Simon Mordant

Recent Speaker

Australian Commissioner for the 2015 Venice Biennale

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

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

'The Venice Biennale - what's in it for Australia'

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Simon will address the importance of Australia's participation at the Venice Biennale and the importance of Australia's creative talent being exposed internationally and he will also discuss the journey to building a new Australian Pavilion in Venice which will open in May 2015.

Australia is the only country able to redevelop its Pavilion and is concluding the building of the first 21st Century building in the Biennale Gardens and indeed in Venice-there is great interest in this project from within the art's community internationally and the Venetian community.

Australia wants to be known as a culturally ambitious nation and Australia's participation in the Venice Biennale and the construction of this new building-a public and private sector project where the substantial portion of the funding was raised from 80 families across Australia-is a key part of realising that aspiration.

Simon Mordant is a corporate adviser and philanthropist.

He has 30 years’ experience in advising Australian and multinational companies and Government on their M&A and capital markets strategy.

Until 2014 Simon was Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Greenhill & Co. In 1999, Simon co-founded Caliburn and was Joint Chief Executive Officer of the firm. Previously, he was Co-Head of Corporate Finance at BZW and ABN Amro. Simon is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Simon is the Australian Commissioner to the 2015 Venice Biennale , a role he also performed in 2013. In addition Simon has led the campaign for the redevelopment of the new Australian Pavilion in Venice.

Simon is Chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; a director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a director of MOMA PS1, a director of the Garvan Research Foundation, a member of the International Council of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, a member of the Executive Committee of the Tate International Council, a member of the Leadership Council of the New Museum in NY, an advisory board member of Venetian Heritage in Italy, a member of the Wharton Executive Board for Asia, and was Deputy President of Takeover Panel 2000-2010. Simon was awarded an AM being made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for “Services to the Arts and to the cultural environment of Australia through philanthropic and executive roles, and to the community”.

Catherine McGregor

Recent Speaker

Director of Research and Analysis in the Office of the Chief of Air Force

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

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

'Address to the National Press Club'

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Catherine McGregor undertook gender transition in the midst of two male dominated environments-the Army and global cricket. Along the way she has had cause to reflect on the nature of being male and female in our society. She has wide experience in politics the media and the ADF and is currently the senior transgendered military officer in the world. Catherine will deliver the second keynote address for Women in Media – Canberra.

Catherine McGregor entered the Royal Military College Duntroon on 14 January 1974. She graduated to the Royal Australian Infantry having completed an honours degree in Arts and being awarded the C.E.W. Bean Prize in Military History in 1977. Over the intervening forty years she held a wide variety of appointments inside the Australian Army.

Catherine has been deployed on operations to Timor Leste on three occasions, commanding the Australian Army Training Team in East Timor and served as the political adviser and translator for the Commander of Australian Forces during the crisis in 2006. She is a Tetum linguist.

Catherine was the speech writer to every Chief of the Army since 2001. She was the Director of the Land Warfare Studies Centre in Canberra, in which capacity she was the editor in chief of the Australian Army Journal and the LWSC Strategy monograph series. In 2008 she was a Visiting Fellow at the Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War at Oxford University. For her exceptional contribution to Army strategic policy she was awarded the Order of Australia in the Military Division on 26 January 2012.

For a number of years she was a civilian during which time she worked in politics and the media. She served on the staff of the Honourable Bob Carr Leader of the News South Wales Opposition and later Premier. She was an official of the New South Wales Branch of the Australian Labor Party and also worked for the Federal Liberal Party in 1993 and 1994.

Catherine wrote a weekly column in the Australian Financial Review and The Australian newspapers between 1994 and 2000. In addition she was a regular expert commentator on Australian politics on all major television and radio networks, as well as commenting on Australian politics for the BBC, CNN and CNBC Asia.

Catherine is a published author (under her previous name Malcolm McGregor) having written a biography of Paul McLean in 1985and Indian Summer-Reflections on Australia’s Summer Game in 2012. She has written on Cricket for The Australian Financial Review and The Spectator Magazine and the ABC Drum and was part of the ABC Grandstand broadcast team over the past summer.

Catherine commenced gender transition in June 2012 and since the 8th of July 2012 has been known as Catherine McGregor.

Catherine is a Vice President of Australian Service Cricket Association responsible for Women’s ADF cricket and is the Prime Minister’s delegate to the Cricket Australia National Selection Panel for the PM XI. She is an active player and coach and brand Ambassador for My Coach Cricket and TNF.

Catherine is currently the Director of Research and Analysis in the Office of the Chief of Air Force. She is the highest ranking transgendered military officer in the world.

Professor Warwick Anderson AM

Recent Speaker

Chief Executive Officer of NHMRC

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

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

'Australia's health - is research the best medicine'

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After almost a decade at the helm of Australia's preeminent body for medical research and trusted public health advice, Professor Warwick Anderson is swapping the Senate Estimates waiting room for Chateaux and vineyards as he turns his expertise to the international medical research sector.

In his address to the National Press Club, Professor Anderson will loosen his tie and reflect on the challenges and fluctuations over nine years of funding research and the evolution of public health knowledge.

