Senate Lecture Series

Public lunchtime lectures held at Parliament House in Canberra, on topics related to Parliament and governance. Related papers are published in the Papers on Parliament series.

Next lecture

Virginia Haussegger AM

30 Shades of Grey and Grievance: Women, Politics and the Gender Card

If political leadership were a card game, it is one in which men are repeatedly dealt the winning hand from a weighted pack of gender cards. How else do we explain why Australia has anointed 30 men as Prime Minister since 1901, and only one woman? Does gender under-representation matter in a liberal democracy, or does the malapportionment of maleness merit more? Does gender explain everything, nothing, or some things? And how do we talk about those shades of grey in a media culture that’s crudely black and white?

Virginia Haussegger AM is an award-winning broadcast journalist and gender equity advocate whose extensive media career spans three decades, reporting from around the globe for Channel 9, the Seven Network and the ABC. She has anchored primetime national news and current affairs programs, including 15 years presenting ABC TV News in Canberra.

In 2017 Virginia established a gender equality research initiative at the University of Canberra, where she is an Adjunct Professor and founded the media platform BroadAgenda, serving as Chief Editor to 2021.

A former Fairfax columnist, Virginia’s commentary is widely published across Australian media. She is Deputy Chair of the media think-tank PIJI, the Public Interest Journalism Initiative, and a judge in the 2024 Walkley Awards. She is also a proud Ambassador of the Stella Prize, supporting women’s writing. A Member of the Order of Australia for services to the media and gender equity, in 2019 Virginia was named ACT Australian of the Year.

Senator the Hon Sue Lines

President of the Senate

Senator Sue Lines was elected President of the Senate at the opening of the 47th Parliament in 2022, marking a significant milestone in her career as a Senator representing Western Australia since 2013. Notably, she is the first female Labor President of the Senate and the second only female President after Liberal Senator Margaret Reid in 1996. In her time in the Senate she has represented Australia at the United Nations Women’s Forum in New York City, delivered statements as national delegation leader at the Women Political Leaders Reykjavik Global Forum and has produced reports calling for gender equality at the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Friday 28 June 2024
12.15pm - 1.15pm
Theatre, Parliament House
Free event
Procedure & Research Section
02 6277 3648

President of the Senate, Senator the Hon Sue Lines

Upcoming lectures


26 July 2024

Dr Matteo Bonotti
Senior Lecturer, Monash University

Emeritus Professor Paul Strangio
Associate Professor of Politics, Monash University

