2009 Conference Speakers Bios & Speeches

  • Helen Dalley, Journalist, Sky News

    An award-winning television journalist and one of Australia’s most experienced and highly respected interviewers, reporters and presenters. She was at the Nine Network for two decades, prior to joining Sky News as host of Sky News Sunday Business.

    Ms Dalley was a senior reporter and alternate host on the wellregarded, agenda-setting Sunday program for 16 years. She hosted the Nine Network’s continuous coverage of the 2003 Iraq War and
    the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Her work has also featured on 60 Minutes, A Current Affair, Sky News’ Sunday Business and Sunday Agenda.

  • John Hartigan, Chairman and Chief Executive, News Limited

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    John Hartigan heads up Australia’s largest media company and the nation’s biggest publisher of
    newspapers, with interests in online publishing, magazines and subscription television.


    In 2007, he led the formation of the media coalition, Australia’s Right To Know, campaigning for improvements in free speech and the openness and transparency of government and the courts. In the same year he also delivered the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s 11th annual Andrew Olle Lecture to significant acclaim having argued the social value and public importance of quality journalism had never been greater.

  • Mark Scott, Managing Director, ABC

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    Mark Scott has been in his role since 2006. For the previous 12 years he worked at John Fairfax Publications; first appointed as Education Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald. Since then he filled a number of senior roles at The Herald including Saturday Editor and Deputy Editor before moving into senior executive positions with Fairfax.

    He was Director of Organisation Development and then Editor-in-Chief of Metropolitan Newspapers. Immediately prior to moving to the ABC he was Fairfax's Editorial Director.

  • The Hon. Justice Ron Sackville AO, Supreme Court

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    Justice Ronald Sackville was a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 1994 until 2008. He was the Chair of the Judicial Conference of Australia, a body representing judicial officers throughout Australia, from 2004 to 2006.

    He served as Commissioner for Law and Poverty on the Australian Government Commission of Inquiry into Poverty; Chairman of the South Australian Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs; Chairman of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission; and Chair of the Access to Justice Advisory Committee. He was also Chairman of the Victorian Accident Compensation Commission and an Assistant Commissioner of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.

    Justice Sackville practised as a barrister in Sydney for more than 10 years and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1991. He was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in the 2009 Australia Day Honours List.

  • Chris Warren, Federal Secretary of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance and CEO of the Walkley Foundation for Excellence in Journalism

    Chris Warren was President of the International Federation of Journalists from 1998 to 2007. He has had a career in journalism spanning 32 years. He started out on The Sydney Morning Herald and also worked for the ABC and as a lecturer in journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney.

  • Senator John Faulkner.jpg Senator The Hon. John Faulkner, Special Minister of State, Cabinet Secretary and Vice-President of the Executive Council

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    Senator John Faulkner has been in his role since the election of the Rudd Government in 2007.

    Within Senator Faulkner’s portfolios, he has oversight of Cabinet business and processes, freedom of information and privacy, the Australian Public Service Commission, electoral matters and the Australian Electoral Commission, Ministerial and Parliamentary entitlements, the National Archives and Old Parliament House. He also has Ministerial responsibility for Commonwealth Integrity Agencies - the Australian National Audit Office, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. He also serves on the National Security Committee of Cabinet.

  • Tony Jones, Host, ABC’s Lateline

    Tony Jones began hosting the award-winning news and current affairs program in 1999. In 2004 and again in 2008, he received a Walkley Award for the best Broadcast Interviewing, for his work on the show.

    An experienced and respected journalist, Mr Jones is at the helm of a unique, nightly news analysis program, delivering up-to-the-minute coverage of Australian and international news and events. The program is a provocative, challenging window on today's world.

  • Lynelle Briggs, Australian Public Service Commissioner, Australian Public Service Commission

    Lynelle Briggs is responsible for the ethical and employment leadership of the Australian Public Service, where she administers the Public Service Act, and provides a range of support services. She is most well known for her annual State of the Service report.

    Having been with the Australian Public Service for 28 years, Ms Briggs’ career has involved time in the former Department of Social Security, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Treasury and the then Department of Health and Aged Care. She also worked with the New Zealand Treasury for two years.

  • Mark Dreyfus QC, MP, Chair of the House of Representatives Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

    Mark Dreyfus was elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Isaacs in November 2007. Following the election, he was appointed Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, as well as being appointed as a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and the House Standing Committee on Climate Change, Water, Environment and the Arts.

    In his role as Chair of the House Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Mr Dreyfus has overseen the recent inquiry into whistleblowing protection for the Commonwealth public service. The inquiry’s report was tabled in the House of Representatives in February 2009 and has recommended a comprehensive scheme of legislation to protect public interest disclosures.

