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Malcolm & Lucy Turnbull

Australia's 29th Prime Minister & Urbanist, Businesswoman and Philanthropist
2023 Griffin Lecture
Sold Out – Join Waitlist

Wednesday, 8 November 2023

Arrival 11:30am, Lunch served 12pm, Address commences 12:30pm, Concludes 1:30pm

The National Press Club of Australia

Malcolm Turnbull AC, Australia's 29th Prime Minister & Lucy Turnbull AO, Urbanist, Businesswoman, Philanthropist & Former Mayor of Sydney will address the National Press CLub of Australia for the 2023 Australian Institute of Architects Griffin Lecture. 

In a recent interview, Lucy Turnbull said “We have to shift the way we conceptualise suburbia to more climate-change resistant, more human-friendly, more walkable, more cyclable, more medium density.  Why can’t we return what we’ve somehow unlearnt with the advent of automobile dependence and [ensure] that green urban domain is better distributed?”

Malcolm Turnbull said there was opposition in some political quarters to cities policy and mass transit funding.  [From interview in SMH June 2022]

The conversation with Laura Tingle will focus to the role architecture can play in designing and building better cities and urban areas in Australia.

Significance of the Griffin Lecture

Since its first delivery in Canberra in 1961, the Griffin Lecture has addressed the big issues in architecture and design. Previous speakers include former Prime Ministers Gough Whitlam and John Gorton, architects Romaldo Giurgola, historian Manning Clark and Kevin McCloud, presenter of Grand Designs.   The lecture is named after Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney, designers of Canberra, and celebrates the role architecture and design play in building towns and cities in Australia.

Lucy Turnbull AO is an urbanist, businesswoman and philanthropist with a longstanding interest in cities, culture, technological and social innovation and Australian research and commercialisation.  Lucy is a Director of Turnbull and Partners Pty Ltd, a family owned business which invests in earlier stage innovative enterprises. In January 2020 she was appointed by the NSW government as Chair of the Sydney Opera House Trust. 

From 2015-20 she was the inaugural Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, tasked by the NSW state government to assist in delivering strong and effective strategic planning for the whole of metropolitan Sydney. From 2003-4 she was Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, the first woman ever to hold the position. She has held many other board roles in the not for profit and private sector.

Malcolm Turnbull AC was the 29th Prime Minister of Australia. Prior to entering politics he enjoyed successful careers as a lawyer, investment banker and journalist.

Malcolm was born in 1954 and grew up in Sydney. For much of his childhood he lived alone with his father Bruce.

While studying law at Sydney University, Malcolm worked as a journalist and continued doing so when he studied at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship.

It was during his time at Oxford that Malcolm met and was hired by Harold Evans, the editor of London’s Sunday Times newspaper.

After his time at Oxford, where he married his wife Lucy, Malcolm returned to Australia and practised law where he quickly established a reputation as an effective advocate, most notably when he successfully defended former MI5 agent Peter Wright against the British Government, in the “Spycatcher” trial.

Malcolm established an investment banking firm in 1987 and during that time specialised in the media and technology sectors. He worked with some of the leading media moguls of the time including Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Packer, Conrad Black and Bob Maxwell and at the same time established a number of new businesses of his own.

He co-founded the first big Australian Internet company, OzEmail Ltd, listing it on the NASDAQ in 1996 and selling it to Worldcom three years later.

Malcolm joined Goldman Sachs in 1997 becoming a partner of the firm the following year and headed their Australian business for four years until he retired to pursue a political career.

He entered the Australian Parliament in 2004 and during that time served as Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Minister for Communications and as Prime Minister from 2015-18.

During his time as Prime Minister, Malcolm delivered an economic growth agenda that lead to record job creation on the back of cutting personal and company taxes. His government legalised same-sex marriage and reformed the school funding model to ensure a consistent, needs based approach across all school sectors.

His government embarked on the largest peace-time expansion and modernisation of Australian defence forces and defence industry, including commissioning 54 new Naval vessels.

Malcolm has a deep interest in energy issues and renewable energy. He recognised the urgent need for large scale storage to make intermittent renewables reliable and started the construction of the Snowy Hydro 2.0 pumped hydro scheme, which will be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. He also identified the opportunity for similar pumped storage systems in Tasmania.

He successfully negotiated a deal with President Trump to maintain a refugee resettlement deal he had agreed to with President Obama.

When Trump pulled out of the Trans Pacific Partnership, Malcolm refused to allow that 12 nation free trade deal to fall by the wayside, rallying the remaining eleven countries to commit to a continuing TPP-11.

He radically reformed the way the Australian federal Government deals with states and cities, establishing a series of City Deals where the three levels of Government agree on common goals and then work together to realize them. As part of the Western Sydney City Deal, he commenced the construction of a new Airport for Sydney.

At a time of growing nationalist sentiment across the world, he opposed racism and division at every turn, ensuring that Australia remains the most successful multicultural society in the world.

Since leaving politics, Malcolm has resumed his business career and regularly speaks at global conferences.

Malcolm is married to Lucy, the former Lord Mayor of Sydney and former Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission. He has two children, Alex and Daisy, and four grandchildren – Jack, Isla, Alice and Ronan.

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