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Kingsley Laffer Memorial Lecture

About Kingsley Laffer

Kingsley Laffer was the founding father of industrial relations at the University of Sydney and a pioneer of teaching and research in Australian industrial relations. At the time of his retirement from the University of Sydney in 1976, he was Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Industrial Relations within the Faculty of Economics. Kingsley was the founding editor of the Journal of Industrial Relations for 18 years. He also helped establish the Industrial Relations Society of NSW, which later became a national organisation.

Born in Western Australia on 28 February 1911, Kingsley Laffer became an external student of Economics at the University of Western Australia while working in the country. He was the first external student to be awarded the Hackett Bursary. After graduating with first class honours, he taught briefly at the University of Melbourne and then joined the University of Sydney in 1944. He was a member of the academic staff at Sydney for more than three decades. After his retirement, Kingsley became the first Fellow of the Nepean College of Advanced Education (now part of the University of Western Sydney) where he helped develop academic programs in industrial relations.

The inaugural Kingsley Laffer Memorial Lecture was given in 1993 by the Hon Bob Hawke. Subsequent Laffer Lecturers have featured Mr Bert Evans (1994), Justice Deirdre O'Connor (1995), Ms Jennie George (1996), Hon Jeff Shaw (1997), Mr Justice Bill Fisher (1998), Ms Quentin Bryce (1999), Brian Pickett (2000), Sharan Burrow (2001), Justice Michael Kirby (2002), Professor Russell Lansbury (2003), Heather Ridout (2004), Professor Ron McCallum (2005), Hon Kim Beazley (2006), Hon Julia Gillard MP (2007), Reverend Tim Costello (2008), Professor Russell Lansbury (2009), Sue Bussell (2010), Professor Thomas A Kochan (2011), Helen Conway (2012), Iain Ross (2013), Peter Wilson (2014), and Jennifer Westacott (2015).

Past Lectures »