Upcoming Speakers

  • Michael Fullilove

    Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy

    'Australia in the Trump era'

    Wednesday, 2 August 2017

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

    Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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    Dr Michael Fullilove is the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

    He has been associated with the Lowy Institute since its establishment. He wrote the feasibility study for the Institute in 2002 and served as the Director of its Global Issues Program from 2003 until his appointment as Executive Director in 2012. He has also worked as a lawyer, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and an adviser to Prime Minister Paul Keating. He remains a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings and serves on the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London.

    Dr Fullilove writes widely on Australian foreign policy, US foreign policy and global issues in publications including The New York Times, Financial Times, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs, as well as the Australian press. He graduated in arts and law from the Universities of Sydney and New South Wales, with dual university medals. He also studied as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he completed a master’s degree and a doctorate in international relations.

    In 2015 Dr Fullilove delivered the Boyer Lectures. His lectures were published as A Larger Australia: The ABC 2015 Boyer Lectures (Penguin). He is the editor of Men and Women of Australia! Our Greatest Modern Speeches (Viking), and the co-editor, with Anthony Bubalo, of Reports from a Turbulent Decade (Viking), an anthology of the Lowy Institute’s best work. Dr Fullilove is also the author of Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America into the War and into the World (Penguin), which won the 2014 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction.

  • Chris Inglis

    Former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency

    'What We (at the NSA) Learned from Snowden: The New Cyber Threat Environment, Politics and Civil Liberties'

    Thursday, 3 August 2017

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

    Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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    The Snowden data breach shook the world as people came to terms with the extent of government surveillance on the civilian population. It exposed a critical flaw in the NSA’s own internal security policies and tarnished the institution’s standing as a protector of security and ultimately, liberty.

    John (Chris) Inglis was the man in the hot seat at the time. As deputy director and a 28 year NSA veteran, Inglis had to deal with the fallout and seek to restore public and political trust and confidence in the NSA’s operations.

    The Snowden breach is fascinating from at least two perspectives, both of which Chris Inglis will cover in his Address:

    1) How do organisations, as custodians of sensitive customer and citizen data, ensure against an insider threat like an Edward Snowden? What lessons did the NSA itself learn from this historic event? How would they do things differently now?

    2) What can we say about the new cyber threat environment where the rights to encryption and counter terrorism need to be balanced against citizens’ legitimate expectations to privacy.

    John C. (Chris) Inglis is a former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency. He began his career at the NSA as a computer scientist within the National Computer Security Center and was promoted to the agency’s Senior Executive Service in 1997. He served in a variety of senior leadership assignments including Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for guiding strategy, operations and policy.

    A 1976 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Inglis holds advanced degrees in engineering and computer science from Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and the George Washington University. He is also a graduate of the Kellogg Business School executive development program, the USAF Air War College, Air Command and Staff College and Squadron Officers’ School.

  • Dr Lobsang Sangay

    Tibet’s first democratically elected political leader

    'Tibet and Australia: how can democracies survive a rising China'

    Tuesday, 8 August 2017

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

    Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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    Dr Lobsang Sangay, a Harvard University educated International Law and Democracy expert is Tibet’s first democratically elected political leader.

    The Dalai Lama remarked upon Dr Sangay’s election “When I was young, an elderly regent Takdrag Rinpoche handed over Sikyong (political leadership) to me, and today I am handing over Sikyong to young Lobsang Sangay… In doing this I have fulfilled my long-cherished goal.”

    In March 2011, the Dalai Lama devolved his political power to the office of ‘Sikyong’ or President. The much revered and iconic figure had led his people for over 60 years and for believers, nearly 400 years since his fifth incarnation in the 17th century. After a campaign trail that traversed the globe Dr Sangay was elected as Sikyong by Tibetan-exiles in April 2011 in a landslide result and reelected in a hotly contested race in 2016.

    Dr Sangay’s 1995 Harvard doctoral thesis, ‘Democracy in Distress: Is Exile Polity a Remedy? A Case Study of Tibet’s Government-in-exile’ discussed an experiment with democracy he would lead two short decades later. At Harvard, Dr Sangay organized seven major conferences among Chinese, Tibetan, Indian and Western scholars including two unprecedented meetings between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Chinese scholars in 2003 and 2009. As leader of the exile-government he is invested with the responsibility to continue the Dalai Lama’s efforts to find a negotiated outcome with the Chinese Government to secure genuine autonomy for Tibet, known as the ‘Middle way approach’.

    Dr Sangay’s visit comes as Australia grapples with issues of national security and political interference in its pursuit of stronger trade and diplomatic relations with China. Dr Sangay will discuss if Australia, one of the world’s longest and most stable democracies, is ready for leadership in the Asia-Pacific region with a more assertive and powerful China. Tibet’s experiences with China will provide Australian leaders an important insight into the rising superpower.

