Professor Ian Young AO

Recent Speaker

Chair, Group of Eight

July 30, 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 Ian Young AO was appointed Vice-Chancellor of ANU in March 2011.

He was previously Vice-Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology for seven years (2003 to 2011). He was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Adelaide from 1999 to 2003. For part of this time he simultaneously held the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor (International). In 2014 he was elected Chair of the Group of Eight (Go8) Board of Directors.

Professor Young has held the positions of Chair of Education Australia Ltd and Director of IDP Education Pty Ltd. From 2009 to 2011, he was a Member of the Australian Qualifications Framework Council.

Following a PhD at James Cook University of North Queensland, Professor Young began his academic career at the Max Planck Institut fur Meteorologie, Hamburg Germany, ultimately becoming Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of New South Wales. Professor Young's research interests are in Coastal and Ocean Engineering and Physical Oceanography. He has a distinguished academic career, having published three books and more than 100 refereed papers. He has had sustained research support from the Australian Research Council and has been a consultant to the US Navy and the offshore oil and gas industry in Australia, Asia and North America.

He has won numerous awards including: the C N Barton Medal and Lorenz G Straub Medal. In 2003 he was awarded the Centenary Medal for services to Australian Society. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia and a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. In 2012 he was named an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to tertiary education.

Ashley Ekins

Recent Speaker

Head of Military History, Australian War Memorial

July 31, 2014

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

'The first draft - Charles Bean, the Great War, and the making of the ANZAC legend'

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Ashley Ekins is Head of the Military History Section at the Australian War Memorial where he has worked as a military historian for almost 25 years. A graduate of the University of Adelaide, he specialises in the military history of the First World War and has published widely on the role of Australian soldiers in the Great War. His books on the First World War include: 1918 Year of Victory: The end of the Great War and the shaping of history (published in 2010 and shortlisted for the Templer Medal for that year); and War Wounds: Medicine and the trauma of conflict (2011). He also compiled and wrote the introduction to the special third edition of C.E.W. Bean’s classic anthology of soldiers’ writings and art from Gallipoli, The Anzac Book (1916), published by the Memorial in 2010.

Ashley’s most recent book is Gallipoli: A ridge too far (2013), a comprehensive, multi-national study of the pivotal battles of August 1915, widely regarded as the turning point of the campaign, with contributions by historians from all the main participating nations, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Turkey, Germany, France and India.

Ashley is also an authority on Australian military involvement in the Vietnam War. As an author of the Australian official histories, he has written extensively on Australian Army ground operations in Vietnam. He co-authored, with his colleague, the late Dr Ian McNeill, volume eight in the official history series, On the Offensive (2003); and he wrote the ninth and final volume in the series, Fighting to the Finish (2012).

The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

Recent Speaker

Minister for Education and Leader of the House of Representatives

August 6, 2014

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

'Spreading opportunity and staying competitive – why we need the higher education reform package'

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The Government’s higher education reform package is a fair and balanced package that spreads opportunity to 80,000 more students and ensures that Australia is not left behind in intensifying global competition in higher education.

For the first time ever, all undergraduate students – whether in diplomas or bachelor degrees – in all approved higher education institutions will be supported by the Commonwealth.

Australia’s universities will be free to chart their own paths, play to their strengths and compete for students. And when universities compete for students, students win.

The Government’s higher education reforms are also fair for students and fair for taxpayers. They enable a future of excellence, rather than mediocrity, in Australian higher education, a matter of vital importance to Australia’s future.


Christopher Pyne was elected to the House of Representatives for the seat of Sturt in 1993.
 Christopher is the Minister for Education and Leader of the House of Representatives.

In his time in Parliament he has been Shadow Minister for Education, Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives, Shadow Minister for Justice, Minister for Ageing, Assistant Minister and Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Family and Community Services.

Before entering Parliament, Christopher practised as a solicitor.

Christopher is married to Carolyn and is the father of Eleanor, Barnaby, Felix and Aurelia.


