The Hon Susan Ryan AO

Recent Speaker

Age Discrimination Commissioner

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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

'The longevity revolution: averting the economic crisis of an ageing Australia'

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We are in the grip of an economic and social crisis . People are living into their 80s and 90s and beyond, and most are living healthy lives. In 40 years’ time we will have 1.8 million Australians aged 85 and over. Yet public policy, business practice and community attitudes are failing to respond to these changes. At this stage the longevity revolution is fast becoming a potential crisis.

Today’s widespread rejection of workers over 50 condemns them to up to 40 years of unemployment. This could be around 25% more than the years they have spent in the workforce. It could amount to 40 years living off the public purse. Our country can’t afford this unnecessary cost. The cost can be avoided if we embrace the power of this sector of our population.

The way we address this issue today will determine the strength of our economy in the future. It will determine both the quality of our lives and whether older people are forced to become a drain on our economy.

It is the greatest challenge to economic management faced by our country in decades.

Yet, it is not inevitable that 1.8 million Australians will have to rely on public expenditure. In fact, it is a matter of choice – choice by governments, choice by employers and choice by the community.

The choices we make today will determine whether we can successfully manage to turn this longevity crisis into an enduring and productive longevity revolution.

In this address to the National Press Club, Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan will examine this critical national issue, look at possible solutions and announce the actions she will be taking over the second half of her term to help address both this situation.

Susan Ryan was appointed as Australia’s first Age Discrimination Commissioner on 30 July 2011 for a five year term. From July 2014 she has also been the Acting Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

Up until her appointment as Commissioner, she had been Women’s Ambassador for ActionAid Australia and chaired the Australian Human Rights Group since 2008. She had also chaired the Australian Human Rights Act Campaign Inc. since 2005.

Immediately prior to commencing as Commissioner, Susan was also the Independent Chair of the IAG and NRMA Superannuation Plan and had been President of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees from 2000 to 2007, member of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors from 2001 to 2007, member of the ASX Corporate Governance Council from 2003 to 2007 and CEO of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia from 1993 to 1997.

Susan has also held a number of positions at the University of New South Wales. She was Pro-chancellor and Council member from 1998, Chair of the UNSW Risk Committee from 2002 and Chair of the Advisory Council FASS UNSW since 2010.

From 1975 to 1988, Susan was Senator for the ACT, becoming the first woman to hold a Cabinet post in a federal Labor Government. She served in senior portfolios in the Hawke Government as Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women and Special Minister of State. As Education Minister, Susan saw school retention rates double and universities and TAFEs grow significantly without the charging of tuition fees. She also pioneered extensive anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation, including the landmark Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Affirmative Action Act 1986.

In 1990, Susan was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia for her contribution to Parliament.

She published her autobiography, Catching the Waves, in 1999 and has been a frequent media commentator on her areas of expertise.

Senator Christine Milne

Recent Speaker

Leader of the Australian Greens

Thursday, 18 September 2014

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

'Taking the power back'

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In the lead up to Ban Ki Moon’s climate summit, and the climate negotiations in Lima this December through to Paris next year, the Abbott government has condemned Australia to pariah status with our neighbours, allies and export partners. But we don’t have to put up with it. Australians can wrench the power back from the coal industry, the big corporate polluters, and their delivery vehicle the Abbott government. Australians can stand up to the unrelenting assault that is being mounted on renewable energy and genuine efforts to reduce greenhouse pollution. Greens Leader Christine Milne will outline how the Greens will lead on this critical campaign.

Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens and a Senator for Tasmania, is this year marking 25 years in politics.

Christine grew up on a dairy farm in Tasmania and was arrested and jailed during the campaign to save the Franklin River in 1983. Following her successful campaign to stop the native forest-based Wesley Vale pulp mill in the late 1980s, she was elected to the Parliament of Tasmania in 1989.

