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.

Clive Palmer

Recent Speaker

Leader of the Palmer United Party

Monday, 1 December 2014

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

'Address to the National Press Club'

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Clive palmer will address the Press Club followed by Palmer United Party Senators joining him for questions.

Clive Palmer, federal member for Fairfax, has more than 25 years of experience in the Australian resource industry and is the founder of and has been Chairman of Mineralogy Pty Ltd (Mineralogy) since 1985. He has been Chairman of Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd since July 2009 and is also a director of China First Pty Ltd (China First Coal), China First Iron Ore Pty Ltd (China First Iron Ore), Kingsway Oil Limited, Chinampa Exploration Pty Ltd and Cosmo Developments Pty Ltd. Mr Palmer has also been responsible for the exploration and feasibility studies of numerous iron ore projects in Western Australia since the 1980s. In 2001, he negotiated an agreement with the State of WA on behalf of Mineralogy and its subsidiary companies. In 2002, this agreement was ratified by the WA Parliament as a new act and set out the development conditions for iron ore development and new port in the Pilbara region of WA near Cape Preston. Mr Palmer’s experience in the oil and gas industry includes the successful negotiation of a A$5.0 billion gas supply agreement with North West Shelf Gas Partners including BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) Pty Ltd, Chevron Australia Pty Limited, Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Limited, Shell Development (Australia) Pty Limited, Woodside Energy Limited and BP Developments Australia Pty Limited in 2000.

Mr Palmer has established various business relationships and successfully completed several business transactions with PRC state-owned companies, including the US$3.5 billion CITIC Iron Ore Project which is a large-scale foreign investment by a Chinese state-owned company. In 2010, Mr Palmer successfully executed, on behalf of Mineralogy PTY Ltd, the MCC Placing Agreement with MCC and, on behalf of China First Coal, the EPCM Contract with MCC Overseas. Mr Palmer attended the University of Queensland from 1973 to 1975. He represented Australia at the APEC conference held in Sydney in 2007.

Mr Palmer is the federal leader of the Palmer United Party and the Australian Electoral Commission officially declared Mr Palmer as the federal member for Fairfax on Friday, November 1, 2013.

Greg Medcraft

Recent Speaker

Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

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

'ASIC explained: who is the corporate watchdog, what does it do and why should Australians care'

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Over the last year Australia's corporate watchdog ASIC has faced media criticism for its role in the Commonwealth Financial Planning matter, been probed by the Senate on its performance and suffered a substantial budget cut. But despite this, ASIC continues to get results with its chairman Greg Medcraft pushing forward with an ambitious agenda to reform the way ASIC is funded, to overhaul Australia's white-collar penalties and to remake the financial advice sector. Hear Mr Medcraft address the National Press Club on ASIC's expanding role, how he is lifting the organisation's performance and the big challenges he sees for the Australian financial system.

Greg Medcraft was appointed ASIC Chairman on 13 May 2011 for a five-year term.

Greg joined as ASIC Commissioner in February 2009. Prior to ASIC, Greg was Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director at the Australian Securitisation Forum (ASF).

Greg spent nearly 30 years in investment banking at Société Générale in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. More recently, he was the Managing Director and Global Head of Securitisation, based in New York.

In 2002, Greg co-founded the American Securitization Forum and was its Chairman from 2005 until 2007 when he returned to Australia. In January 2008, he was appointed Chairman Emeritus of the Forum.

Before joining Société Générale, Greg worked as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG.

Greg was elected by the IOSCO Board in May 2012 as its Chair. His term commenced in March 2013 and he was re-elected for a second term in October 2014. In his capacity as IOSCO Board Chair, Greg is also a member of the Financial Stability Board, which reports to the G20.

