The economic case for a Republic

Cameron Clyne is currently the Chairman of Camel Partners, a private advisory firm, and Camel Foundation, which supports education and child health. He is also the Chairman of Rugby Australia and the Chairman of Whitecoat. He is a Director of the Western Sydney University (WSU) Foundation, the Whitlam Institute, Camp Quality, SANZAAR, a Council member of World Rugby and an Adjunct Professor in the Business School of WSU.

From 2009 to 2014 Cameron was Group Chief Executive of the National Australia Bank (NAB) and the Chairman of Clydesdale Bank. Prior to that role he was Chief Executive of the Bank of New Zealand. Prior to joining the NAB Group was a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers specializing in Financial Services and worked in their Sydney, Melbourne, New York and San Francisco offices.

In this discussion about the Republic some of the areas we cover include:

  • The economic case for a Republic

  • The importance of symbols

  • Why it makes sense for business to take a position

  • Dealing with “why fix something that isn’t broken?”, and “why now?”

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What kind of country do we want to be?

Jane Hemstritch is one of Australia’s leading non-executive directors. Today, she is an independent non-executive director of Telstra, Lendlease and The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. She is also Deputy Chair of the Council of The National Library of Australia, a member of the Global Council of Herbert Smith Freehills, and a member of the Council of Governing Members of The Smith Family.

Until her retirement in 2007 Jane was Managing Director Asia Pacific for Accenture Limited and a member of Accenture’s global executive leadership team.

Jane is a passionate republican. This discussion covers a lot of ground, including:

  • Answering the Donald Trump challenge

  • The lessons from Brexit

  • Can the Republic catalyse Australians to think about the big questions?

  • The challenges of business involvement

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Acting against our economic interests

Tim Harcourt is The Airport Economist – host of the TV program and author of the books. Tim is the J.W. Nevile Fellow in Economics at the UNSW Business School. He was also the first chief economist of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) for over a decade.

Tim has been an International Adviser to 3 Federal Cabinet Ministers and 2 Premiers. He is also an Expert Panel Member, Minimum Wage Review, for the Fair Work Commission.

In this wide ranging discussion on the Republic and trade we talk about:

  • The many ways the British have hurt Australia’s economy since Federation.

  • The huge conflict of interest for the Queen as advocate for Australia.

  • Some of the major benefits of a move to a Republic.

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A completely unmanageable conflict of interest

Diane Smith-Gander is a very proud Australian - resident here since 2007 after an 8 year absence in the US and an earlier stint in Hong Kong.

Diane had a successful executive career.  She worked at Westpac twice finishing up in the C-suite - and was a partner at McKinsey & Company in the USA.

She now pursues a portfolio career and has built a vibrant portfolio of directorships currently including Wesfarmers, AGL Energy, Keystart Loans and Safe Work Australia. She was chairman of Broadspectrum, the Australian Sports Drug Agency, deputy chairman of NBNCo and a director of CBH Group companies, Australia’s largest cooperative.

She is also active in the media advocating for issues which she is passionate about like good governance, gender equity and reconciliation and was delighted when Australia achieved marriage equality.

In this discussion on the Republic we talk about:

  • Reconciling Australian values with the monarchy

  • The Queen’s unmanageable conflict of interest

  • “Why not now?”

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Constant improvement

Simon McKeon is the Chancellor of Monash University and was also the 2011 Australian of the Year.

He has been with the Macquarie Group in a variety of senior roles for more than 30 years, including as Executive Chairman (Melbourne office). He is presently retained as a consultant.

Simon is also Chairman of Summer Housing which provides housing options for young people with a disability. He is also a member of the Advisory Boards of The Big Issue, Blackmagic Design and GFG Alliance Australia, owner of Liberty OneSteel. He is inaugural President of the banking industry’s Review Panel for the Banking and Finance Oath and is also an Australia Day Ambassador for the Victorian Government.

He is a Director (as well as the Senior Independent Director) of Spotless Group, previously served as Chairman of AMP and CSIRO and was Founding President of the Federal Government’s Australian Takeovers Panel, as well as its Point Nepean Community Trust.

This is a wide ranging discussion. Some of the topics we cover include:

  • Focusing efforts on the apathetic rather than monarchists

  • Answering “why now?” and “why fix something that’s not broken?”

  • Why business needs to have a perspective

  • Where the Elizabethian argument falls down

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The right model at the right time

Jim McKerlie has been a professional director for the last 20 years. He has sat on the board of 10 listed public companies in Australia and overseas and chaired of 8 of these. He is currently a director of Beach Energy Ltd and has recently stepped off the board of ELMO Software Ltd. He is an active member of the corporate business community, government circles and participates with the Australia Institute of Company Directors.

Jim has been an active member of ARM for many years and provided office space for the first Sydney office.

In this discussion about the Republic some of the areas we cover include:

  • Why no company director would tolerate a ‘golden chair’

  • Is inevitability a poisoned chalice?

  • Presenting the public with the right model at the right time

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