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Speakers

National Press Club Addresses attract global decision-makers and influencers; driving the Australian debate forward.

The National Press Club hosts public debates and private discussions that shape Australia today and into the future. Home of the national conversation, we’re proud to be Australia’s most recognised forum for discussion and debate. 

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Upcoming Speakers

Wed
25
Nov
2020

Clare O'Neil

Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and the Future of Work

'COVID and The Long View'

Historic moments don’t always feel historic, but this one is pretty hard to miss. 2020 isn’t even over, yet it’s easily the most tumultuous year Australia has experienced for decades. We have had a good national conversation about how to manage the immediate challenges of the COVID crisis. We have had a reasonable discussion about reform options as we recover. But what about the Long View? What does COVID mean for Australia - not up until Christmas, or until the next election, but in the decades to come? What can we learn from past generations of policymakers about how to use this moment to set Australia up for the next wave of national prosperity? If there’s a single message to take from 2020, it’s that we don’t have a choice anymore about whether to change or not. The world is not going to get put back together the way it was before. Post-COVID politics needs to be about transformation, not restoration, and driven by optimism, not nostalgia. And while we cannot go back, our country has more choice and agency and control over our future than at any other time in living memory. But what are our choices, and how should Australia be thinking about them? In March 2020, Clare started a podcast called the Long View as a forum for in-depth, thoughtful and respectful discussion about these questions. The result was 17 conversations, and roughly 60-hours of discussion, with 34 incredibly smart people who care desperately about the future of our nation. This speech is about what she learned. About the big opportunities we face, about the approach governments could take to those opportunities, and about the kind of politics, too, that would see us capture them. This will be a chance to hear a perspective on what is at stake as we navigate the next few years in politics, and what this period could mean for the country we will leave to our children and grandchildren.

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Tue
1
Dec
2020

James Muecke

Australian of the Year 2020

'Silent No More'

If you had a life-threatening cancer, you’d want to know if it could be put into remission. Research now suggests that type 2 diabetes, affecting over 1.7 million Aussies and arguably our biggest killer, can be put into remission in as little as six weeks. And yet, the majority of patients with this disease are not aware of such a life-changing opportunity. And why are patients with diabetes still being told to eat a diet high in carbohydrates, the very diet they should be avoiding? Eye surgeon and Australian of the Year for 2020 Dr James Muecke AM, takes us on his journey from treating the blinding complications of diabetes to his fight to build greater awareness around the causes and complications of type 2 diabetes, and opportunities to combat this blinding, maiming and deadly disease that’s the greatest threat to our health system. In this journey, he sheds lights on the responses from industry, businesses and government, and the vested interests that have shaped the dietary disaster that’s consuming our country.

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Wed
2
Dec
2020

Sally McManus

Secretary Australian Council Trade Unions (ACTU)

'The Australian Social Contract: What has COVID taught us?'

Sally is the 10th Secretary of the ACTU. She was the leader of her Union, the ASU in NSW representing community, public sector and private sector workers. She commenced work with the ASU as an ACTU Trainee Organiser in 1994.

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Wed
9
Dec
2020

Rory Medcalf & Michelle Price

Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University & CEO of AustCyber, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network

'Securing Australia in the 2020s'

This has been year of global shock: COVID-19 and its economic fallout, intensified strategic struggle around the rise of China, environmental disaster, social turmoil. The world is in for a decade of disruption, and Australia faces a horizon of risk. Yet commentary often overlooks the capability and agency that our nation, a substantial power in every sense, can bring to the challenges ahead. In this presentation, two prominent analysts offer distinct roadmaps for Australia to protect its interests and values in the decade ahead. These involve drawing on the lessons of 2020 and building foundations for new kinds of security, spanning defence, economics, diplomacy, society, information and technology.

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Speaker Archive

Wed
18
Nov
2020

Pauline Wright

Law Council President

'No time like the present to protect our human rights'

At a time of global power shifts, increasingly fragmented and insular national politics, and events characterised as ‘profound’ blows to fundamental freedoms being played out across the globe, the Law Council believes NOW is the time to consider a renewed commitment to the fundamental and universal norms of human rights. As the only Western democracy without some form of a charter of rights at the national level, Law Council President Pauline Wright will be joined at the podium by Stephen Keim QC, active member of the Law Council’s Human Rights committee and former barrister for  Mohamed Haneef  and more recently appeared for Love V Thoms, to launch a refreshed Human Rights Act policy, and call on Government to implement a Federal Human Rights Charter.

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Tue
17
Nov
2020

Ruth Stewart

National Rural Health Commissioner

'Address to the National Rural Press Club'

Every year, more than 26,000 babies are born premature and the health outcomes for those infants are worse in rural and regional areas. On World Prematurity Day, Australia’s National Rural Health Commissioner, Professor Ruth Stewart will discuss how rates of prematurity in more remote areas could be reduced. With more than 30 years of work as a rural generalist doctor and obstetrician, Professor Stewart will consider how rural and remote women and babies can access the care they need and outline her vision for how the health system can enhance medical services in the bush.

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Wed
11
Nov
2020

Geoff Raby

Former Ambassador to China

'China's Grand Strategy and Australia's Future in the New Global Order'

Australia's former ambassador to China provides insight on Australia's future position in global affairs.

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