Community Events

The Walter Westman Lecture on Science, Humanity and the Environment

Each year International House hosts the Walter Westman Lecture on Science, Humanity and the Environment. This is in honour of IH Alumnus Walter Westman, an alumnus of the House from 1967 and the winner of the International House Alumni Award for Achievement in 1988.

Past speakers include:

  • 2017: Dr Simon Niemeyer, Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow. Simon's topic was "Deliberative democracy and the environment: saving the planet by taking humans seriously"
  • 2016: Dr Haydn Washington, Visiting Fellow in Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences at UNSW. He spoke on the topic: "Sustainability: time to move past waffle and denial?"
  • 2015: Professor Thomas Maschmeyer, Professor of Chemistry and The Initiating Director of the Australian Institute for Nanoscience and Technology (AINST) at the University of Sydney. He spoke on the topic: "From Fundamental Science to Technological Innovation".
  • 2014: Professor Peter Newman AO, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University and Director of Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute. He is on the Board of Infrastructure Australia and is a Lead Author for Transport on the IPCC. He spoke on the topic: "Sustainability: from despair to hope".
  • 2013: Professor John Quiggin, Australian economist, a member of the Board of the Climate Change Authority and a Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland. He spoke on the topic: "Is it too late to stabilize the global climate?".
  • 2012: Dr Ross Gittins AM, economics editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and an economic columnist for The Age. He spoke on the topic: "Is a 'steady-state' economy feasible?".
  • 2011: Dr Frank Jotzo, senior lecturer at the Crawford School, Director of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Deputy Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute. He spoke on the topic: "Can Australia be a low-carbon country?".
  • 2010: Professor Ian Hickie AM, Executive Director of the Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney. He spoke on the topic: "Your Mind and Its Potential to create a better world".
  • 2009: John Conor, CEO of the Climate Institute of Australia. He spoke on the topic: "Targets, Technologies and the Till: How Australian and International Efforts are shaping up on the crucial elements of an effective global climate agreement".
  • 2008: Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds, CSIRO. He spoke on the topic: "Human Nature and Natural Limits – can they be reconciled?".

Global Leadership Development Program - Public Talks

The Global Leadership Development Program is a unique learning experience designed to enhance the self-awareness and cross-cultural leadership competencies of resident students living at International House, The University of Sydney.

The Guest Speakers’ Lecture Series within this program presents an exciting opportunity not only for program participants, but also interested members of the University community and public, to access the knowledge and expertise of eminent leaders in a range of professional fields.

Speakers in 2016 included:

  • Professor Marian Baird, the University of Sydney.
  • The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG.
  • Ms Samah Hadid. Social justice campaigner. National Director of The Global Poverty Project. Former Youth Representative to the United Nations.

Speakers in 2015 included:

  • Simon Scott, Director, Energy and Natural Resources (Société Générale, Australia).
  • Andrew Phelan, Chief Executive & Principal Registrar of High Court of Australia.
  • Vaughan Pratt, computer science researcher, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, director of SUN Workstation Project (later SUN Microsystems), IH alumnus 1968-69.