Kingsley Laffer Memorial Lecture

Learn more about our annual lecture
Kingsley Laffer was the founding father of industrial relations at the University of Sydney and a pioneer of teaching and research in Australian industrial relations.
Tony Bourke

2023 Lecture

30th Annual Kingsley Laffer Memorial Lecture

Tony Burke

  • Thursday 24th August 2023,
    5:30pm Registration and Networking
    6:00pm - 7:00pm - Kingsley Laffer Memorial Lecture
    7:00pm - 8:00pm - Reception and Networking

  • Auditorium B2010, Level B2
    Abercrombie Building (H70)
    The University of Sydney Business School

Tony Burke is the Member for Watson, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Minister for the Arts and Leader of the House of Representatives.

As Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Tony legislated for 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave and passed the Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation – which is improving job security and getting wages moving again after a decade of neglect. His focus this year is on closing loopholes that undermine wages and conditions for workers. This year, as Arts Minister, Tony delivered Revive, a new National Cultural Policy, the first in close to a decade. A passionate supporter of the arts, he is committed to making sure that Australian stories are told, both here and overseas – showcasing the best of our creative talent.

Previously in Government, as Environment Minister, Tony was responsible for resolving 100 years of conflict in the Murray-Darling Basin, placing Tasmania’s forests on the World Heritage list, and making the second-largest conservation decision in the history of the planet by protecting our oceans, as well as implementing the comprehensive Creative Australia arts and culture policy.

Past lectures

The inaugural Kingsley Laffer Memorial Lecture was given in 1993 by the Hon Bob Hawke. Laffer Lecturers have also included:

  • 2022: Gail Kelly
  • 2021: Russell Lansbury
  • 2020: Not held due to COVID
  • 2019: David Weil
  • 2018: Tanya Plibersek
  • 2017: Chris Howell
  • 2016: Tim Soutphommasane
  • 2015: Jennifer Westacott
  • 2014: Peter Wilson
  • 2013: Iain Ross
  • 2012: Helen Conway
  • 2011: Thomas A. Kochan
  • 2010: Sue Bussell
  • 2009: Russell Lansbury
  • 2008: Tim Costello
  • 2007: Julia Gillard
  • 2006: Kim Beazley
  • 2005: Ron McCallum
  • 2004: Heather Ridout
  • 2003: Russell Lansbury
  • 2002: Michael Kirby
  • 2001: Sharan Burrow
  • 2000: Brian Pickett
  • 1999: Quentin Bryce
  • 1998: Bill Fisher
  • 1997: Jeff Shaw
  • 1996: Jennie George
  • 1995: Deirdre O'Connor
  • 1994: Bert Evans
  • 1993: Bob Hawke

About Kingsley Laffer

At the time of his retirement from the University of Sydney in 1976, Kingsley Laffer was Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Industrial Relations within the Faculty of Economics. Kingsley was the founding editor of the Journal of Industrial Relations for 18 years. He also helped establish the Industrial Relations Society of NSW, which later became a national organisation.

Born in Western Australia on 28 February 1911, Kingsley Laffer became an external student of Economics at the University of Western Australia while working in the country. He was the first external student to be awarded the Hackett Bursary. After graduating with first class honours, he taught briefly at the University of Melbourne and then joined the University of Sydney in 1944. He was a member of the academic staff at Sydney for more than three decades. After his retirement, Kingsley became the first Fellow of the Nepean College of Advanced Education (now part of the University of Western Sydney) where he helped develop academic programs in industrial relations.