  • Arthur Sinodinos AO, Regional General Manager, Business & Private Banking, NAB

    Arthur Sinodinos is responsible for Strategy, Marketing, Business Performance, Professional Development and two specialised businesses (Government & Education).

    He began his career as a graduate in the Department of Finance in 1979, moving on the Treasury in 1980 where he served in various capacities for seven years. He joined John Howard’s staff as Senior Economic Advisor in 1987. In May 1989 he returned to Treasury as an Assistant Secretary when Mr Howard lost the position of Opposition Leader.

    Mr Sinodinos returned to John Howard's staff in 1995, and upon the election of the Howard Government, was appointed the Policy Director in the office of the Prime Minister. In October 1997, he was appointed as Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, a position he held until December 2006 when he resigned to take a Senior Director position with Goldman Sachs JBWere.

  • Paul Kelly, Editor-at-Large, The Australian

    Previously Editor-in-Chief of The Australian, Paul Kelly writes on Australian politics, public policy and history as well as international issues. He has covered Australian governments from Gough Whitlam to John Howard and spent two decades working in the Canberra Press Gallery. He is a regular commentator on ABC television for the Insiders program.

    Mr Kelly is the author of six books spanning politics and history and was Graham Perkin Journalist of the Year (1990) and a double Walkley award winner for Excellence in 2001.

  • Senator George Brandis SC, Shadow Attorney-General

    Senator George Brandis is a former Young Liberal State President and Federal Patron, and Vice-President of the Queensland Division of the Liberal Party. He was selected to fill a casual senate vacancy.

    In his early years in the Senate, he attracted attention for his work in Senate Committees, most notably the Senate Select Committee on “A Certain Maritime Incident”. He was Chair of the Senate Economics Committee for five years.

    In 2006, Senator Brandis was appointed as a silk. The following year he was promoted to the Ministry, as Minister for the Arts and Sport.

  • Michael McKinnon, Freedom of Information Editor, Seven Network

    Michael McKinnon was the applicant in the landmark High Court case McKinnon v Treasury. He won his first Administrative Appeals Tribunal appeal in late 2002 as a self-represented client and has now taken more than 50 Freedom of Information appeals to the AAT.

    Mr McKinnon became Australia’s first FOI Editor when appointed by The Australian in late 2002 and has played a leading role in the campaign by Australia’s Right To Know push for improved FOI laws in Australia.

  • Matthew Moore, Freedom of Information Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald

    Matthew Moore has worked as Freedom of Information Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald since the position was first created in 2006. In more than 20 years at the paper, he has worked in senior roles including Chief of Staff, Olympics Editor during The Games in Sydney, and Indonesia Correspondent. He has used the NSW Freedom of Information Act since its introduction in 1989 and appears to be the only applicant ever to have an application under that Act blocked by the issue of a ministerial certificate.

  • Robert Todd, Partner Intellectual Property & Communications, Blake Dawson

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    Robert Todd is a recognised media lawyer and advisor to a major national newspaper publisher and national broadcaster. He has been involved with the combined media on law reform and proposed legislation, as well as being active in the Australia’s Right to Know campaign. He was involved in the Australian Broadcasting Authority’s "Cash for Comment Inquiry". He also acted for a coalition of international publishers and broadcasters who intervened in the leading High Court internet case of Gutnick.

    Mr Todd has been consistently recognised as a Leading Individual in media law by Chambers Global, Which Lawyer? Yearbook, Best Lawyer (USA) Australian Edition and Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Media Lawyers.

  • Gail Hambly, Group General Counsel & Company Secretary, Fairfax Media Group

    Gail Hambly has held her current position since 1993. She is responsible for the provision of legal and company secretarial services across the Group, as well as Risk Management and Internal Audit. Her legal responsibilities include media regulation, intellectual property, defamation and other media issues as well as mergers and acquisitions and the provision of commercial legal services to the Fairfax Group. As part of the key executive team she contributes to strategic development.

    Ms Hambly is a member of the Media and Communications Committee and the Privacy Committee of the Law Council of Australia.

  • David Penberthy, former editor, The Daily Telegraph

    David Penberthy started out studying law, but abandoned his degree to edit the Adelaide University student newspaper, On Dit, in 1990, where he developed a love of journalism. He joined The Adelaide Advertiser as a cadet journalist in 1992 and spent his first few years on the newspaper as education reporter, industrial reporter and state political reporter.

    In 1996, shortly after the election of the Howard Government, he was posted to Canberra to head the Advertiser's parliamentary bureau. In 1999 he moved to Sydney to join The Daily Telegraph as state parliament bureau chief, a position he held for three years before his appointment as chief of staff and then as opinion editor and columnist for the paper. Mr Penberthy is now editor of a new website which News Limited will be launching this year.

