Sambell Oration 2019 – Towards a just future – reimagining social and economic policy for our insecure times

2 December 2019

The Hon. Jenny Macklin delivered an inspiring and thought-provoking speech on how we must find a path to a just and sustainable future for all, at this year’s Sambell Oration.


In 2019, we were delighted to have as our speaker the Honourable Jenny Macklin, who has been at the frontline of social policy debates for more than three decades.

Ms Macklin, now a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne, offered a frank perspective on social and economic policy trends in Australia. What the challenges are ahead to enable economic security for all. How do we rebuild declining trust in our institutions in an era of remarkable – yet stubbornly uneven – prosperity?

Jenny Macklin has been at the frontline of social policy debates in Australia, both in and outside Parliament, for more than three decades. During a 23-year career as a federal MP, she served as Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform. Ms Macklin was a key architect of the NDIS – one of the most significant social policy reforms Australia has seen in the modern era. As a cabinet minister, her achievements included helping deliver Australia’s historic Apology to the Stolen Generations. Political commentator Michelle Grattan summed up her legacy thus: ‘Jenny Macklin is one of those politicians really into public policy – understanding it and promoting ideas. A person of good heart and good grace.’



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