Adelaide 98: Pathways to knowledge

Plenary session

Monday 26 October 1998

Phillip Adams Australian Society in the 21st century - who will be our clients?
Phillip Adams

Plenary presentation: When worlds collide - the dangerous impact of the past upon the future

Currently chair of the National Australia Day Council, Phillip Adams has served as chair of the Australian Film Commission, chair of the Australian Film Institute, president of the Victorian Council for the Arts and chair for the Commission for the Future. He was a foundation member of the Australia Council, Film Victoria and the Australian Children's Television Foundation.

Described as 'the godfather' of the Australian film industry, it was Phillip Adams who persuaded John Gorton to establish the National Film and Television School, the Australian Film Development Commission and the Experimental Film Fund.

He developed the concept of the South Australian Film Corporation for Premier Dunstan, which served as a model for film organisations in most states. As a producer his credits include The adventures of Barry McKenzie, Don's party, The getting of wisdom, and Lonely hearts. His many documentaries include Death and destiny, focusing on his love of ancient Egypt.

He has published many books, including The unspeakable Adams, The uncensored Adams, and Adams versus God. His The Penguin book of Australian jokes and The Penguin book of jokes from cyberspace are amongst the top-selling books in Australia with sales approaching 270 000.

Phillip Adams has written for The London Times, The New York Times, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and most major newspapers and journals. He is currently a broadcaster with the ABC and contributes weekly columns to The Australian. Twice honoured in the Order of Australia for his 'Contribution to the Arts', Adams was Australian Humanist of the Year in 1987, winner of the Henry Lawson Arts Award in 1987, Senior ANZAC Fellow in 1985 and received the Longford Award, the film industry's highest accolade, in 1982.

Arrangements made through Celebrity Speakers - The Christine Maher Group

Dr Don Edgar Plenary presentation: Future work-family links and the new community library
Don Edgar

Dr Don Edgar is probably best known as the Foundation Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, a position he held for 14 years. The Institute's massive research output influenced both public opinion and government policy on factors affecting marriage and the family in Australia, including the extension of parental leave, reforms in the Family Law system, better provision of child-care services, marriage education and counselling, services for the aged and improvements to the social security system.

Dr Edgar left the Institute in 1993, to become Professorial Fellow at Monash University and is now Adjunct Professor with RMIT's Centre for Workplace Culture Change. He is the author of 12 books, his latest ones being Men, marriage, mateship (Harper Collins 1997), and When too much change is never enough (Woodslane 1997). He works as a private consultant to Australian business and writes a regular column for The Weekend Australian and feature articles for The Age on a range of social policy issues.

Dr Edgar began his career as a graduate of the University of Melbourne, teaching in secondary schools before training teachers as the Secondary Teachers College there. He obtained his PhD at Stanford University (California) and became Assistant Professor and Research Associate at the University of Chicago. On his return to Australia, he taught at Monash University and was then Reader in Sociology at La Trobe University for nine years. He was for many years secretary and treasurer of the International Sociology Association's Committee on Family Research, and a member of the International Union of Family Organisations. He was an executive member of Australia's National Council for the International Year of the Family 1994, continues as a member of Australia's UNESCO Committee on Social Research and is a member of the International Family Policy Forum.

Don is married to Dr Patricia Edgar, director of the Australian Children's Television Foundation.

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