Annual Public Lecture in Political Science and International Studies

Every year, the School brings world class speakers and renown political leaders to Brisbane to deliver the School's ‘Annual Lecture in Political Science and International Studies’. These flagship events provide important opportunities for our students to directly engage with eminent leaders and practitioners in ways that complement their studies.

2019 - Senator the Honourable Penny Wong - Rebuilding Australia's International Development Program for a Time of Disruption 

Senator Wong is the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. Senator Wong was born in Malaysia and moved to Adelaide with her family as an eight year old where she now lives with her partner and their two daughters.

Before entering politics Senator Wong worked for a union, as a ministerial adviser in the NSW Labor Government, and as a lawyer. Senator Wong was elected to the Senate in 2001 and took her seat in 2002. Following the election of the Labor Government in 2007 Senator Wong was appointed the Minister for Climate Change and Water and later served as Minister for Finance and Deregulation.

In 2013 Senator Wong was appointed Leader of the Government in the Senate. After the change of Government she was appointed Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. Senator Wong is the first woman to hold both these roles.

During the lecture Senator Wong announced that health, education, climate change, human rights and gender equality will be at the heart of a future Labor Government international aid budget. 

2018 - Paul Keating launches 'Fair Share; Competing Claims and Australia's Economic Future'

During the event, The Honourable Paul Keating drew on his immense experience as former Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia to provide a unique insight into the economic challenges posed in Fair Share: Competing Claims and Australia’s Economic Future.

The book, co-authored by Professor Stephen Bell, from UQ’s School of Political Science and International Studies, and Dr Michael Keating AC, former Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (1991-1996), examines the urgent economic challenges Australia now confronts and critically assesses the country’s political capacity to effectively address these challenges.

2017 - Linda Burney "Reconciliation, Referendum and Agreement Making”

Linda Burney was elected federal member for Barton in 2016, following a 13 year career in the NSW Parliament as Member for Canterbury. During her state political career she served as minister in a number of senior portfolios including as Minister for Community Services and later as Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

Following her election to the Federal House of Representatives she was immediately appointed as Shadow Minister for Human Services. Recently, she was appointed Shadow Minister for Preventing Family Violence. 

As a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation, Linda was the first Aboriginal person to be elected to the NSW Parliament and the first Aboriginal woman to serve in the Australian House of Representatives. Linda’s commitment to Indigenous issues spans more than 30 years.

She began her career as a teacher in Western Sydney and then as an education bureaucrat before being appointed Director General of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in 2000. Charles Sturt University awarded her, its first Aboriginal graduate, an Honorary Doctorate in Education in 2002.

2016 - No lecture

2015 - The Honourable Dr. Anna Bligh - "Leadership Matters"

Dr Anna Bligh became the first female Premier of the State of Queensland in September 2007 and Australia’s first popularly elected female Premier when she won the 2009 Queensland State election in her own right. Dr Bligh served as Premier for almost 5 years, until March 2012. She came to this position after a long and distinguished political career during which she held ministerial responsibilities for a number of portfolios including, Education, Social Welfare, Arts, Economic and State Development, Infrastructure, Finance, Treasury and Deputy Premier.

Dr Anna Bligh’s leadership came to national and international attention as she led the response and recovery effort to devastating natural disasters that crippled Queensland in January 2011.

In her lecture, Dr Bligh explores the challenge of political leadership in a world where everything is being disrupted, including democracy itself.

2014 - Senator the Honourable George Brandis QC - "Emerging Technologies for States in the 21st Century"

Senator George Brandis graduated from The University of Queensland with double first class honours in Law and Arts. In 2000, he became Senator for the state of Queensland. He became Minister for the Arts and Sports in 2007, and in 2013 was sworn in as a member of the First Cabinet of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He was appointed as Attorney General, Minister for the Arts and Vice President of the Executive Council. He is also the Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate.

In his Lecture, Senator Brandis provided insights into the novel challenge that emerging technologies pose for states in the 21st century and encouraged colleagues, students and alumni to think more deeply about the political, legal and ethical dilemmas associated with these technologies.

Sen. Brandis in the 2014 Annual Lecture

2013 - Senator the Honourable Robert Hill AC - "Global governance: So Difficult but so Important"

The 2013 lecture was delivered by the Honourable Professor Robert Hill AO on 9th October 2013 at The University of Queensland.

2012 - Ms Lyndall Sachs - "A Woman with a Mission: Diplomacy at the Frontline"

An alumnus of UQ, Excellency Lyndall Sachs, reflected on her extensive diplomatic career. She has worked in many conflict zones including Lebanon, Rwanda and the Balkans before her then current posting in Iraq.

Ms. Lyndall Sachs 2012 Annual Lecture

2011 - Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Kevin Rudd MP - "Centrality of the G20 to Australian Foreign Policy"

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP speaks on the importance of the G20 in the current economic climate 30th September 2011. 

2010 - Professor the Honourable Gareth Evans AO, QC - "From Ideas to Action: ‘Political Will’ in International Decisionmaking"

Former Australian Foreign Minister, Gareth Evans, spoke on important foreign policy issues facing our world currently, especially the protection of human rights and the need to reduce the dangers of nuclear weapons.  He discussed the role of states like Australia and the part played by civil society and universities in energising foreign policy development and implementation.

Mr. Gareth Evans in 2010 Annual Lecture