Labor ideas for a better Australia

2018 ALP National Conference Fringe RSVP

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The John Curtin Research Centre presents ‘Strengthening Workers' Voices’, our fringe event at Labor’s 2018 national conference with leading labour movement figures Wayne Swan (former Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer), Peter Malinauskas (South Australian Labor Leader), Kara Keys (ACTU National Campaign Coordinator), Daniel Walton (National Secretary, Australian Workers Union) and moderator Dr Nick Dyrenfurth (JCRC Executive Director).

Join us as we discuss the rising tide of economic inequality in Australia and debate how to reform our economic institutions to create a workplace and corporate culture fit for purpose in the twenty-first century through employee representatives on company boards.  

About our panellists

The Honourable Wayne Swan served as the Treasurer of Australia for nearly six years, including three years as Deputy Prime Minister. He was one of the longest serving finance ministers in the G20 and was recognised as one of its leading contributors, drawing on his unique experience overseeing Australia’s economic performance among the developed world. Wayne was awarded Euromoney Finance Minister of the Year in 2011 for his ‘careful stewardship of Australia’s finances and economic performance’ during the global financial crisis. He was only the second Australian to receive this accolade and the first for almost 30 years. He is the author of The Good Fight: Six Years, two prime ministers and staring down the Great Recession (2014). More recently, Wayne Swan co-authored a report on Inclusive Prosperity, commissioned by the Center for American Progress. In 2015, he attended the UN General Assembly as a member of the Australian delegation. During this time, Swan was a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Institute for Global Affairs, heading a series of seminars on political and economic reform in the 21st century with a focus on contemporary Australian experiences. He also published a report on Financing for Development for the United Nations Social and Economic Commission in the Asia Pacific (UN-ESCAP) and chairs their Eminent Expert Group (EEG) on Tax Policy and Public Expenditure Management for Sustainable Development. Wayne was re-elected for the eighth time at the 2016 election as the
Federal Member for Lilley in the Australian House of Representatives.

Kara Keys is the ACTU’s National Campaign Coordinator. Kara is a descendant of the Yiman and Gangulu peoples of central Queensland. She commenced at the ACTU in February 2013 as the ACTU Indigenous Officer and now leads campaigns as an ACTU National Campaign Coordinator. Before becoming a union organiser Kara had many jobs ranging from administration work to order picking in manufacturing workshops and warehouses. In 2004 Kara achieved a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Politics and Public Policy and Human Rights from Griffith University where she worked as a researcher and tutor to Indigenous students. Kara’s union experience spans over a decade.  She cut her teeth as an organiser for white collar unions organising administrative workers and federal public servants.  She worked at the QCU as the Indigenous Industrial Officer, where the two key campaigns were local council amalgamation in remote Qld communities & the Qld Stolen Wages dispute. She worked for Unions NT as the OHS Officer and then the Australian Education Union as the Federal Aboriginal Officer when she re-joined the workforce in 2011 after maternity leave. Kara believes that a positive, self-determining future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is fundamentally entwined with a strong, progressive trade union movement. In her role at the ACTU, Kara works to build a better future for Australian workers; a future where workers earn equal pay and conditions; where workers and their families are respected
and diversity is embraced and where we are all building a better, fairer Australia.

Daniel Walton is National Secretary of the Australian Workers' Union. He began his career in the union movement in 2003, when he started working for Unions NSW. In 2008, he joined the AWU’s National Team as a Campaigns and Growth Co-ordinator. He led a number of union recruitment projects, the success of which has been recognised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions. In 2014, Daniel became National Vice-President of the Union, and used this position to advocate for policies that protect and strengthen Australian industries. His leadership in the 2015 Bluescope Steel negotiations kept the manufactuer from closing down their Australian operations. He was elected AWU National Secretary in November 2016. Daniel is a director on the board of Chifley Financial Services and is completing a
Masters in Business Administration at the University of New South Wales.

Dr Nick Dyrenfurth is JCRC Executive Director. He written or edited seven books, including A Little History of the Australian Labor Party, Mateship: A Very Australian History, and A New History of the AWU. Nick authored the JCRC policy reports Make Australia Fair Again: the Case for Employee Representation on Company Boards and Super Ideas: Securing Australia’s Retirement Income System. 


Saturday 19 December 2018, 1pm - 2pm


2018 Australian Labor Party National Conference
Adelaide Convention Centre


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