Christine became the first woman to lead a Tasmanian political party in 1993 and led the Tasmanian Greens as they held the balance of power from 1996-98. She pioneered the idea of multi-party power sharing politics in Australia and is committed to developing ethically-driven leadership.

Christine entered federal politics in 2004 and became leader of the Australian Greens in 2012, again holding the balance of power, this time in the Senate.

Christine's deep policy knowledge about climate change and her unparalleled experience with power-sharing minority governments secured an agreement to introduce an emissions trading scheme in Australia subsequent to the establishment of the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee. As lead negotiator for the Greens on climate policy, Christine achieved through that committee not only the emissions trading scheme, but the biodiversity fund, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and $10 billion for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Christine intends to continue standing up to the conservative Abbott government, fighting for a clean economy, to protect the natural environment, caring for refugees and to be a voice for a more equal community.

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Recent Speaker

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Shadow and Minister for Tourism

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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

'A national agenda for more productive, sustainable and liveable cities'

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With four out of five Australians living in cities and with our cities producing 80 per cent of national GDP, there’s never been a stronger case for Commonwealth leadership on urban policy. Better planning and more inter-governmental co-operation will extract economy-wide productivity gains from our cities and improve our quality of life. Yet the Abbott Government is withdrawing from the urban policy space with cuts to urban public transport and the abolition of the Government’s Major Cities Unit. Anthony Albanese will make the case for direct Commonwealth investment in cities as well as policy leadership to ensure they drive economic growth but also remain great places to live, not just now, but decades into the future.

Anthony grew up in a public housing community in Camperdown in Sydney and attended St Joseph's Camperdown and St Mary's Cathedral College and then studied economics at the University of Sydney.

He recognised early in life that there was a need to fight for social justice to provide equal opportunity in Australian society.  This inspired him to join the Labor Party in 1979 while still at school.

Anthony is a passionate advocate for the environment, fair working conditions, multiculturalism and equality for all members of the community regardless of gender, race, age, sexuality or religion.

He believes in opportunities for all through education, universal health care and the need for government to invest in local communities.

In 1996 Anthony was elected as the Member for Grayndler in Sydney’s inner west, where he has lived his entire life.

Anthony and his family live in Marrickville. He has played tennis at Henson Park for 30 years and is a Life Member of the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

World Sight Day Address

The Hon Amanda Vanstone and The Hon Dr Barry Jones AC

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

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

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In an environment where health funding is constrained, this World Sight Day Dr Barry Jones and Amanda Vanstone will speak about the impacts of an ageing population on Australia’s eye health and the benefits of investing in prevention.

thumbnailThe Hon Amanda Vanstone is Chair of Vision 2020 Australia.

Amanda Vanstone hosts Counterpoint, a weekly program on Radio National and is a regular contributor to The Age newspaper.

The former Federal politician and Ambassador to Italy, she is currently Chair of the Royal Flying Doctor Australia, and a member of the boards of Drinkwise Australia and the Port Adelaide Football Club. She is also on the Board of Governors of the Institute for International Trade based at Adelaide University. She served on the National Commission of Audit from November 2013 to March 2014.

Amanda entered Federal Parliament in 1984, as a Senator for South Australia. At that time she was the youngest member of the Senate. She was re-elected in 1987, 1993, 1998 and 2004.

She served as a Minister in the Australian Government from the 1996 election until January 2007. Except for a period of just over three years as Minister for Justice and Customs all her Ministerial positions were in Cabinet. She is the longest serving female Cabinet Minister since Federation.

In 2007 she was appointed as Australian Ambassador to Italy and to San Marino and Australia’s Representative to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the UN World Food Program for three years.

thumbnailThe Hon Dr Barry Jones, AC, Board Member and Immediate Past Chair of Vision 2020 Australia.

