Upcoming Speakers

  • Sally McManus

    Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions

    'Strength in Numbers'

    Wednesday, 29 March 2017

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

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    New ACTU Secretary Sally McManus outlines her vision for the Australian trade union movement in her inaugural address to the National press Club.

    Sally McManus was born and raised in western Sydney, working a range of casual jobs including pizza delivery while putting herself through University. Joining the union movement as a trainee, Sally has organised workers in call centres, tech, community services and state utilise, growing the membership of the NSW Australian Service Union branch she led by 20 per cent. She ran the successful Equal Pay campaign in the community sector in 2013 and coordinated the ACTU political activities trough the 2016 election campaign. She is the first woman to be elected secretary in the ACTU’s 90 year history.

  • Innes Willox & Peter Jennings

    Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group & Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)

    'The Trump Phenomena – Will the “insurgent in the White House” disrupt Australia’s Economy and our region?'

    Wednesday, 5 April 2017

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

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    Innes WilloxInnes Willox is Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group, a peak business association which represents companies from a broad range of sectors including manufacturing, construction, transport, defence, ICT and labour hire.

    Innes was Australian Consul General to Los Angeles from 2006 to 2008 and Chief of Staff to Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, from 2004 to 2006.

    Earlier, Innes held a number of private sector and government positions including Manager of Global Public Affairs for Singapore Airlines based in Singapore (2000-04).

    He began his working career as a journalist.  His positions included Chief of Staff at The Age newspaper in Melbourne and Chief Political Correspondent for The Age in the Canberra Parliamentary Press Gallery.

    Innes was educated at Melbourne High School; Monash University (BA History and Politics); and Edinburgh Business School. He is based in Melbourne and is a lifetime supporter of the Collingwood Football Club.

    His current appointments include:

    • Director of Australian Super
    • Director of the Innovative Manufacturing Co-operative Research Centre
    • Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Skilled Migration
    • Chair of the Migration Council of Australia
    • Board Member of Australian American Leadership Dialogue
    • Member of RMIT College of Business Industry Advisory Board


    Peter JenningsPeter Jennings is the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) a position he has held since May 2012.

    Peter has worked at senior levels in the Australian Public Service on defence and national security. Career highlights include being Deputy Secretary for Strategy in the Defence Department (2009-12); Chief of Staff to the Minister for Defence (1996-98) and Senior Adviser for Strategic Policy to the Prime Minister (2002-03).

    Since May 2012 Peter has expanded ASPI’s role from its original high-quality research on defence to include research on cyber security; policing and international law enforcement, border security, national resilience and counter terrorism studies. Now with around 40 staff and close working relations with Government, Parliament and industry, ASPI is Australia’s leading think-tank on national security.

    Peter’s research interests include Australian and regional defence policies, military operations, crisis management, government decision making and future defence capabilities.

    Peter led the ‘External Expert Panel’ appointed by Government in early 2014 to advise Ministers and the Defence Department on the Defence White Paper, released in February 2016. Peter is a member of the Australia-Germany Advisory Group, appointed by the Prime Minister and German Chancellor in 2015 to develop closer bilateral relations. He is a member of the Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations advising the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    Peter has previously held a number Senior Executive Service positions in Defence including First Assistant Secretary International Policy Division, First Assistant Secretary Coordination and Public Affairs and Secretary of the Defence Audit and Risk Committee.

    Peter was Director of Programs at ASPI between late 2003 and January 2006 and has taught postgraduate studies on terrorism at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).

    In the Defence Department, Peter has been the Deputy Director of the then titled Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (2002) and head of the Strategic Policy Branch (1998–1999). In late 1999 Peter was co-director of the East Timor Policy Unit, responsible for developing Australia’s policy approaches to the international peacekeeping operation in East Timor. Following that, as an acting First Assistant Secretary, Peter was closely involved in developing the 2000 Defence White Paper.

    Peter studied at the London Business School in 2000–2001 as a Sloan Fellow and was awarded a Masters of Science (Management) with Distinction. He has a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from the Australian National University (1987) and a BA (Honours) in History from the University of Tasmania (1980–1984). He has been a Fulbright Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1985). Peter taught politics and international relations at the University of New South Wales/ADFA (1987–1990).

    Peter was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day 2013 Honors list for outstanding public service through the development of Australia’s strategic and defence policy, particularly in the areas of Australian Defence Force operations in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. In February 2016 Peter was awarded the French decoration of Knight in the National Order of Legion d’Honneur.

