Dr Kerry Bennett and post-graduate students

Student market drives Victorian economy (November lunch)

Postgraduate students comprise 30% of all enrolments in Australian universities. In 2001, 73% of postgraduate enrolments were domestic students. By 2026, there will be more international than domestic postgraduate students at Australian universities. Victoria is leading the way in the push to embrace post-graduate students – particularly those from overseas. Dr Kerry Bennett, the CEO […]

Terry Moran and John Cain Senior and Junior

Focus on local communities key to restoring trust in democracies (John Cain lecture)

The less well off have been the most affected in a significant power shift from the states to Canberra, according to the former head of the Victorian and federal public service. Terry Moran AC told about 100 people who attended the annual John Cain lecture on November 27 2019 that there had been a a […]

Tina Hogarth-Clarke

Greying population brings challenges and opportunities (October lunch)

By 2036, almost a quarter of Victorians will be over 60. Outside Melbourne, that will be almost a third of the population. The shift to an older population will bring challenges but also opportunities. The CEO of the Council of the Ageing Victoria, Tina Hogarth-Clarke told our October lunch that older Victorians bring a wealth […]

Historians John and Hatice Basarin

Quest for oil fired the Gallipoli campaign (September lunch)

The move from a coal to an oil-fired navy drove Britain to embark on the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign. The empire failed to take the Dardanelles. It did, however, carve up the Middle East in its quest for oil. Historians Dr John Basarin OAM and Hatice Basarin told our September lunch that these arbitrary borders gave […]

Conny Lenneberg and Jenny Macklin

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (August lunch)

A place-based approach to building community capacity helps to focus on issues that occur at a neighbourhood level. The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Executive Director, Conny Lenneberg, drew on her extensive experience in community capacity building to relate how the Brotherhood is using a place-based approach throughout Australia. Before taking up her position at the […]

Elaine Carbines, Greg Hunt and Brian Howe.

Geelong – from gloom to boom (July lunch)

Five years ago, Victoria’s second city was ailing, with the imminent closure of  the Ford plant and a host of other troubles bringing bad headlines. Today, the picture is a good deal rosier with Geelong and its surrounding regions moving into information technology, creative industries, advanced fibres, defence industries, research and education. G21 – Geelong […]

Picture of John Daley, CEO the Grattan Institute

Where to Australia? (June lunch)

More than 80 people enjoyed a well-researched, lively, uncompromising presentation by John Daley, CEO of the Grattan Institute reflecting on the recent federal election results and outlining Grattan’s proposals for reform. One fascinating aspect of the talk was Grattan’s analysis, at polling-booth level, of the socio-demographic profile of swings to the Coalition and to Labor […]

Brian Howe, John Cain and Frank Bongiorno

Is Social Democracy Dead?

Former Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe AO and noted historian Frank Bongiorno AM provided their unique perspectives on the health of social democracy at our discussion on Tuesday evening, 18 June.  They explored Australia’s values – economically, socially and culturally. The discussion considered whether is it time to ask whether lofty philosophical values like social […]


Winning for Women (book launch)

Iola Mathews was one of the first generation of women trying to ‘have it all’ with a career and children. At  the recent launch of her book, Winning for Women, Iola spoke with Maxine McKew about the day-to-day groundwork required to bring about reforms in areas like affirmative action, equal pay, superannuation, childcare, parental leave […]


Can we save the Murray-Darling? (May lunch)

Numerous reports tell us the Murray Darling basin is in crisis. How has this happened and what can be done to save the nation’s largest river system? David Lewis is well placed to examine the vexed problem of the Murray Darling basin. At our May lunch, he discussed the issues and what he thinks might be […]

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