  • Tara Moss

    Author, Journalist, TV Documentary Presenter, Human Rights Advocate and Anti-Cyberbullying Campaigner

    'Address to the National Press Club'

    Wednesday, 9 August 2017

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

    Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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    Tara Moss is an author, journalist, TV documentary presenter, speaker, human rights advocate and anti-cyberbullying campaigner. She is currently host, co-executive producer and co-writer of Cyberhate with Tara Moss on the ABC, examining the phenomenon of online abuse.

    Since 1999 she has written 11 bestselling books, published in 19 countries and 13 languages, including the acclaimed Mak Vanderwall crime fiction series and the Pandora English paranormal series. Her first non-fiction book, the critically acclaimed The Fictional Woman, was published in 2014 and became a number one national non-fiction bestseller, and her iconic cover design, featuring her face labeled with ‘fictions’ or stereotypes about women won Best Non-Fiction Book Design at the Australia Book Design Awards in 2015 with HarperCollins Publishers. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Sydney, and has earned her private investigator credentials (Cert III) from the Australian Security Academy. Her latest book is Speaking Out: A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls. Her next fiction novel is due for release in 2018.

    Moss is an outspoken advocate for human rights and the rights of women and children. She has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2007 and as of 2013 is UNICEF Australia’s National Ambassador for Child Survival, and has visited Australian hospitals, maternity wards, refuges and schools as well as Syrian refugee camps in her UNICEF role. Moss has spoken at numerous schools on cyberbullying, online ethics and child safety, and produced and hosted 2017’s documentary Cyberhate, investigating the issue of online abuse. In 2015 she received an Edna Ryan Award for her significant contribution to feminist debate, speaking out for women and children and inspiring others to challenge the status quo.

    This is a Women in Media National Press Club Address

  • Lieutenant General Angus Campbell

    Chief of Army, Australia

    Army Domestic Violence Awareness Program - 'Silence is the Accomplice'

    Wednesday, 16 August 2017

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

    Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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    Lieutenant General Angus J. Campbell, DSC, AM Chief of Army, Australia Lieutenant General Angus Campbell joined the Australian Army in 1981, graduating from the Royal Military College – Duntroon in 1984. He was assigned to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps and initially served as a platoon commander in the 3rd Battalion (Parachute), The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR).

    He then served in troop and squadron command appointments within the Special Air Service Regiment. In 2001 he was appointed the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR). While in command, the battalion group deployed to East Timor, as a component of the United Nations Transitional Administration East Timor.

    Lieutenant General Campbell has also served in a range of staff appointments including as Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of Army, as a strategic policy officer in Army Headquarters, an instructor at the Australian Command and Staff College and as Chief of Staff to the Chief of the Defence Force.

    In late 2005, he joined the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as a First Assistant Secretary to head the Office of National Security and was subsequently promoted to Deputy Secretary and appointed to the position of Deputy National Security Adviser. In these roles he was responsible for the preparation of advice to the Prime Minister on national security matters and coordinating the development of whole-of-government national security policy.

    Upon his return to the Australian Defence Force in early 2010 he was appointed to the rank of Major General and led the Military Strategic Commitments staff in Defence headquarters until January 2011, when he assumed command of Australian forces deployed in the Middle East Area of Operations. He subsequently served as Deputy Chief of Army from February 2012 to September 2013, when he was promoted to his current rank to command the Joint Agency Task Force responsible for the implementation of Operation Sovereign Borders.

    Lieutenant General Campbell was appointed Chief of the Australian Army on 16 May 2015.

    Lieutenant General Campbell holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Philosophy in International Relations from Cambridge University and he is a graduate of the Australian Army Command and Staff College.

  • Rt. Hon. Ed Balls PC and Hon. Wayne Swan MP

    Rt UK Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Former Treasurer of Australia

    'The GFC 10 years on'

    Thursday, 17 August 2017

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

    Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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    Next year marks the 10th anniversary of the Global Financial Crisis. In 2008 the banks in Australia wobbled, the economy stalled, unemployment rose and the Government acted. The GFC demonstrated a failure of trickle-down economics.

    Ten year later, with rising populism, it is clearer now more than ever that we need a replacement to the neo-liberal economic order.

    What are the lessons learnt from the GFC that we can use to build a new economic agenda to address inequality and inclusive growth.


    Rt. Hon. Ed Balls PC
    UK Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2011-15)
    UK Minister for Financial Services (2006-07)
    Chief Economic Advisor to the UK Treasury (1997-2004)

    Ed Balls is Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, Visiting Professor at King’s College London and Chairman of Norwich City Football Club.