  • Nigel Waters, Pacific Privacy Consulting

    Nigel Waters has been immersed in privacy for 23 years. First as an official privacy ‘watchdog’ in the UK and then Australia, and since 1997 as both a consultant and an advocate – with the Australian Privacy Foundation. Nigel also teaches and researches privacy at the University of New South Wales, and regularly comments on privacy in the media. Nigel believes strongly that our societies do not need to sacrifice personal privacy and other freedoms for the sake of efficiency and safety, and that we should be clever enough to balance these public interests better than we have done to date.

  • Dr Roger Clarke, Chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, and Visiting Professor, UNSW Faculty of Law

    An independent business consultant for his company Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd. He also holds Visiting Professorships at UNSW, the ANU and the University of Hong Kong. He has undertaken many consultancy assignments in the privacy and data surveillance areas, and was recently lead author for the U.K. Information Commissioner's Handbook on Privacy Impact Assessment. His research papers have defined the battlegrounds for a wide variety of privacy topics.

    He has been an active privacy advocate since the early 1970s, and has been on the Boards of Privacy International and the Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) since their inception. He is currently Chair of the APF.

  • Peter Meakin, Director of News and Current Affairs, Seven Network

    Peter Meakin has at the Network since 2003. He started his career in Adelaide as a copy boy on The Advertiser in 1959. He became involved with the Nine Network in 1973, working for Mike Willesee's Transmedia on A Current Affair. Since then he worked, among other roles, as Chief of Production for 60 Minutes and Joint Executive Producer of Willesee, becoming Director of News and Current Affairs for Nine in 1993.

    Mr Meakin’s responsibilities at Nine extended widely beyond news and current affairs. He was the network executive responsible for lifestyle and reality programs including Getaway, Location Location, Changing Rooms, This Is Your Life and RPA and was also in charge of the development of new information programs.

  • Laurie Oakes, Political Editor, Nine Network

    Laurie Oakes has had a distinguished career in journalism that spans more than 40 years. In 1998 he won the Walkley Award for Journalistic Leadership. For several years Oakes wrote about politics in The Age in Melbourne and The Sunday Telegraph in Sydney and provided political reports and commentaries to a number of radio stations.

    Mr Oakes also writes an influential weekly column in The Saturday Daily Telegraph and is a highly regarded political author. His most recent published work; Power Plays, is a selection of his columns written for The Bulletin over 20 years.

    In 1997, he used leaked documents to break the travel rorts saga that ended the careers of three ministers and government staffers. To top it off he scored an exclusive interview on Sunday with one of the “Travelgate” affair’s surprise victims. His incisive political commentary and news-breaking ability has earned him the respect of peers and politicians alike.

  • Paul Whittaker, Editor, The Australian

    Paul Whittaker has been in his role editor since 2007. He is a two-time Walkley Award winner for investigative reporting. He was part of the team that helped formulate the News Limited-led Right to Know media campaign to lobby governments for greater public accountability and openness. He has also been instrumental in bringing several court cases to force the release of documents under Freedom of Information laws.

    Mr Whittaker joined The Australian in 2004 and was formerly the newspaper's deputy editor and national chief of staff. Prior to this, he was a journalist with News Limited for more than 22 years.

  • Dr AJ Brown, Professor of Public Law, Griffith Law School, Griffith University

    Dr Brown has worked with all levels of government, including roles as Senior Investigation Officer for the Commonwealth Ombudsman (Canberra), Associate to Justice Tony Fitzgerald AC (Queensland), and ministerial policy advisor in the environment and natural resources portfolios of the Queensland Government.

    He researches and teaches across a wide field of public accountability, public policy and public law. In 2003-2005 he was lead author of the national report Chaos or Coherence? Strengths, Opportunities and Challenges for Australia's Integrity Systems. His most recent edited book is Whistleblowing in the Australian Public Sector.

  • Caroline Overington, Journalist, The Australian

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    Caroline Overington is two-time winner of the Walkley Award for investigative journalism and winner of the Sir Keith Murdoch award for journalist excellence for her coverage of the Australian Wheat Board scandal.

    She is the author of two books, including Kickback, Inside the Australian Wheat Board Scandal which won the $30,000 Blake Dawson prize for Business Literature.

    She is a former foreign correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based in New York, and in 2009, will publish her first novel, Ghost Child.

  • Barry O’Farrell, NSW Liberal Leader

    Elected as Leader of the Opposition in 2007, Barry O’Farrell has a strong background in public policy having worked in the field at both State and Federal levels. Immediately prior to his election to Parliament he was State Director of the NSW Liberal Party. He has been a member of the Liberal Party since 1980 and was first elected to the NSW Parliament in 1995.

    A member of Shadow Cabinet since 1998, Barry has served in number of portfolios including Education, Health and Treasury.