Tony Abbott to present 26th Earle Page politics lecture

Published 31 August 2009

tonyabbottThe Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, will present this year’s Annual Earle Page College Politics Lecture at The University of New England on Tuesday, September 1.

A large audience is expected, in addition to College members and official guests, according to David Ward, Master of Earle Page and Austin Colleges. The public lecture – at 8.30 pm – will follow a formal dinner for College members and invited guests at which Mr Abbott will be guest of honour.

“The Annual Politics Lecture is a significant town-and-gown event for UNE, Armidale and the region,” Mr Ward said. “We are delighted to have another high-profile politician deliver this, the 26th one. The series aims at providing Earle Page residents, guests and members of the public with a diverse range of political opinions on significant public issues.”

Each year, Earle Page College invites a prominent political figure to speak at its Annual Politics Lecture, held in conjunction with the Discipline of Political and International Studies within UNE’s School of Social Science. Previous speakers have included Peter Garrett, Philip Ruddock, Alexander Downer, and Julia Gillard. Last year’s speaker was Leader of the Australian Greens, Bob Brown.

“The Earle Page Politics Lectures are intended to stimulate thought and discussion,” Mr Ward said. “The lecture should also provide a forum for thoughtful questions to Mr Abbott.”

Sir Earle Christmas Grafton Page, after whom the College and lecture series are named, was chairman of the advisory council for The University of New England College from 1938 until 1954, and then the University’s first Chancellor from 1954 to 1960. He was also Prime Minister for a brief period in 1939.

Tony Abbott was elected Member for Warringah at a by-election in March 1994. Prior to entering Parliament he was Executive Director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy from 1993-94. From 1990-93 he was press secretary and political advisor to the Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson. His previous career was in journalism, where he wrote as a feature writer for ‘The Bulletin’ and ‘The Australian’. Mr Abbott was appointed Minister for Health and Ageing on the 7 October 2003. After the Federal election in 2007, Mr Abbott became Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services, Indigenous Affairs & the Voluntary Sector.

The lecture will be in the Earle Page College Dining Hall. Those wishing to attend are asked to call the College office on 6773 5300 in order to reserve a seat.