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Past Speakers


The Samuel Griffith Society is renown for attracting high-caliber speakers who are the leaders in their respective fields. Some of the speakers at previous conferences have included the following:

Governors-General and Governors

  • The Right Honourable Sir Paul Hasluck, KG, GCMG, GCVO

  • The Honourable Sir Walter Campbell, AC, Kt - Governor of Queensland

  • The Honourable William Cox, AC, RFD, ED, QC - Governor of Tasmania

  • The Honourable Paul de Jersey, AC - Governor of Queensland

The 28th Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Tony Abbott MP, addresses the Society

The 28th Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Tony Abbott MP, addresses the Society

Chief Justices of the High Court of Australia

  • The Right Honourable Sir Harry Gibbs, AC, GCMG, KBE

  • The Right Honourable Sir Garfield Barwick, AK, GCMG, Kt

  • The Honourable Murray Gleeson, AC

  • The Honourable Robert French, AC

  • The Honourable Susan Kiefel, AC

Justices of the High Court of Australia

  • The Honourable Ian Callinan, AC

  • The Honourable John Dyson Heydon, AC

  • The Honourable Michael Kirby, AC, CMG

  • The Honourable Patrick Keane, AC


“The Constitution has shown a remarkable quality of being able to encompass and to prove workable in a succession of great changes in the course of the past century”

Sir Paul Hasluck (1992)


Prime Ministers

  • The Honourable John Howard, OM, AC

  • The Honourable Tony Abbott

Chief Justices of the States

  • The Honourable Sir Walter Campbell, AC - Chief Justice of Queensland

  • The Honourable William Cox, AC - Chief Justice of Tasmania

  • The Honourable Wayne Martin, AC - Chief Justice of Western Australia

  • The Honourable Paul de Jersey, AC - Chief Justice of Queensland

  • The Honourable Leonard King, AC - Chief Justice of South Australia

  • The Honourable Christopher Kourakis - Chief Justice of South Australia

Justices of the Federal Court of Australia

  • Major General, The Honourable Richard Tracy, AM, RFD

  • The Honourable John Gilmour, QC

  • The Honourable Simon Steward

  • The Honourable Dr Chris Jessup, QC

The Chief Justice of Western Australia, The Hon Wayne Martin AC, being introduced before addressing the Society

The Chief Justice of Western Australia, The Hon Wayne Martin AC, being introduced before addressing the Society

Justices of the State Supreme Courts

  • The Honourable Peter Connolly, CBE - Supreme Court of Queensland

  • The Honourable Bruce Debelle, AO - Supreme Court of South Australia

  • The Honourable Roderick Meagher, AO - Supreme Court of New South Wales

  • The Honourable Robert Mitchell - Supreme Court of Western Australia

  • The Honourable Ruth McColl, AO - Supreme Court of New South Wales

  • The Honourable Jerrold Cripps - Supreme Court of New South Wales

  • The Honourable Nicholas Hasluck, AM - Supreme Court of Western Australia

  • The Honourable Ken Handley, AO, C StJ - Supreme Court of New South Wales

  • The Honourable David Jackson - Supreme Court of Queensland

  • The Honourable Stephen Charles, AO, QC - Supreme Court of Victoria

State Premiers

  • The Honourable John Bannon, AO - Premier of South Australia

  • The Honourable Colin Barnett - Premier of Western Australia

  • The Honourable Jeff Kennett, AC - Premier of Victoria

  • The Honourable Michael Field, AC - Premier of Tasmania

  • The Honourable Richard Court, AC - Premier of Western Australia

  • The Honourable Robert Borbidge, AO - Premier of Queensland

  • The Honourable Denis Burke - Chief Minister of the Northern Territory

  • The Honourable Dr Dean Brown, AO - Premier of South Australia

  • The Honourable Campbell Newman - Premier of Queensland

Commonwealth Attorneys-General

  • The Honourable Robert Ellicott, AC, QC

  • The Honorable Tom Hughes, AO, QC

  • The Honourable Peter Durack, QC

  • The Honourable Philip Ruddock

  • The Honourable George Brandis, QC

  • The Honourable Christian Porter

The 38th Premier of Queensland, the Honourable Campbell Newman, addresses the Society

The 38th Premier of Queensland, the Honourable Campbell Newman, addresses the Society

State Attorneys-General

  • The Honourable Ian Medcalf, AO, QC - Attorney-General of Western Australia

  • The Honourable Leonard King, AC - Attorney-General of South Australia

  • The Honourable Jan Wade - Attorney-General of Victoria

  • The Honourable Dr Peter Patmore, AM - Attorney-General of Tasmania

  • The Honourable Christian Porter - Attorney-General of Western Australia

  • The Honourable John Hatzistergos - Attorney-General of New South Wales

  • The Honourable Trevor Griffin - Attorney-General of South Australia

  • The Honourable Michael Mischin - Attorney-General of Western Australia

Select other distinguished speakers

  • Sir David Smith, KCVO, AO

  • Professor Geoffrey Blainey, AC

  • S E K Hulme, AM, QC

  • Dr David Bennett, AC, QC

  • The Honourable Dr Ken Coghill

  • Hugh Morgan, AC

  • Professor George Winterton

  • The Honourable Lloyd Waddy, AM, QC

  • Professor Dean Jaensch, AO

  • Professor Anne Twomey

  • David Jackson, AM, QC

  • Nicholas Cowdery, AO, QC

  • Harry Evans

  • Professor Michael Coper, AO

  • Professor Geoffrey Bolton, AO

  • Professor Kenneth Wiltshire, AO

  • Professor Jeffrey Goldsworthy

  • Vice-Chancellor Greg Craven, AO

  • Professor Ivan Shearer, AM, RFD

  • Professor David Flint, AM

  • Peter Coleman, AO


An electronic copy of the papers presented by the above speakers can be found here.