Barry is a writer and broadcaster, and serves on three medical research boards. He is the only person to have been elected as a Fellow of all four Australian learned Academies. His best known book is Sleepers, Wake! Technology and the Future of Work (1982), which ran to 26 impressions. He also wrote the Dictionary of World Biography (1994) and an autobiography, A Thinking Reed (2006).

Member, Victorian Legislative Assembly (1972–77); Member of the House of Representatives (1977–98); Minister for Science (1983–90); Australia’s Representative to UNESCO in Paris (1991–95); National President, Australian Labor Party (1992–2000, 2005–06); Chair of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (2000-2011); Professorial Fellow, Melbourne University.

Barry was Chair of Vision 2020 Australia for 12 years and was diagnosed with glaucoma around 25 years ago.

Superannuation Forum

John Brogden and David Whiteley

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

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

'Address to the National Press Club'

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thumbnailDavid Whiteley is the Chief Executive of Industry Super Australia and has for many years been one of Australia’s leading advocates for improved retirement income levels, safeguarding consumer protections in the financial advice industry and better using national savings to boost economic growth.

In addition to service as an industry superfund director, David is as a member of the Investment Advisory Board of IFM Investors, a director of the ACTU’s member services arm, Member Connect and is also a member of the University of Melbourne’s Department of Management and Marketing Advisory Board.

David has worked in financial, commercial and industrial roles in Australia and the United Kingdom and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) and Masters of Commerce.

thumbnailJohn Brogden is the CEO of the Financial Services Council (FSC), which represents Australia's retail and wholesale funds management businesses, superannuation funds, life insurers, financial advisory networks, trustee companies and public trustees. The FSC has over 125 members who are responsible for investing more than $2.3 trillion on behalf of 11 million Australians.

In August 2006 John was appointed CEO of health insurer Manchester Unity, which he successfully merged with HCF in December 2008. From 2006 to 2009 John was the Chairman of Abacus Australian Mutuals, the body representing Australia’s credit unions and building societies.

From 1996 to 2005 John was the Member for Pittwater in the NSW Parliament. In 2002, on his 33rd birthday, John was elected Leader of the Opposition – the youngest person ever to hold the role and lead a major political party in Australia.

John is the Chairman of UrbanGrowth NSW, Chairman of Lifeline Australia, a Director of NIA Limited (health.com.au), Chairman of Furlough House Retirement Village and Chairman of The Broken Bay Institute. John is a member of the NAB Advisory Council for Corporate Responsibility.

John is also the Patron of Kookaburra Kids, Sailability Pittwater, Bilgola Surf Lifesaving Club and Avalon Beach Surf Lifesaving Club. He holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Sydney.

On Australia Day 2014, John was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the community through representational roles with social welfare organisations, particularly Lifeline, to the business and financial sectors and to the Parliament of New South Wales.

Graeme Turner

Recent Speaker

Chair of the Mapping Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Report

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

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

'Mapping the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in Australia'

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Mapping the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences demonstrates how integral the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) sector is to tertiary education, and to the research and innovation system, in Australia. A high quality HASS sector is essential to the development and maintenance of the knowledge infrastructure the nation needs today and into the future. Until now, however, we have only had half the picture. This report serves as a companion volume to the Health of Science report, published by the Office of the Chief Scientist in 2012. The Mapping HASS report provides the most comprehensive account of the HASS sector to date. The report tells us what the sector is currently delivering to the nation, how well it is positioned to respond to the changing needs of the nation in the future, and where we might look to further capitalise upon its potential.

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb AC, will officially launch the report at the beginning of the Address.

Graeme Turner FAHA is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies in the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland. A former President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (2004-2007), a Federation Fellow (2006-2011), convenor of the ARC Cultural Research Network (2006-2010), and a member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Innovation and Engineering Council (2008-2013), Emeritus Professor Turner is one of the leading figures in the humanities in Australia. He has published 24 books with national and international academic publishers, and his work has been translated into ten languages. He is the Chair of the team responsible for the preparation of the Mapping HASS Report.

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.