Skip to main content

Masterclasses: Leading for Good

5 November 2019
In this special set of masterclasses we take you through the challenge of contemporary leadership in a time of disruption and uncertainty.

We expect our leaders to lead for good.

We expect them to inspire us. To guide us towards progress. To help us cure our ills and solve our problems.

Yet often our leaders fall short. They don’t always lead by example. They don’t always live up to their professed values. And they don’t always act for the common good.

Our society today is characterised by distrust and disillusionment. Institutions no longer command trust. And nor do leaders.

In this special set of masterclasses convened by the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Sydney, we take you through the challenge of contemporary leadership in a time of disruption and uncertainty.

What must leadership today involve? Are you and your organisations equipped to lead for good?

Purchase your tickets here

This is a professional and leadership development event that will be relevant to:

  • Public sector leaders and officials
  • Managers and professionals in industry
  • Non-executive directors
  • Leaders in professional services
  • School educators

The day will include masterclasses covering the following questions:

  • What is happening to democracy and to our institutions?
  • How can you be an effective advocate and exercise influence for good?
  • What happens when leaders fail?
  • How must leaders approach ethics, integrity and inequality? What does it mean to have a social licence to operate?
  • What responsibility do leaders have in contributing to Indigenous reconciliation, anti-racism and cultural competence?
  • How must leaders respond to gender inequality? And how do you handle backlash in the age of #metoo?

Over the course of the day, our masterclass leaders will draw upon their experience and expertise, both scholarly and practical, and elevate your thinking and practice.

Masterclass leaders will include:

  • Professor Lisa Adkins, Professor of Sociology, and Head of School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Elizabeth Broderick AO, former Sex Discrimination Commissioner and UN Special Rapporteur
  • Emeritus Professor Geoff Gallop AC, former Premier of Western Australia and former Director, Graduate School of Government, The University of Sydney
  • Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver AM, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services)
  • Professor Marc Stears, Director of the Sydney Policy Lab and Professor of Politics
  • Emeritus Professor Frank Stilwell, political economist

The day will be convened by Professor Tim Soutphommasane, Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory), and former Race Discrimination Commissioner

Time Topic Presenter
8.45 - 9.15   Registration and tea and coffee
9.15 - 9.30 Welcome and Introduction Tim Soutphommasane
  1. What does it really mean to lead?     
9.30 - 10.15
Leadership, advocacy and influence Marc Stears
10.15 - 11.00 Leading in a time of 'no time' Lisa Adkins
11.00 - 11.15 Morning tea  
  2. When leaders fail  
11.15 - 12.00 Inequality: a failure of leadership? Frank Stilwell

12:00 – 12:45

Ethics, integrity and the social licence to operate

Geoff Gallop

12:45 – 13:45




3. Creating better leaders for change


13:45 – 14:30

Cultural competence, racism and reconciliation

Lisa Jackson Pulver

14:30 – 15:15

Leading for gender equality

Elizabeth Broderick



Tim Soutphommasane


Event close


  • Early bird: $280 (until Tuesday 8 October 2019)
  • Regular fee: $400 (from 9 October)
  • Alumni fee: $240

Purchase tickets here.

Masterclass leaders:

Professor Tim Soutphommasane 

Tim Soutphommasane is Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory) at The University of Sydney. From 2013 to 2018 he was Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner. His thinking on patriotism, multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in debates in Australia and Britain. Tim is the author of five books, most recently On Hate (2019). He is a regular columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Elizabeth Broderick AO

As Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner (2007-2015), Elizabeth worked tirelessly to break down structural and social barriers faced by women and men, and to promote gender equality. She established and convenes the ‘Male Champions of Change’ strategy and led the review into the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force. In 2017 Elizabeth was appointed by the United Nations in Geneva as a Special Mandate Holder and Independent Expert on Discrimination against Women.

Emeritus Professor Geoff Gallop AC

Emeritus Professor Geoff Gallop was Premier of WA from 2001 to 2006 and Member of the WA Parliament from 1986 to 2006. He was Director of Sydney University's Graduate School of Government from 2006 to 2015 and is now the Chair of the New Democracy Foundation's Research Committee and a Member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy based in Geneva.

Professor Lisa Adkins

Lisa Adkins is Professor of Sociology and Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. She is also an Academy of Finland Distinguished Professor (2015-19). Her contributions to the discipline of sociology are in the areas of economic sociology, social theory and feminist theory. Her recent publications include The Time of Money (2018), The Post-Fordist Sexual Contract: Working and Living in Contingency (with Maryanne Dever, 2016) and Measure and Value (with Celia Lury, 2012).

Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver AM

Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver’s traditional roots lie in a beautiful, forested region of south western NSW, but whose own life has been lived in urban Sydney, mostly on the land of the Gadigal People. Jackson Pulver was appointed to the role of Deputy Vice Chancellor, Indigenous Services and Strategy at The University of Sydney in 2018. Her previous role was that of Pro-Vice Chancellor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership, Pro-Vice Chancellor Engagement and Provost Parramatta South at Western Sydney University.

Professor Marc Stears

Marc Stears is the Director of the Sydney Policy Lab. He has worked at the very top of public life for over twenty years, advising leaders in over fifteen countries on strategic communications, persuasion, power and influence. In addition to his role in Sydney, he remains an Associate Fellow at the Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK and also teaches power and influence at the London Business School. Prior to coming to Australia, Marc was chief speechwriter to one of the UK’s leading political parties and Chief Executive of one of the UK’s largest think tanks.

Emeritus Professor Frank Stilwell

Frank Stilwell is Professor Emeritus in Political Economy in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney, where he began teaching in 1970. He is a well-known critic of conventional economics, and an advocate of alternative economic strategies for social justice and ecological sustainability. He has written a dozen books on political economic issues and co-edited half a dozen others. His latest book is The Political Economy of Inequality (Polity Press, 2019).

Sibyl Centre, Women’s College

Tim Soutphommasane

Professor of Practice (Sociology & Political Theory)
  • Room 356, Level 3 Social Sciences Building A02