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Annual Hawke Lectures

The Annual Hawke Lecture is the premier national event on the public calendar of the University of South Australia, delivered under the auspices of the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre.  There are relatively few moments when we have the time to consider the larger issues of life, including the future of our nation and our world and how we can shape it.  The University of South Australia offers the Annual Hawke Lecture in this spirit, as an opportunity to listen to the views of someone whose experience of human affairs is notable, and whose concerns about our world are truly worthy of consideration.

The Centre mounts an active public program consistent with its non-partisan agenda of:

Strengthening our democracy - Valuing our diversity - Building our future

2014 Annual Hawke Lecture

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, AC, AFC (Ret'd), who will lead the Anzac Centenary commemorations starting next year, will deliver the 17th Annual Hawke Lecture.

Tuesday 5 August 2014, Adelaide Town Hall.

Past lecturers

2013 - Dr Elizabeth Blackburn 2012 - Mr Richard Woolcott
2011 - The Hon Dame Silvia Cartwright 2010 - Professor Geoff Gallop
2009 - Professor Ross Garnaut 2008 - Professor Fiona Stanley
2007 - The Hon Justice Michael Kirby 2006 - Mr Greg Combet
2005 - Mr Greg Bourne 2004 - Ms Irene Khan
2003 - The Hon Gareth Evans 2002 - Mr Noel Pearson  
2001 - Sir Gustav Nossal 2000 - Dr Mamphela Ramphele
1999 - Sir Zelman Cowen 1998 - The Hon Bob Hawke



Dr Elizabeth Blackburn - Nobel Laureate

Living Longer - A Journey into the Bio-Future

In conversation with Dr Robyn Williams, science presenter. 

A world-leading scientist and microbiologist, Dr Blackburn is an Australian who has revolutionized understanding of key factors that contribute to ageing and human mortality. Currently based at the University of California San Francisco, she is also the first Australian woman to win a Nobel Prize.

In conversation with the ABC's Robyn Williams, Dr Blackburn shares the passion and insights that have driven her towards her celebrated scientific achievements. Join her on a journey from her childhood in Tasmania to her studies in Melbourne and her career as an internationally-acclaimed microbiologist. Share in Dr Blackburn's reflections on motherhood, women and science as she describes discoveries that are transforming our understanding of human health.


Dr Elizabeth Blackburn


Mr Richard Woolcott AC, former Special Envoy and diplomat for Australia

Advance Australia Where? Forging our future in the Asian region

Closely following the release of the Australian Government's white paper on the 'Asian Century', Mr Richard Woolcott, respected and long term adviser on Australian-Asian relations to Prime Ministers from both major parties, explained why we should and how we can advance Australia into the 'Asian Century' and reap the benefits. Woolcott examined how our future in the Asian region will rely on a more effective response to our geography.


Richard Woolcott AC_2012 Annual Hawke Lecturer 


The Hon Dame Silvia Cartwright, Former Governor General of New Zealand and now Trial Judge, United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, Courts of Cambodia

International criminal trials. A promise fulfilled?

A former Governor General of New Zealand, Dame Silvia is well known for defending human rights through the United Nations, for furthering international justice, and for her deep analysis of the victim experience.  She has described the purpose of international trials as 'to end impunity, promote peace and reconciliation, punish those who have perpetrated proven mass crimes, and achieve justice for victims'. In this address, Dame Silvia will consider the utility of international criminal trials against the backdrop of the Cambodian experience (1975-9) and others.  


The Hon Dame Silvia Cartwright_2011 Annual Hawke Lecturer


Professor Geoff Gallop, Director of the Graduate School of Government, The University of Sydney

Re-thinking Australian Politics: Engaging the Disenchanted

Rarely is there commentary these days without some reference to the disenchantment of the voting public, not just about the way politics is conducted but also about the outcomes from the process, particularly as they relate to long-term challenges.

The Lecture will examine the various interpretations of this disenchantment and the different solutions that have been proposed to address the issue, ranging from constitutional reform to public sector reform to parliamentary reform to electoral reform to party political reform. The question will be posed - is this an issue requiring system change or is it one that goes to the heart of our political culture and the way it has developed in recent years?


Professor Geoff Gallop_2010 Annual Hawke Lecture


Distinguished Professor Ross Garnaut, Australian National University

Climate Change: The public interest and private interests in Australian policy

The Garnaut Climate Change Review advised that it was in Australia's national interest to seek an ambitious international agreement on climate change mitigation, with Australia playing its full proportionate part. The 2009 Hawke Lecture discusses the elements of an international agreement in Copenhagen in December 2009 that would meet Australia's national interest. It addresses the difficulties of governments pursuing policies in the national interest when these are in conflict with powerful private interests. Comparisons are made between the history of Australian trade policy in the twentieth century and climate change policy now.


Professor Ross Garnaut_2009 Annual Hawke Lecture


Professor Fiona Stanley, Head of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research

The Greatest Injustice - Why we have failed to improve the health of Aboriginal people

Professor Stanley was Australian of the Year in 2003, and is head of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research. She is widely recognised for her commitment to child health and has expressed concerns about current social impacts on children and young people. She provides public health advice at the highest levels in Australia and her expertise is acknowledged internationally.


