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Frank Walker Lecture 2018

The full transcript for the fourth Annual Frank Walker Lecture 2018 is now online - click here.

The Society is pleased to announce that leading Australian political campaigner and commentator, Bruce Hawker, will deliver the Frank Walker Lecture 2018 on the topic:

"Populists, demagogues and celebrities - challenges for progressive campaigning in the age of Trump"

The rise of Donald Trump has seen a shattering of the traditional methods of campaigning championed by the left. Xenophobia and right populism are now used as a deceptive tool to deflect attention away from real issues facing working people. And when the right takes power, their formula sees a return to conservatism at the expense of those policies they once espoused to those same working people.

How does law reform happen in this new age? Political strategist Bruce Hawker will draw on the law reform legacy of Frank Walker - whose achievements in indigenous land rights, housing policy, child welfare and the criminal law broke significant boundaries -  to draw a new path for progressive campaigners championing law reform against the populist attacks of the right.

Join friends of Frank, fellow practitioners, academics and students to celebrate the life of a great Labor reformer. The lecture will be followed by light refreshments at Rydges Sydney Central, 28 Albion St, Surry Hills NSW 2010. 


About Frank Walker

Frank Walker was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for the Georges River electorate from 1970 to 1988. He served as the 41st Attorney General of NSW from 1976 to 1983. Following his state parliamentary career Frank ran successfully for the seat of Robertson in 1990 and represented the electorate until the 1996 election. During his political life, Frank was a reformist, overseeing significant legislative change in the areas of land rights, criminal law, and discrimination law.

About Bruce Hawker

Bruce Hawker has spent the last 35 years working in politics and political commentary. In 1982 he was employed as a legal policy adviser to NSW Attorney General, Frank Walker, in the Wran Government and continued working closely with Frank in various portfolios until the change of government in 1988. From there Bruce went on to be Chief of Staff to Bob Carr for nine years in Opposition and Government.

He left the Premier’s Office in 1997 to establish Hawker Britton, which soon became Australia’s largest and most successful Government relations and campaign firm. Hawker Britton performed a central advisory role in eighteen of Labor’s twenty-two straight victories in every state and territory election between 1998 and 2007.

Bruce also advised Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in his successful 2007 federal election campaign and was the principal negotiator for Prime Minister Julia Gillard after the “hung” 2010 election. This negotiation led to Julia Gillard forming government with the support of the cross benches. Bruce also worked as Mr Rudd’s principal political adviser on his return to the Prime Ministership in 2013.

He has also worked on political campaigns in several countries including New Zealand, Greece, Myanmar and Timor Leste. He has also spent time in Britain and the United States observing election campaigns, beginning with the 1996 Presidential campaign.

Bruce is managing director of political campaign and advisory firm, Campaigns and Communications Group.

Bruce is also working on a political memoir covering his numerous campaigns for the Australian Labor Party.

How to get there

The NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre is located at 37 Reservoir St, Surry Hills NSW 2010. 

Register below


May 15, 2018 at 6:00pm - 9pm
NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre, 37 Reservoir St, Surry Hills

Will you come?