    He was UK Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2011-15) and served in the UK Cabinet as Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. He was the UK Minister for Financial Services (2006-07) and the Chief Economic Adviser to the UK Treasury (1997-2004) during which time he was Chair of the IMFC Deputies and UK G20 Deputy. While Shadow Chancellor he was co-Chair with Larry Summers of the Center for American Progress Inclusive Prosperity Commission.

    He was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics, Harvard University (1989-90) and a leader writer and columnist at the Financial Times. (1990-94). Ed studied economics at Keble College, Oxford and the Kennedy School of Government (MPA) where he was a Kennedy Scholar.


    Hon. Wayne Swan MP
    Member of t
    he Australian House of Representatives
    Federal Treas
    urer (2007 -2013)
    Deputy Prime Minister (2010-2013)

    Wayne Swan served as Treasurer of Australia for nearly six years, including three years as Deputy Prime Minister.

    He was one of the longest serving finance ministers in the G20 and recognised as a leading contributor.

    Mr Swan was awarded Euromoney Finance Minister of the Year in 2011 for his stewardship of the Australian economy during the GFC.

    He is the author of The Good Fight: Six Years, two prime ministers and staring down the Great Recession (2014).  Mr Swan also co-authored a report on Inclusive Prosperity, commissioned by the Center for American Progress.

    In 2015, he attended the UN General Assembly as a member of the Australian delegation. During this time, Mr Swan was a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Institute for Global Affairs.

    He published a report on Financing for Development for the United Nations Social and Economic Commission in the Asia Pacific (UN-ESCAP) and chairs their Eminent Expert Group (EEG) on Tax Policy and Public Expenditure Management for Sustainable Development.

    Mr Swan was re-elected the Federal Member for Lilley for the eighth time in 2016.

  • Dr Michael Gannon

    AMA President

    'Beyond The Freeze'

    Wednesday, 23 August 2017

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

    Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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    With its decision to phase out the freeze on indexation of Medicare patient rebates, the Turnbull Government is hoping it has neutralised its vulnerability on health policy, which was exposed by Labor’s ‘Mediscare’ campaign at the last election.

    AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said the thawing of the freeze has cleared the health policy landscape – dominated since 2014 by debate over co-payments and the freeze – to allow public discussion about major issues such as public hospital funding, private health insurance, aged care, mental health, and medical training.

    Dr Gannon will use his National Press Club address to outline the AMA’s priorities for health reform, and suggest the types of health policies that the major parties should take to the next election, which could be as early as next year.

    Dr Michael Gannon is in his second year as Federal AMA President. He is Head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at St John of God Subiaco Hospital in Perth.

    Dr Gannon is an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist in public and private practice with an interest in medical problems in pregnancy and perinatal loss. He is the Lead Obstetrician in the Perinatal Loss Service at King Edward Memorial Hospital and the RANZCOG nominee to the WA Perinatal and Infant Mortality Committee.

    He was born at St John of God Subiaco Hospital. He grew up in Perth and was educated at Guildford Grammar School and the University of Western Australia. He trained at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin and at St Mary’s Hospital in London.

  • The Hon Brendan Nelson AO

    Director of the Australian War Memorial

    '1917 – a time of tragedy and triumph'

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017

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

    Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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    Australian forces were involved in two significant actions in the latter half of 1917. The first, fought in Belgium, would test our troops to their limits, while the other was fought in the Middle East and would earn a central place in Australia’s military history.

    They were Passchendaele and Beersheba.

    After the Australians had fought at Bullecourt in France throughout April and May, the focus of British operations shifted north into Belgium. The British Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, planned for a major offensive that sought to break out of the so-called Ypres Salient and secure the Belgian coastline.

    From Ypres, the Australians participated in a number of attacks that collectively formed part of the Third Battle of Ypres. Throughout September and October, the five Australian Divisions made a number of successful advances that came at an immense cost: Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle and Passchendaele.

    The Australians fought in wretched conditions, casualties mounting at an appalling rate. The rain and shellfire turned the battlefields into a swamp where soldiers, heavily laden with weapons and kit, staggered and drowned under a constant barrage of machinegun fire.

    Of the 76,000 Australian casualties recorded that year, more than 38,000 occurred in just eight weeks during the Third Battle of Ypres. The Australians suffered their heaviest casualties in any single month of the war in October 1917 with over 6,800 dead.

    Around the same time, in the Middle East, the Anzac Mounted Division entered Palestine with the rest of the British Desert Column and were involved in two unsuccessful attacks on the Ottoman positions at Gaza. A third British assault was finally successful after two regiments of the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade carried out their famous charge at Beersheba on 31 October, earning themselves a place in our nation’s psyche. When the Ottoman Army’s Gaza defences collapsed, the Anzac Mounted Division joined the push into Palestine which resulted in the capture of Jerusalem later in the year.