Population Forum

Recent Speaker

Dick Smith and Graham “Skroo” Turner

August 13, 2014

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

'We need to talk about population'

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Leading Australian businessmen Dick Smith and Graham Turner believe it’s time Australia had a deep and meaningful conversation about population. A 2013 Galaxy poll of 1000 people for News Limited found that people are overwhelmingly against a ‘big Australia’, with 70 per cent hoping the population does not hit the 40 million mark projected by 2050.

Yet there is little discussion in the mainstream media about our rapid rate of growth.

Population is sometimes referred to as ‘the everything issue’, given its profound impact on all areas of government policy, including healthcare, skills and education, infrastructure, urban planning and the environment.

These two renowned businessmen will provide their unique perspectives on why Australian Governments and the media need to talk about population.

thumbnailDick Smith, AO is one of Australia’s most recognised individuals. He is the founder of Dick Smith Electronics, Dick Smith Foods and Australian Geographic, and was 1986 Australian of the Year.

He has also been active in public service having served as Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority and later as chair of the Civil Aviation Safety Board. He led the National Council for the Centenary of Federation and served as an Ambassador for the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.

Dick is a passionate supporter of environmental and conservation efforts and since 1995 has been Chairman of the Australian Geographic Society.

Dick has never been shy to take on controversial issues, from aviation safety to support for refugees and the campaign to return David Hicks to Australia.

Recently he has involved himself in another contentious issue- Australia’s population future. Concerned about our expected rapid population increase, Dick is calling for a national debate on what he considers to be the most important issue facing the nation.

thumbnailGraham “Skroo” Turner was raised on an apple orchard near the Queensland town of Stanthorpe and later trained as a veterinarian at The University of Queensland. After graduating from university, he worked as a vet in western Victoria before moving to London. In London, Skroo and friend Geoff Lomas took their first steps into the travel industry in 1973 when they purchased an ageing bus and started operating budget double-decker bus trips around Europe, North Africa and Asia.

After an eventful start, that company, Top Deck Travel, grew quickly and its success cemented Skroo's future in the travel industry. Skroo’s initial involvement with Top Deck ended in the mid 1980s, when he and his colleagues sold the business to management and devoted their full attention to Flight Centre, a business that had less than 30 shops at that time. As the long serving CEO and Managing Director of the public company that grew from the small band of Flight Centre shops, Skroo has since presided over a golden era of growth and prosperity for Flight Centre Limited. Flight Centre Limited now has more than 2,300 shops and businesses and 15,000 employees globally.

Graham’s friends describe him as a conservationist, marathon runner and triathlete with an earthy outlook on life.

The Hon Wayne Swan

Recent Speaker

Former Federal Treasurer

August 18, 2014

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

'The Good Fight Goes On'

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Wayne Swan was the Treasurer of Australia from 3 December 2007 and Deputy Prime Minister from 24 June 2010, until 27 June 2013. 

Wayne was elected to Parliament as the Member for Lilley from 1993 to 1996, and from 1998 to the present.

In 2011 Wayne was named Euromoney Finance Minister of the Year.

Waynes is the author of 'Postcode: the Splintering of a Nation' (2005), and the much read and hugely influential essay '0.01 Per Cent: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests'. His memoir 'The Good Fight: Six years, two prime ministers and staring down the Great Recession' will be published on Tuesday 19 August 2014.

During his time in Federal Parliament Wayne has been associated, in particular, with reform of the tax and transfer payments system; labour market participation; climate change; ageing and population policy.

Social Determinants of Health Forum

Martin Laverty, Dr Tom Calma and Kate Carnell

August 20, 2014

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

'A Year of Nothing: Why Australian Governments need to respond to the social determinants of health'

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On 20 March 2013, the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs tabled its inquiry report into Australia's domestic response to the World Health Organization's (WHO) Commission on Social Determinants of Health report ‘Closing the gap within a generation’. More than a year on from the release of the inquiry report, no action has been taken to address the recommendations. The evidence-based recommendations from the WHO’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health Report have reaped benefits around the world, but we have yet to see Australian governments commit to their implementation.

