Kevin Rudd, Ken Henry, Richard Holden and Gordon de Brouwer with Jennifer Hewett (chair).
Ten years after the biggest financial upheaval since the Great Depression, much has changed, but many of the features of financial systems that lead to the crisis remain in place.
Australia is widely seen as having weathered the GFC better than any other developed country, and having escaped the Great Recession that followed.
What are the factors behind Australia’s success in this regard?
Taking a unique look behind the scenes of Australia’s response to the GFC with the political and financial leaders of the time, the event will also explore the long term impact of the crisis and what its effects are today.
Kevin Rudd served as Australia’s 26th Prime Minister (2007-2010, 2013) and Foreign Minister (2010-2012). Kevin successfully led the Australian Labor Party to victory in the 2007 federal election after 11 years of in Opposition. While in office, Kevin’s government set into motion major reforms in domestic policy areas such as health, education, industrial relations, social security and infrastructure. He led Australia’s response to the Global Financial Crisis, reviewed by the IMF as the most effective stimulus strategy of all major economies. Australia was the only major developed economy not to go into recession. On 13 February 2008, Kevin delivered the National Apology to the Stolen Generations in Australia and committed to ‘closing the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Currently, Kevin serves as President of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York, a “think-do tank” dedicated to second track diplomacy to assist governments and business on policy challenges within Asia, and between Asia, the US and the West. He is also Chair of the International Commission on Multilateralism and Chair of the Board of International Peace Institute's Board of Directors.
Ken Henry AC is an Australian economist and public servant. He served as the Secretary of the Department of the Treasury from 2001 to 2011, first appointed by Liberal Party Treasurer Peter Costello in April 2001, reappointed by Costello in 2006, and retained by the Rudd government. He chaired the Australia's Future Tax System Review, informally known as the Henry Tax Review, that was published in 2010. He retired in March 2011, and on 1 June 2011 was appointed as Special Advisor to the Prime Minister.Henry is currently the Chairman of the National Australia Bank, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and Sir Roland Wilson Foundation at the Australian National University.
Richard Holden is one of Australia’s leading economists.
As Professor of Economics at UNSW Business School his research focuses on contract theory, law and economics, and political economy. He has written on topics including: political districting, the boundary of the firm, incentives in organizations, mechanism design, and voting rules. Richard received a PhD from Harvard University and was a faculty member at MIT and the University of Chicago before returning to Australia.
He is a regular columnist and media commentator on a wide range of economic issues in Australia and internationally. He has published in leading economics journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics and American Economic Review. His popular writings have appeared in outlets such as the New York Times, Australian Financial Review, The Australian and The Conversation where he publishes his regular column Vital Signs.
Gordon de Brouwer has over 30 years’ experience in public policy and administration. He was Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Energy from 2013-17, following senior positions in the Prime Minister’s Department (2008-13) and Treasury (2003-08). Previously, he was a Professor of Economics at the Australian National University and worked at the Reserve Bank. His areas of professional policy expertise include macro, financial and international economics and policy. He has a doctorate in economics from the Australian National University where he is an Honorary Professor. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra, Senior Advisor at the Centre of Strategic and International Policy in Washington, DC and member of the Centre for Strategy and Governance in Canberra.
Jennifer Hewett is a senior national affairs columnist for the Australian Financial Review where she writes on News specialising in Politics, Policy, Economy. She was previously the national affairs correspondent for The Australian, specialising in coverage of major business and political stories and where and how these different interests intersect. Jennifer was born in Perth. She has a Bachelors degree from the University of WA and a Masters degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. A journalist with more than 30 years experience, Jennifer previously worked for the Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald. She has also worked in New York and Washington as a foreign correspondent.