Lord Nigel Crisp KCB

Recent Speaker

Co-editor of African Health Leaders – making change and claiming the future

Monday, 8 December 2014

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

'From AIDS to Ebola - how Africa health leaders are re-claiming their future and influencing ours'

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Whether it is Ebola or other neglected tropical diseases, HIV/AIDs, or maternal and child mortality, African nations have faced many extraordinary health challenges. However, over the last three decades, African health leaders have also shown creativity, innovation and leadership in the way they have tackled these challenges. There have been enormous improvements in the health of their people – in the most difficult circumstances – and their achievements deserve to be more widely recognised and celebrated. They have made these improvements through making the best use of resources of their communities and developing new approaches which are now of interest around the world.

Drawing on his experience in running the UK’s National Health Service and extensive work in low and middle income countries, Lord Crisp will discuss policy around the management of the current Ebola crisis and a vision for the future. This is in the context of a distinctly African vision of health and health systems reflected in the book, African Health Leaders – making change and claiming the future, that he co-edited with Dr Francis Omaswa. Most books on health in Africa are written by Europeans and Americans and this redresses the balance and contains accounts from 23 African health leaders – 13 men and 10 women from 14 countries and 3 generations – about how they have led change in their own countries.

Lord Nigel Crisp is an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords where he co-chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. Lord Crisp is a Special Advisor on Global Healthcare to KPMG.

He was Chief Executive of the National Health Service in England and Permanent Secretary of the UK Department of Health between 2000 and 2006. Previously he was Chief Executive of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital NHS Trust.

Lord Crisp chairs Sightsavers, the Kings Partners Global Health Advisory Board, the Zambia UK Health Workforce Alliance and the Uganda UK Health Alliance.

He is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, an Ambassador for the eHealth Foundation, and a Foreign Associate of the Institute of Medicine.

He has written extensively on global health. His earlier books include Turning the World Upside Down - the search for global health in the 21st century and 24 hours to save the NHS – the Chief Executive’s account of reform 2000-2006.


Doctor Steven Chu

Recent Speaker

Nobel Laureate and Former US Secretary of Energy

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

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

'The Global Energy and Climate Challenge'

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Science and technology through the industrial and agricultural revolutions have profoundly transformed the world. Dr. Steven Chu will give an “epidemiological” approach for assessing the risks of climate change, and then provide a blueprint of how to mitigate the risks of climate change by making clean energy the low cost option through science and innovation.

Dr. Steven Chu served as the Secretary of Energy from January 21, 2009, to April 22, 2013.

Dr. Chu was charged with helping implement President Obama's ambitious agenda to invest in clean energy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, address the global climate crisis, and create millions of new jobs.

Dr. Chu is the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997) and received numerous other awards. He has devoted his recent scientific career to the search for new solutions to our energy and climate challenges - a mission he continues with even greater urgency as Secretary of Energy.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Chu was the Director of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he led the lab in pursuit of alternative and renewable energy technologies. He also taught at the University of California as a Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology. Previously, he held positions at Stanford University and AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Dr. Chu's research in atomic physics, quantum electronics, polymer and biophysics includes tests of fundamental theories in physics, the development of methods to laser cool and trap atoms, atom interferometry, and the study of polymers and biological systems at the single molecule level. While at Stanford, he helped start Bio-X, a multi-disciplinary initiative that brings together the physical and biological sciences with engineering and medicine.

The holder of 10 patents, Dr. Chu has published approximately 250 scientific and technical papers. He remains active with his research group and has recently published work on general relativity, single molecule biology, biophysics and biomedicine, and on scientific challenges and opportunities in clean energy. Over 30 alumni of his research group have gone on to become distinguished professors and have been recognized by dozens of prizes and awards.

Dr. Chu is a member of numerous honorific societies including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Academia Sinica, the Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology, and is an honorary member of the Institute of Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a Lifetime Member of the Optical Society of America. He received an A.B. degree in mathematics, a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as 23 honorary degrees.

Dr. Chu was born in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1948. He is married to Dr. Jean Chu, who holds a D.Phil. in Physics from Oxford and has served as chief of staff to two Stanford University presidents as well as Dean of Admissions. Secretary Chu has two grown sons, Geoffrey and Michael, by a previous marriage.