Three renowned speakers will provide their unique perspectives on why Australian Governments need to respond to the social determinants of health.

 thumbnailMartin Laverty is the CEO of Catholic Health Australia.

He is Chair of the NSW Heart Foundation, and a member of the National Heart Foundation Board. He is Chair of Sunshine, a not-for profit NSW Disability organisation, and is a member of Canteen's Adolescent Youth Cancer Fund. He is a member of the NSW Public Service Commission Advisory Board. Martin has previously held roles at the NSW Parliament, the NSW Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Smith Family, and Burson-Marsteller. He is a former Board director of the NSW Muscular Dystrophy Association, and former Chair of the disability service provider Challenge Southern Highlands. He holds a Master of Comparative Constitutional Laws, and is a doctoral candidate completing a PhD on the contribution of non-executive directors to organisational outcomes. He has contributed to two books: What If? and Determining the Future: A Fair Go & Health for All, both published by Connor Court.

Martin is married with three children.

thumbnailDr Calma is an Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group whose traditional lands are south west of Darwin and on the Coburg Peninsula in the Northern Territory, respectively. He has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level, worked in the public sector for 40 years and is currently on a number of boards and committees focussing on rural and remote Australia, health, education and economic development.

He was appointed National Coordinator, Tackling Indigenous Smoking in March 2010 to lead the fight against tobacco use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Dr Calma’s most recent previous position was that of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2004 to 2010. He also served as Race Discrimination Commissioner from 2004 until 2009.

Dr Calma has broad experience in public administration, particularly in Indigenous education and employment programs from both a national policy and program perspective. He has served in roles in Australia relating to Indigenous and mainstream employment, community development and education, and as Senior Adviser to the Minister of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Internationally, Dr Calma represented Australia's education and training interests as a senior diplomat in India and Vietnam from 1995 to 2002.

Dr Calma is a strong advocate for Indigenous rights and empowerment and has spearheaded initiatives including the Close the Gap for Indigenous Health Equality Campaign, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, development of the inaugural Indigenous suicide prevention strategy and Justice Reinvestment. In his 2005 Social Justice Report Dr Calma advocated that to address Indigenous inequality gaps public policy needs to entrench a social determinants philosophy to health, education and employment. He endeavours to apply a social determinants lens to all the work he does.

In 2012 Dr Calma was awarded an Order of Australia; Officer of the General Division (AO) and named ACT Australian of the Year 2013 for his service and commitment to the Indigenous community as an advocate for human rights and social justice, through contributions to government policy and reform, and to cross cultural understanding.

thumbnailKate Carnell commenced as CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in May 2014. ACCI, Australia's largest and most representative business organisation is the leading voice of business in Australia advocating for over 300,000 businesses across all industries.

Kate is well known and respected in the not-forprofit and business communities having served two years as CEO of beyondblue and previously four years as CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

Kate began her professional life as a Pharmacist. She owned and managed pharmacies for some 20 years, was the inaugural chair of the ACT Branch of the Australian Pharmacy Guild and went on to become National Vice-President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Ms Carnell served as Chief Minister of the ACT from 1995 to 2000.

Ms Carnell was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 for her services to community through contributions to economic development and support for the business sector, knowledge industries, the medical sector and medical technology advances.

Ageing Australia Forum

Recent Speaker

Everald Compton, Brian Howe and Professor Gill Lewin

September 3, 2014

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

'Blueprint for an Ageing Australia'

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thumbnailEverald Compton is Chairman of Panel for a Blueprint for an Ageing Australia. He is former Chairman of the Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing, former Chairman of National Seniors Australia, for 25 years. In adition Everald is Chairman of ATEC Rail Group Ltd, Chairman of Tenement to Terminal Ltd and Chairman of Everald Compton Charitable Trust.