Professor Fiona Stanley_2008 Annual Hawke Lecture


The Hon Justice Michael Kirby, High Court of Australia

Consensus and Dissent in Australia

Bob Hawke was famous for his commitment to a search for consensus in politics and in industrial relations. It was the theme of his Boyer Lectures and a feature of his leadership of the union movement and the nation.

This year's Hawke Lecturer, Justice Kirby, has the highest dissenting rate in the history of the High Court, even out-flanking the dissents of Justice Issacs, Justice Evatt and Justice Murphy. In his Hawke Lecture, Justice Kirby will explore consensus and dissent in society. When is it appropriate, in the law and in the community, to seek agreement? And when do we have to stand up and disagree? By reference to law and life, this year's Annual Hawke Lecture will examine consensus and dissent in Australia.


The Hon Justice Michael Kirby_2007 Annual Hawke Lecture


Mr Greg Combet, Secretary of the ACTU

A new Australian consensus for the 21st Century

Short-term gain or long-term prosperity? Reflections on current Australian attitudes, community cohesiveness and national policies will be at the heart of this address. Greg will pose hard questions as to whether we are living for the moment or aiming for a strong national future.

Reigniting hope for a better future: An emerging leader in the debate about Australia's long term future, Greg will argue the case that only by building a new consensus can Australia confidently expect prosperity, security and social justice.


Mr Greg Combet_2006 Annual Hawke Lecture


Mr Greg Bourne, Chief Executive Officer, WWF-Australia

A sustainable planet - a future for Australia

Is petrol pricing the tip of the iceberg?  "We are in the red. We exceed Earth's capacity by 20%. We are creating a depleted planet with a quality of life to match. The new era that we must create together is a sustainable one. One in which we have a thriving economy, a thriving society and a thriving environment..."

Can Australia become a world exporter of sustainability?  This is the big challenge that Greg Bourne, former top executive in the oil industry, will throw down to Australia when he delivers the national 2005 Annual Hawke Lecture.


Mr Greg Bourne_2005 Annual Hawke Lecture


Ms Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International

Security for Whom? Redesigning Security, Reinforcing Human Rights

As the first woman, first Asian and first Muslim to head the world's largest human rights organisation, she has led Amnesty International through challenging developments in the wake of 11 September 2001, confronting the backlash against human rights, broadening the work of the organisation in areas of economic, social and cultural rights, and initiating a process of internal reform and renewal to enable the organisation to respond flexibly and rapidly to world events. She has also sought to bring a strong focus to the issue of women's human rights and violence against women.


Ms Irene Khan_2004 Annual Hawke Lecture


The Hon Gareth Evans, President of the International Crisis Group

Waging War and Making Peace

A former Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Evans was appointed to this position in January 2000. The International Crisis Group (ICG) is an independent, non-profit, multinational organization, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.


The Hon Gareth Evans_2003 Annual Hawke Lecture


Mr Noel Pearson, Aboriginal activist

Indigenous Australia: the Social and Cultural Predicament

Noel Pearson is a Bama Bagaarrmugu of the Guuguwarra Nation from Kalpowar and Jeanie River area, Cape York.


Mr Noel Pearson_2002 Annual Hawke Lecture


Sir Gustav Nossal, distinguished Australian scientist

Medical Science and Human Goals: a challenge for Australian research

Eminent scientists Sir Gustav Nossal has enjoyed a distinguished career in medical research. He was Director of the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne (1965-1996). He has been a Special Consultant to the World Health Organisation and has received numerous honours both nationally and internationally.


Sir Gustav Nossal_2001 Annual Hawke Lecture


Dr Mamphela Ramphele, Managing Director, The World Bank Group (Human Development)

Human Rights and Human Development: Fulfilling the Basic Needs of People

Dr Ramphele has been a civil rights leader, medical doctor, and the first black woman to become a University Vice Chancellor in South Africa. As a student she fought apartheid alongside Steve Biko, and has received world awards and honorary doctorates for service to the community.


Dr Mamphela Ramphele_2000 Annual Hawke Lecture


Sir Zelman Cowen, former Governor General of Australia

The Australian Republic - A Guide for the Perplexed

Sir Zelman Cowen, former Governor-General, academic, and an expert in constitutional law, is an Australian of high distinction, admired for his humanity and his knowledge.


Sir Zelman Cowen_1999 Annual Hawke Lecture


The Hon Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister of Australia

A Confident Australia

Australia's longest serving Labor Prime Minister (1983-1991). Bob Hawke's long career in public life, as union official and political leader, has been characterised by a commitment to the betterment of the lives of all Australians, and a faith in the future of Australia as an outward looking and independent nation, confident of its place in the world.


The Hon Bob Hawke_1998 Annual Hawke Lecture


The Centre encourages the generation of knowledge, research and debate about the issues that we face as individuals belonging to communities, societies and the world.

The Hawke Lecturer is a prominent person of national or international standing who has a demonstrated commitment to causes such as:

Drawing upon the interests and the experiences of the Lecturer, the Hawke Lecture challenges Australians and brings significant influence to bear on public opinion, policy and practice.

First delivered in 1998, in recent years it has been broadcast to a national audience by the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

Printed copies are available on request.


Ms Elizabeth Ho
Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, University of South Australia
Ph: +61 8 8302 0651 Mobile: 0417 085 585
Email: Elizabeth.ho@unisa.edu.au

While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy - valuing our diversity - and building our future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.