    During this moving presentation, Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial will discuss the two battles, their impact on the war and how they helped shape the Memorial and our nation. Using the stories of those men and women who took part in these battles, Dr Nelson will help us interpret their experience during this most shocking of years and give us insights into what it means to be an Australian.


    Dr Brendan Nelson commenced as Director of the Australian War Memorial on 17 December 2012. Prior to this, he was the Australian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union and NATO (2009–12). Apart from overseeing a major transformation in Australia’s relationships with the European Union and NATO, Dr Nelson forged deep links with the communities of Flanders, where almost 14,000 Australians lost their lives during the First World War. He regularly made the trip from Brussels to the Menin Gate Memorial to the ‘missing’ at Ieper, where the names of 6,190 Australians who died in the First World War and have no known grave are listed.

    Born at Coburg, Victoria, in 1958, Dr Nelson studied at Flinders University, South Australia, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. He worked as a medical practitioner in Hobart from 1985 to 1995. In 1993 he was elected unopposed as National President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), becoming the youngest person ever to hold this position. He had previously served as National Vice President, and Tasmanian Branch President, of the AMA. During his time as National President, he campaigned on a wide range of social policy issues, including Aboriginal health and immunisation, and led the campaign against tobacco advertising and sponsorship of sport. He was also a relentless advocate for private health insurance. In 1995 Dr Nelson retired as president of the AMA following his preselection as the Liberal candidate for the Sydney seat of Bradfield.

    Dr Nelson was elected to the Federal Parliament of Australia in March 1996. After the 2001 election, he was promoted from parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Defence to Cabinet in the senior portfolio of Minister for Education, Science and Training. Here he drove major reforms to universities and a focus on school standards and reporting. In 2006 he was appointed Minister for Defence when troops were deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands. He oversaw major new investments in Defence including the decision to purchase 24 FA-18F super hornets, three air warfare destroyers, two Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs), two additional battalions for the Australian army and a multibillion dollar recruitment and retention package.

    In November 2007 Dr Nelson was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, serving as Leader of the Opposition until September 2008. The following year he retired from federal politics before taking up his ambassadorial appointment.

    In 1995 Dr Nelson was awarded the AMA’s highest honour, the Gold Medal for “Distinguished Service to Medicine and Humanity”. In recognition of his commitment to public health, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. In 2011 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Flinders University and in 2017, an Honorary Doctorate from the Australian National University.

    Dr Nelson was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in January 2016 for his services to the community, the parliament of Australia, diplomacy and cultural leadership.

    In addition to being Director of the Australian War Memorial Dr Nelson is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at ANU; Patron of Lifeline ACT; Patron of Trish MS Research; Patron of the Weary Dunlop Foundation; Patron of the NSW RSL and Services Clubs; Ambassador for Legacy Australia; Ambassador for the Invictus Games for disabled veterans; Patron of Soldier On and ambassador for the Reserve Defence Forces.

  • Jennifer Westacott

    Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia

    'Address to the National Press Club'

    Wednesday, 11 October 2017

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

    Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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    Australia’s mass education system has been one of the greatest bipartisan achievements of the last 40 years. Through successive reforms at both the commonwealth and state level, the education system has grown to support students, employers, communities and the economy more broadly.

    However, decades of cumulative reform by different governments has meant  we do not have a firm, national vision about the purpose of the education system and what it should achieve. This will become increasingly evident as the economy and labour market are disrupted by artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, the ageing population and globalisation.

    Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott will address the future of Australia’s mass education system, with a focus on vocational training and skills. What does it need to deliver in this age of disruption, and how can this be achieved?

    Ms Westacott joined the Business Council in 2011, having previously occupied senior leadership positions in the public and private sectors. She has served as Victoria’s Director of Housing and Secretary of Education, and headed the NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources. She was a partner at KPMG, and since 2013 has been a non-executive director of Wesfarmers and chair of the Mental Health Council of Australia.

    The education system has been pivotal in Ms Westacott’s life. She grew up in public housing in Gosford, NSW, and was the first in her family to attend university.

    Ms Westacott is Adjunct Professor at the City Research Futures Centre at the University of NSW, her alma mater, and was a Chevening Scholar at the London School of Economics. Earlier this year, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by UNSW.

To propose a speaker please contact npc@npc.org.au with a brief bio and photo of the speaker, speech title and brief outline of the speech, along with a proposed date. Your speaker proposal will be presented to the board at the next board meeting for their decision. Please allow up to 8 weeks for notification.