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Archive for July 2012

Address to Public Sector In-House Counsel

On behalf of Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, I addressed the Public Sector In-House Counsel Conference this morning.

Andrew Leigh MP on behalf of
The Hon Nicola Roxon MP

8th Annual Public Sector In-House Counsel Conference 2012
30 July 2012

Ministerial Keynote Address:
In-house counsel: Delivering the benefits while avoiding the risks

Acknowledgements

First, may I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land we meet on – and pay my respects to their elders, both past and present.

Introduction

It is a pleasure to join you here today for the 8th Public Sector In‑House Counsel Conference.

I regard myself as a lapsed lawyer, having practiced for only a short period in the mid-1990s, for Sydney law firms Coleman & Grieg and Minter Ellison. My last job in the legal profession was as Associate to former High Court Justice Michael Kirby.

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Six Score Years On

In the ACT ALP journal Lobby, I have a piece with Will Isdale about the party’s achievements since 1891.

Andrew Leigh & William Isdale, ‘Labor’s Proud History’, Lobby, July 2012

There is no unambiguous birth certificate for the ALP, but the most common account is that during a bitter pastoral strike in 1891, some 3000 shearers came together and formed the party under the speckled shade of a gum tree that came to be known with affection as the ‘Tree of Knowledge’, in Barcaldine in rural Queensland.  On other accounts, the party sprung to life in bustling Balmain in the same year – an area known for its shipbuilding and boilermaking.

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Go forth, and be unreasonable

Today’s Australian runs a version of my ANU graduation speech in the Higher Education section.

Progress rarely plane sailing but dare to do it anyway, The Australian, 25 July 2012

In 1931, the British air ministry decided to experiment by commissioning a new fighter aircraft. The bureaucrats wanted aviation engineers to abandon past orthodoxies and create something entirely new.

The initial prototypes were disappointing. But then a company called Supermarine approached the ministry with a radical new design. A public servant by the name of Henry Cave-Browne-Cave decided to bypass the regular process and order it. The new plane was the Supermarine Spitfire.

Continue reading ‘Go forth, and be unreasonable’ »

More funding for NBN local services in Gungahlin

Today I announced more funding for Gungahlin Library as part of the National Broadband Network roll-out, this time for services to put people in touch with their local government. The funding comes on top of over $800,000 announced last week to provide NBN training facilities also at Gungahlin Library. It’s exciting to see the development of a 21st century library; using local community facilities to connect with the world’s knowledge.
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Speech to ANU Crawford School Public Policy Week

Speech to ANU Crawford School Public Policy week by Andrew Leigh MP on Mixcloud

On 20 July, I spoke to 60 ‘rising star’ academics at the ANU Crawford School’s Policy Priorities Luncheon. The theme of the session was: what is government NOT thinking about in public policy priorities over the next decade that it should be thinking about?

Sky AM Agenda 19 July

I was on the Sky AM Agenda program this morning with Kelly O’Dwyer, hosted by Kieran Gilbert. We talked about how Tony Abbott has taken his negativity to the US, and we discussed asylum seeker policy, including former defence chief Admiral Chris Barrie’s scathing criticism of the Liberals’ policies to turn boats around on the high seas.

2012 Fraser Lecture

Just a week until Anne Summers delivers the Fraser Lecture. Details below.

Anne Summers
The Good Fight or the Wrong Fight: Directions for 21st Century Feminism
2012 Fraser Lecture

Venue: Fred Daly Room, Belconnen Labor Club
Time:
7.30pm, Wednesday 25 July

Entry by gold coin donation

The lecture is open to the Canberra community. Please RSVP to Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au or 6247 4396.

About Anne Summers

Dr Anne Summers AO is a best-selling author, journalist and thought-leader with a long career in politics, the media, business and the non-government sector in Australia, Europe and the United States.  She is author of several books, including the classic Damned Whores and God’s Police, first published in 1975, Ducks on the Pond, her autobiography in 1999, The End of Equality, (2003) On Luck (2008) and her most recent book The Lost Mother published in 2009 by Melbourne University Press.

About the Fraser Lecture

Originated by former member Bob McMullan, and now continued by Andrew Leigh MP, the Fraser Lecture is a chance to hear a high-profile Australian speak about his or her vision for Australia’s future. Past speakers have included Julia Gillard, Sharan Burrow, Kevin Rudd and Clare Martin. This is the 12th Fraser Lecture.

Tall Poppies in the Land of the Fair Go

My Drum article today is on inequality.

Tall Poppies in the Land of the Fair Go, The Drum, 18 July 2012

Since 1980, 14 per cent of all personal income growth in Australia has gone to the richest 1 per cent.

That group – currently those individuals earning over about $200,000 – have received 14 times their share of Australia’s economic growth in the past generation.

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Politics and the Media: A New Spin?

I’m speaking at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney on 7 Aug, on the topic ‘Politics and the Media: A New Spin?’. Details below.

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Blackfriars Lecture – ‘The Eye of the Needle: Why Inequality Matters’

I’m giving a Blackfriars Lecture at the Australian Catholic University on inequality next Monday night. Details here (and flyer below). Continue reading ‘Blackfriars Lecture – ‘The Eye of the Needle: Why Inequality Matters’’ »

Media and Politics in the Digital Age

I’m speaking at the University of Canberra on 1 August, on the topic ‘The Naked Truth? Media and Politics in the Digital Age’. Details below.

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Capital Hill 12 July

Julie Doyle hosted me and Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield on ABC 24’s Capital Hill program yesterday. Topics discussed include Tony Abbott’s ambiguous position on penalty rates and protection for workers, the efficiency of pricing carbon to improve environmental protection, and the transition to the carbon price.

The Spirit Which is Not Too Sure It’s Right

I addressed graduating ANU students today, speaking about doubt and uncertainty, scepticism and risk-taking, experimenting and being prepared to make a mistake.

‘The Spirit Which is Not Too Sure It’s Right’
ANU Graduation Address
12 July 2012

In 1931, the British air ministry decided to experiment by commissioning a new fighter aircraft.[1] The bureaucrats wanted aviation engineers to abandon past orthodoxies and create something entirely new.

The initial prototypes were disappointing. But then a company called Supermarine approached the ministry with a radical new design. A public servant by the name of Henry Cave-Brown-Cave decided to bypass the regular process and order it. The new plane was the Supermarine Spitfire.

Continue reading ‘The Spirit Which is Not Too Sure It’s Right’ »

Army Assessors, Tax Refunds and Education

Here’s my Chronicle column for this month.

Lessons Important for Us All, The Chronicle, 3 July 2012

In his splendid new book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, psychologist Daniel Kahneman talks about how reluctant we are to change our minds. To illustrate his point, Kahneman tells the story of how and his fellow psychologists would evaluate candidates for leadership in the Israeli army. They would set difficult challenges – such as one in which a team of eight soldiers had to use a long log to get each of them over a six-foot high fence without touching the fence. At the end of the exercises, the psychologists were confident that they had determined which of the soldiers had leadership potential.

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Inequality & Mobility on Saturday Extra

On ABC Radio National’s Saturday Extra program, I spoke with Geraldine Doogue about rising inequality and unchanged (for now) social mobility. Here’s a podcast.

At one point in the podcast, I mentioned an article of mine which found that a majority of High Court associated in the period 1993-2000 attended just three universities (Sydney, UNSW and Melbourne). Full article here.