distinguished Statesman, and became the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Middle East and North Africa.

Dr. Fayyad is married to Bashaer Kaloti and has three children: Khaled, Iman and Abdallah.


Jon Entine

Recent Speaker

Author and Science Journalist

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

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

'Address to the National Press Club'

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Mr Jon Entine, who lives in Cincinnati, is a world-famous American author and science journalist. He is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy at the University of California and the Center for Health & Risk Communication at George Mason University. He is also the founder and executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, a biotechnology and genetics outreach organisation that reports daily on the nexus of human and agricultural genetics, media and public policy.

Jon has written seven books, including two bestsellers on population genetics and three on crops, chemicals and genetic engineering , including "Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics is Undermining the Genetic Revolution in Agriculture". He is a contributing columnist to multiple newspapers and magazines and a commentator on radio and television news programs.

Previously, Jon spent 20 years as a network television writer and producer for ABC News and NBC News. He has won 19 major journalism awards, including two Emmys, and was Tom Brokaw's longtime producer at NBC.


Bill Morrow

Recent Speaker

Chief Executive Officer of NBN Co

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

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

'Bridging the digital divide'

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Bill Morrow was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of NBN in December 2013. He joined the company in April 2014 with a remit to ensure all homes, businesses and communities across Australia can have access to high speed broadband as soon as possible, at affordable prices and at least cost to taxpayers. Under Morrow, the NBN has become available to more than one million premises, with the Company’s goal to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020.

Mr Morrow’s career spans senior leadership positions at major telecommunications companies and public utilities worldwide, and the building of large scale telecommunications networks.

Prior to his current role, he served as CEO of Vodafone Hutchison Australia, and Clearwire Corporation and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the United States.

Previously he was CEO of Vodafone's Europe region through Vodafone Group PLC and ran the group’s businesses in Japan and the UK.

A Californian now settled in Australia, Mr. Morrow holds an Associate of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Condie College and a B.A. in Business Administration from National University in San Diego.


Alan Joyce

Recent Speaker

Chief Executive Officer of Qantas

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

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

'Address to the National Press Club'

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The global aviation industry has changed dramatically over the past 30 years, putting Australia at the heart of the world’s biggest and most fast-growing region for air travel: the Asia Pacific. Arguably, the changes still to come will be even more significant, as the Asian Century unfolds and new players, partnerships and technology challenge old business models. Against this background, Qantas is working through a $2 billion transformation program to lay foundations for future growth. Alan Joyce will discuss the Qantas Group’s strategy, the enduring power of the Qantas brand, and the role of the national carrier 95 years after Qantas’ formation in regional Queensland.

Alan Joyce became Chief Executive Officer of Qantas in November 2008.

During this time Qantas has embarked on its biggest transformation since it was privatised in 1995, taken delivery of more than 150 new aircraft, expanded in Asia, forged new strategic partnerships, and invested in infrastructure, technology and training to achieve record customer satisfaction.

Mr Joyce served as founding Chief Executive Officer of Jetstar for five years from October 2003, establishing its operations in Australia and across Asia, and previously held senior roles at Qantas, Ansett and Aer Lingus. He was Chairman of the International Air Transport Association between July 2012 and June 2013.