  • Chris Richardson

    Partner, Deloitte Access Economics

    'Address to the National Press Club'

    Wednesday, 12 April 2017

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

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    Chris is in charge of the Deloitte Access Economics’ forecasting and policy unit and is one of Australia’s best known economists. A highly sought after commentator and presenter on economic trends in both broadcast and print media, he is also the author of Business Outlook, a leader in its field of macro forecasting, as well as the highly influential Budget Monitor, an in-depth analysis of the Australian Federal Budget.

  • Professor Gareth Evans and Allan Gyngell

    Chancellor of The Australian National University & Adjunct Professor at the ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy

    'Australia’s Fear of Abandonment: Foreign Policy in an Era of Global Change'

    Thursday, 13 April 2017

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

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    Professor the Hon. Gareth Evans AC QC

    Gareth Evans is Chancellor of The Australian National University. He was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments from 1983-96, in the posts of Attorney General, Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Transport and Communications and – from 1988-96 – Foreign Minister. During his 21 years in Australian politics he was Leader of the Government in the Senate (1993-96) and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives (1996-98). From 2000 to 2009 he was President and CEO of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation.

    He has written or edited 12 books and published many newspaper articles and over 100 journal articles and chapters on foreign relations, human rights and legal and constitutional reform.

    He currently Co-Chairs the International Advisory Board of the New-York based Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and is Patron and Emeritus Convenor of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.


    Allan Gyngell AO

    Allan Gyngell is an Adjunct Professor at the ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy. His earlier appointments included Director-General of the Office of National Assessments, founding Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, senior positions in several government departments and foreign policy adviser to Paul Keating.

    His new history of Australian foreign policy, Fear of Abandonment: Australia in the World Since 1942, will be officially launched at the Address.

    The book looks at the way Australian governments have responded to the fear of abandonment which lies deep in the history of European settlement in Australia. Three separate themes have woven through the foreign policies of every Australian government for the past seventy-five years: a close alliance with a great and powerful friend; efforts to shape the region around it through engagement with its Asian and Pacific neighbours; and a commitment to a global order with accepted rules which Australia has played a part in setting.

    With nationalist and protectionist sentiments on the rise, the final chapter – and this National Press Club discussion – consider the tests Australia now faces in a world very different from any in its modern experience, with globalisation under pressure, a US administration backing away from its post-war global role, a growing and increasingly ambitious China, and multilateral institutions under new strain.

  • Fiona Nash

    Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Local Government & Territories, Minister for Regional Communications

    'Address to the National Press Club'

    Wednesday, 19 April 2017

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

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    Fiona Nash was elected as a Nationals Senator for New South Wales in the 2004 federal election and her term began on 1 July 2005.

    As a Senator for The Nationals, Fiona’s overriding focus is to ensure that communities throughout regional, rural and remote NSW receive the investment and services they deserve.

    Minister Nash and her husband David live on a farming property at Crowther (located near Young) in the south-west of NSW and together they have two sons, Will and Henry.

    Although born and raised in Sydney, Minister Nash ended up studying at Mitchell College in Bathurst where she fell in love with life in the country. She and David eventually moved to Crowther and in 1991 she joined the local branch of the National Party.

    Minister Nash has held a number of different roles within the NSW Nationals. Her experience in the party has included serving as a branch chairman, becoming a member of the party’s State Executive as well as being a delegate to Federal Council.

    Since becoming a Senator, she has served as The Nationals Whip in the Senate, Deputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate and in February 2016 she was elected by her parliamentary colleagues as Deputy Leader of The Nationals.

    The Minister’s other parliamentary roles have included Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Water Resources and Conservation, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education, Assistant Minister for Health and Minister for Rural Health.

    Throughout her career, Minister Nash has been involved in a number of important causes.

    In opposition she led the successful fight against the previous Labor Government’s proposed changes to independent youth allowance, which were fundamentally unfair and disadvantaged students from regional areas.

    In 2013 Minister Nash and her Nationals colleagues successfully blocked the attempted takeover of Graincorp by the American multinational company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

    She is a vocal supporter of the Coalition Government’s introduction of fairer country of origin food labelling laws, and the establishment of increased scrutiny of foreign ownership of agricultural land.

    During her time as Minister for Rural Health she led the Government’s $300 million strategy to combat the drug ice throughout Australia, redirected $50 million to increase doctors’ incentives to practice in rural areas and secured the appointment of the first ever National Rural Health Commissioner to help to ensure that more doctors are trained in rural and regional areas.

    Minister Nash is passionate about supporting the rollout of the nbn as quickly and efficiently as possible in country areas. She is also working hard to improve mobile phone reception across regional, rural and remote Australia through the Government’s $220 million Mobile Black Spot Programme.

    Currently she is the Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories and Regional Communications in the Coalition Government.

