Skip to main content

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.
Gail Kelly

2022 Lecture

Exceptional Business Leadership in Today’s Challenging World

Gail Kelly

  • Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 5:30 - 7:30pm, with registration 5:00pm
    5:30 - 6:30pm lecture
    6:30 - 7:30pm reception and networking

  • Lecture Theatre 1110, Level 1
    Abercrombie Building (H70)
    The University of Sydney Business School

Gail Kelly holds a number of international roles: Senior Global Adviser to UBS, Director of Singapore Telecommunications and the Bretton Woods Committee, and a Member of the Group of Thirty and Australian American Leadership Dialogue Advisory Board.

Within Australia, she is Chair of the Optus Advisory Committee, a Director of Australian Philanthropic Services, an Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales,Chair of the Council at Ravenswood School for Girls, Patron of the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia, and Ambassador for Women's Empowerment for CARE Australia.

In addition, Gail is the author of Live Lead Learn: My stories of life and leadership which was published in 2017. She retired as CEO of the Westpac Group in February 2015, which marked the culmination of her 35-year executive career in banking.

Past lectures

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

  • 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.