From guidelines on alcohol to zoonosis, Professor Anderson has overseen it all, all while navigating a narrow path of vested interests and political power plays. With the competition for grants at its most fierce, unforseen levels of chronic disease in the population and healthcare expenditure at an all time high, the challenges for the health sector come from all directions.

In particular, Professor Anderson will look at how to better use the evidence from medical research to more effectively, and sustainably, improve the health of Australians (and the nation's economy), and the barriers that stand in the way


Professor Warwick Anderson AM is the Chief Executive Officer of NHMRC, Australia’s major governmental funding body for health and medical research. Previously, he was Head of School of Biomedical Sciences at Monash University and Deputy Director of the Baker Medical Research Institute, following research fellowships at the University of Sydney and Harvard Medical School.

Professor Anderson obtained his PhD from the University of Adelaide. His research has focused on renal causes of hypertension, including the roles of renal vascular remodeling, renal innervation and the renin-angiotensin system. He has published over 170 peer review articles.

Professor Anderson is a Board member of the Global Alliance for Chronic Disease, a member of Heads of International (Biomedical) Research Organizations. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and an International Fellow of the Council for High Blood Pressure of the American Heart Foundation. He serves on the National Science, Technology and Research Committee, and the CRC Committee. He is a member of the International Advisory Committee on Biomedical Science for Singapore. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2005.

He has been appointed Secretary-General, Human Frontier Science Program effective from July 2015.

Catherine Livingstone AO

Recent Speaker

President, Business Council of Australia

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

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

'Address to the National Press Club'

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In the second year of her presidency of Australia’s peak business group and in her first address to the National Press Club, Ms Livingstone will canvass key national economic, social and political challenges for Australia and the policy agenda required to address them.

Catherine Livingstone was elected President of the Business Council of Australia in March 2014.

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant and working with Price Waterhouse in Sydney and London, Catherine joined the Nucleus Group and spent nearly 20 years working in the field of implantable medical devices, including six years as CEO and Managing Director of Cochlear Limited from 1994 to 2000.

Catherine is Chairman of Telstra Corporation Limited and is a Director of WorleyParsons Limited, Director of the George Institute for Global Health, Director of Saluda Medical Pty Ltd and President of the Australian Museum Trust. She is a Member of the Advisory Board for the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at the University of Sydney.

Catherine is a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council and has worked on many government reviews over the past 10 years, including as a Member of the Advisory Panel for the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper and a Member of the National Innovation Systems Review Panel. She is a Member of the Commonwealth Science Council.

Catherine was Chairman of CSIRO from 2001 to 2006, President of Chief Executive Women from 2007 to 2008, and Chairman of the Australian Business Foundation from 2002 to 2005.

She has served on the boards of Macquarie Group Limited, Goodman Fielder Limited and Rural Press Limited.

Catherine holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and an Honorary Doctorate in Business from Macquarie University, an Honorary Doctorate in Science from Murdoch University, and an Honorary Doctorate in Business from UTS.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

In 2003 Catherine was awarded the Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society in Business Leadership. In 2008 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the development of Australian science, technology and innovation policies to the business sector through leadership and management roles and as a contributor to professional organisations.


Dave Oliver

Recent Speaker

Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

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

'Address to the National Press Club'

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Dave Oliver is the Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. He was elected at the 2012 Congress, following the retirement of Jeff Lawrence.

In 2007, Dave was elected National Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. He was re-elected in 2011.

After leaving school in 1977, Dave began his working life as 15 year old apprentice at JR Simpson Engineering in Botany, NSW.

On completing his trade as a fitter, Dave went to work for the Sydney lift company, Johns Perry Lifts (later Boral Lifts).

He first became a union site delegate while working on the construction of the elevator in the new NSW Industrial Relations Commission building at 80 William St, Sydney.

After 10 years in the industry, and as a union activist with a passion for safety and asbestos issues, Dave became an organiser with the AMWU in 1988.

As a NSW Branch official, Dave led campaigns to protect workers’ entitlements from company collapses, before moving to Victoria as the Assistant National Secretary and then becoming Victorian Branch Secretary in 2002.

As AMWU National Secretary, Dave played a key role in the Your Rights at Work campaign and the Manufacturing: Australia’s Future campaign, as well as several government taskforces on apprenticeships, skills and the resource sector.

He is currently a director of Australian Super and a member of the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Manufacturing.

Dave is married with four children and lives in Melbourne. He is a member of St Kilda Football Club and in his spare time likes to escape on his touring motorbike.

The Hon Joe Hockey MP

Recent Speaker


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

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

'Post Budget Address'

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Joe Hockey was sworn in as Treasurer on 18 September 2013.

Mr Hockey was first elected to the Australian Parliament in 1996 and following his re-election in 1998, was made Minister for Financial Services and Regulation.

He has since held a number of Ministerial portfolios including Small Business and Tourism, Human Services and Employment and Workplace Relations.

Following the 2007 Federal Election Mr Hockey held a number of senior Shadow Ministry portfolios before being appointed Shadow Treasurer in February 2009.

Prior to entering politics, Mr Hockey was a banking and finance lawyer with a major Australian law firm. He was also Director of Policy to the Premier of New South Wales.

Mr Hockey is married with three children.