  • The Hon Scott Morrison MP


    'Post Budget Address'

    Wednesday, 10 May 2017

    Arrive from 11.00am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm

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    This is a National Press Club of Australia MEMBER ONLY event.

    This Address will take place in the Great Hall at Parliament House.


    The Hon. Scott Morrison MP is the Treasurer and a senior member of Prime Minister Turnbull’s Cabinet and Expenditure Review Committee.

    Minister Morrison was appointed Minister for Social Services on December 23, 2014 and was responsible for driving the Coalition Government’s welfare reform strategy that is designed to increase the economic participation of Australians and to ensure the long term sustainability of Australia’s welfare safety net.

    Prior to serving as Minister for Social Services, Minister Morrison was the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection where he also served on the National Security Committee of Cabinet and he successfully implemented Operation Sovereign Borders, that ‘stopped the boats’, saving lives and restoring public confidence in Australia’s immigration programme. As Minister, Mr Morrison also initiated some of the most significant reforms to Australia’s border management operations in a generation, including the decision to establish the Australian Border Force.

    Mr Morrison was first elected to the House of Representatives as the Federal Member for Cook, in southern Sydney in NSW in November 2007. Prior to his appointment as Minister in the first Abbott Cabinet in September 2013, he served in various portfolios in opposition including Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Productivity and Population, Infrastructure, Housing and Local Government.

    Prior to entering politics, Mr Morrison worked as a CEO and senior executive in various industry bodies and government agencies, including Managing Director of Tourism Australia, State Director of the Liberal Party in NSW and National Policy and Research Manager for the Property Council of Australia.

    Minister Morrison holds an Honours degree in Applied Economic Geography from the University of NSW.


  • Chris Bowen MP

    Shadow Treasurer of Australia

    'Budget Reply Address'

    Wednesday, 17 May 2017

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

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    Chris Bowen was elected to the Federal Parliament as Member for Prospect in October 2004.

    Chris was educated at Smithfield Public School and St Johns Park High School. He graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Economics.

    He joined the Labor Party in 1988 and has held many honorary positions in the party.

    He was elected to Fairfield Council in 1995 and has been Chairman of the City Outcomes Committee, the Fairfield Town Centre Management Committee and the Community, Recreation and Development Committee.

    Chris was elected Mayor of Fairfield for 1998 and 1999, and became President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils from 2000 to 2002.

    Immediately before being elected to Parliament, Chris was Chief of Staff to Hon. Carl Scully, NSW Minister for Roads, Housing and Leader of the House.

    Since being in Parliament, Chris has been elected as Deputy Chair of the House of Reps Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration.

    He was also a member of the Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.

    In December 2006, Chris was appointed to the Federal Labor Party’s frontbench as the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Revenue & Competition Policy.

    Following the historic election of the Labor Government in 2007, Chris was appointed to the new Ministry. Chris took on two portfolios as Assistant Treasurer, and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.

    In June 2009, Chris was elevated to Cabinet as Minister for Human Services. He also served as Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law.

    Following the re-election of the Labor Government in 2010, Chris was appointed as Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

    In February 2013 Chris was appointed Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research and Minister for Small Business.

    In June of the same year, Chris was appointed Treasurer by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Following the 2013 election, he served as Interim Labor Party Leader and Leader of the Opposition while the Labor leadership ballot was underway. He was later appointed Shadow Treasurer by Bill Shorten.

  • Professor Peter Høj

    Chair of the Group of Eight, Vice Chancellor and President of The University of Queensland

    'Address to the National Press Club'

    Wednesday, 28 June 2017

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

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    Professor Peter Høj commenced as Vice Chancellor and President of The University of Queensland on 8 October 2012.  Prior to this appointment Professor Høj was Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of South Australia from 1 June 2007.   Before that, he was Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Council (2004-2007) and Managing Director of the Australian Wine Research Institute (1997-2004).

    He was educated at the University of Copenhagen, majoring in biochemistry and chemistry, and has a Master of Science degree in biochemistry and genetics, a PhD in photosynthesis, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Copenhagen and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia.

    Professor Høj is the chair of the Board of Group of Eight (Go8) Universities in 2017, a member of the Medical Research Future Fund Advisory Board, a member of the STEM Males Champions of Change and in 2014 was appointed as a senior consultant to Hanban in the Oceania Region.

    He served as Co-Deputy Chair of the Strengthened Export Controls Steering Group 2012-2016, a member of the edX University Advisory Board 2014-2017, the CSIRO Board 2011-2014 and was Deputy Chair of Universities Australia Board 2011-2013. He served as a private member of the Prime Minister’s Science Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) from 1999-2004, and as an ex-officio member from 2006-2007.

    He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Foreign Member (Natural Sciences Class) of The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.

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.