Everald has been an Elder of the Aspley Uniting Church for 60 years.

Everald became a Member of the Order of Australia in 1993 and was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for his services to the Transport Industry.

 thumbnailBrian Howe AO, BA, Dip Crim, MA, DST ( Honoris Causa) has been a Professorial Associate at the Centre for Public Policy and in the School of Social Work since 1996. A member of the federal parliament from 1977, he was a Minister in each of the Hawke and Keating Governments from 1983-1996 occupying mainly social policy related portfolios. He was Deputy Prime Minister from June 1991 to June 1995. A Research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University in 1997 he was the Frederick H Schulz Professor at this school in 1998 and a Research Fellow in the Economics Faculty at Cambridge University ( UK) in 2003. He was a Principal Investigator in ARC funded Research Projects, The New Australian Settlement (2001) and on Labour Market Transitions ( 2005) and author of Weighing Up Australian Values : Balancing Risk in Work and Family in Modern Australia (2007). He has contributed to the teaching of courses on international social policy in the Masters Course on Public Policy since 1997 and has published chapters of books and journal articles in areas of his interests. He was a Foundation Board member of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government and has been a member of several Federal Government enquiries including recently chairing an Enquiry into Capital City Planning for the COAG Reform Council (2009-2011). Chaired the Independent Enquiry into Insecure Work for the Australian Council of Trade Unions (2010-2012).

thumbnailProfessor Gill Lewin has been involved in research on ageing since she joined Silver Chain as the Research Manager 21 years ago. For the last six years she has combined her role as Director of Research at Silver Chain with that of Professor of Ageing at Curtin University. While Professor Lewin and her research team at Silver Chain have received 29 external grants and completed more than 75 discrete research projects – addressing a broad range of research questions relating to health and aged care, her personal primary research area has been community care. For the last 13 years the focus of much of this research being the development and testing of care models that promote the independence of older people.

This program of research commenced in 1999 when she was responsible for the development of a restorative, or reablement, home care service. Targeted at older people when they were first referred for a service, or when their needs increased, this new service looked at why the person was having difficulties and assisted them adopt strategies that would enable them to regain function or approach tasks differently, for example with the aid of equipment. This was a shift in paradigm from the traditional approach of home care which was to identify what difficulties the older person was having and have someone do it for them.

Professor Lewin and her team have conducted extensive research on the outcomes of this service and compared it to the outcomes of receiving “usual” home care. They have found that individuals who received the restorative service were more likely to show significant improvement on a variety of functional and well-being indicators and were less likely to need ongoing home care services or to need them again for a number of years. Professor Lewin’s conclusion from these studies is that the routine provision of reablement rather than a conventional service when someone is referred for home care could make a significant contribution to containing the cost challenges associated with Australia’s ageing population.

In addition to her research work, Professor Lewin has been very active in the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) for more than a decade. After a short time as a member of the WA Branch Committee she was first elected to the National Council, then became President of the WA Branch, then National President Elect and then National President. During her time on the National Council and as President Elect and President, she represented the Association on the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA). NACA was set up specifically to lobby government to improve the aged care system. This membership ensured Professor Lewin was kept up to date on industry developments and also gave her the opportunity to become actively involved with the aged care reform process and saw Professor Lewin chair a NACA working subgroup on Ageing Well.

Professor Lewin was invited to be a member of the panel asked by the Treasurer and Minister for Health and Ageing to examine and make recommendations to the Government on the Economic Potential for Senior Australians (EPSA) and as a result of that work was appointed to the Positive Ageing Panel which was asked to lead a national dialogue on ageing issues.

The Hon Susan Ryan AO

Recent Speaker

Age Discrimination Commissioner

September 17, 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.

Luke Sayers

Recent Speaker

CEO of PwC Australia and Vice Chairman of PwC Asia

November 19, 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.