Past lectures

Date Presenter Topic Read, watch or listen to the lecture
03/05/24 Professor Anthony Gray and Emeritus Professor Greg Craven AO The future of federal financial relations following Vanderstock
01/12/23 The Hon Robert French AC Annual Harry Evans lecture: How Responsible is Responsible Government—Parliament, Statutes, the Executive and the Courts
03/11/23 Romlie Mokak Better policy and evaluation through centring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
15/09/23 Leena Rikkila Tamang The global state of democracy - how parliaments can rejuvenate democracy
28/07/23 Dr Harry Hobbs and Professor George Williams AO How did parliaments perform during the pandemic?
10/02/23 Dr Marija Taflaga 'Not Parliamentary?' Australian semi-parliamentarism and the role of the Australian Senate
09/12/22 Professor Anne Twomey AO Annual Harry Evans lecture: Law and border– who has the power to control movement across state borders?
19/08/22 Mr Harry Jenkins AO, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, Mr Graham Perrett MP Reflections on the 10th anniversary of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
20/05/22 Professor Cheryl Saunders AO Accountability for cross-jurisdictional bodies
25/02/22 Ben Oquist and Bill Browne The Senate's new role in protecting our democracy
03/12/21 Dr Ben Gauntlett Disability Policy in Australia – Where to Next?
12/11/21 Dr Stein Helgeby Insights into the Parliamentary Budget Office
18/06/21 Professor Megan Davis 50th Anniversary of Neville Bonner entering the Senate
30/04/21 Dr Sarah Moulds Committees of Influence: Evaluating the Role and Impact of Parliamentary Committees
12/02/21 Dr Sarah Cameron and Professor Ian McAllister Australian Political Opinion: From the 2019 election to COVID-19
06/03/20 Nick Mitzevich The art of democracy—the power of the national art collection to nurture identity
18/10/19 Dr Raymond Kelly First Nations languages in Parliament
20/09/19 Andrew Murray Annual Harry Evans lecture: The Senate - the struggle continues
26/07/19 Professor Lisa Hill and Dr Jill Sheppard Compulsory Voting: Effects, Public Acceptance and Democratic Justification
05/07/19 Associate Professor David Karpf Lessons from the first 25 years of the digital revolution in politics
07/06/19 Dr Cathy Foley Why do we fund government research labs? What have they done for us?
12/04/19 Professor Joo-Cheong and Kate Griffiths Electoral campaign financing-two perspectives
08/03/19 Professor Ken Benoit Analysing the Brexit debate through social media: topics, arguments, and attitudes
16/11/18 Amy Mullins 75 years of women in political leadership in the Australian Parliament
19/10/18 Dr Rosemary Laing Annual Harry Evans lecture: Richard Chaffey Baker and the shaping of the Australian Senate
21/09/18 The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy and Senator Patrick Dodson Parliamentary processes from an Indigenous perspective
17/08/18 Professor Ariadne Vromen Political engagement in the Australian Digital Context
11/05/18 Professor Kim Dovey Architecture and Power: How Do Buildings Shape Politics?
13/04/18 Dr Ben Wellings Taking Back Control: Parliament, Sovereignty & Brexit
16/03/18 George Megalogenis Restoring respect
01/12/17 Bret Walker SC Annual Harry Evans lecture: Justified Immunity or Unfinished Business?
20/10/17 His Excellency Mr Chris Seed The Anzac Connection: Trans-tasman ties in the century since Beersheba
25/08/17 Professor Ian McAllister and Sarah Cameron Trust, Parties and Leaders: Findings from the 1987-2016 Australian Election Study
21/07/17 Dr Yee-Fui Ng Between Law and Convention: Ministerial Advisers in the Australian System of Responsible Government
30/06/17 Dr Anthony Bergin Parliament and national security: Challenges and opportunities
26/05/17 Russell Taylor AM Indigenous Constitutional Recognition - 1967 Referendum and Today
26/05/17 Denis Strangman AM The defeated 1967 nexus referendum
28/04/17 David Fricker Government-Citizen Engagement in the Digital Age
17/03/17 Dr Zareh Ghazarian Small parties, big changes: The evolution of minor parties elected to the Australian Senate
17/02/17 Professor Simon Jackman Populism and Discontent: Comparing the United States and Australia
04/11/16 Professor Anne Twomey Annual Harry Evans lecture: Parliament, the Executive and Vice-Regal Reserve Powers: Heading off crises in a closely tied Parliament
28/10/16 Professor Tom Frame 1916 Conscription Referendum – 100th Anniversary
30/09/16 Associate Professor Anika Gauja Party Reform: Where are Australia's Political Parties Headed in the Future?
02/09/16 Associate Professor Paul Strangio The Australian Prime Ministership: Origins and Evolution
22/07/16 Leah Armstrong Reconciliation Action Plans – "Creating Shared Value"
24/06/16 Dr Bede Harris Does our Constitution really give effect to the doctrines it purportedly emodies? An argument in favour of constitutional reform
13/05/16 Professor Simon Tormey The Contemporary Crisis of Representative Democracy
11/03/16 Professor Cheryl Saunders Australian Democracy and Executive Law-making: Practice and Principle (Part II)
11/03/16 Mr Stephen Argument Australian Democracy and Executive Law-making: Practice and Principle (Part I)
05/02/16 Professor Graeme Orr Elections as Rituals
13/11/15 Dr Chris Sarra High Expectations Realities through High Expectations Relationships: Delivering beyond the Indigenous Policy Rhetoric
25/09/15 Phil Bowen PSM FCPA The Parliamentary Budget Office: supporting Australian democracy
08/09/15 Dr Michael Macklin Annual Harry Evans lecture: Serving the Senate: The Legacy of Harry Evans
14/08/15 Jane Halton AO PSM Reforming the Public Sector
19/06/15 Her Excellency Mrs Menna Rawlings CMG 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta
29/05/15 Dr Andrew Moore Fitzpatrick and Browne after 60 years
10/04/15 Aaron Pegram Politicians At War: The Experiences of Australian Senators and MeMB)ers in the First World War
20/02/15 Dr Simon Longstaff AO Democracy, Trust and Legitimacy
05/12/14 Professor Ross Garnaut Global development: The long term context of Australian development
28/11/14 Colin Neave AM Exploring the role of the Commonwealth OMB)udsman in relation to Parliament
24/10/14 Professor Helen Irving Pulling the trigger: The 1914 double dissolution election and its legacy
12/09/14 The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson The role of the Australian Parliament when going to war
08/08/14 Professor Linda TriMB)le 'Abolition difficult, reform impossible, status quo unacceptable': can Canada fix its Senate?
11/07/14 Professor Megan Davis Competing notions of constitutional 'recognition': truth and justice or living 'off the crumbs that fall off the White Australian tables'
27/06/14 Judith Ireland and Greg Jericho The impact of social media on political journalism
30/05/14 Stephen Bartos There is no accountability until someone cares: The role of the Senate in public sector performance
11/04/14 Professor Andrew Markus Trust in the Australian political system
07/03/14 Alex Oliver Are Australians disenchanted with democracy?
14/02/14 Antony Green Is it time for a fundamental review of the Senate's electoral system?
06/12/13 Michael Maley International election observations: coming ready or not?
15/11/13 Robyn Archer Re-imagining the Capital
18/10/13 Rosemary Crowley, Amanda Vanstone and Laura Tingle Women in Federal Parliament
20/09/13 Aaron Martin Political engagement among the young in Australia
19/07/13 James P. Pfiffner Dysfunctional politics in the United States: origins and consequences
24/05/13 Jack Waterford Canberra and the Parliament: an increasingly uncomfortable marriage
22/03/13 Christopher Kam Paying politicians: do we get what we pay for? Lessons from Canada
15/02/13 David Headon 'But once in a history': Canberra's foundation stones and naming ceremonies, 12 March 1913
23/11/12 Ken Coghill How should elected members learn parliamentary skills?
19/10/12 Ross McMullin Will Dyson: Australia's radical genius
28/09/12 Cheryl Saunders The scope of executive power
31/08/12 Margaret Fitzherbert Liberal Women in Parliament: What do the nuMB)ers tell us and where to from here?
29/06/12 Dr Sally Young Media Reporting of the Next Federal Election: What Can We Expect?
25/05/12 Professor Kenneth R. Mayer Forecasting Presidential Elections: Obama, Romney, or What?
13/04/12 Professor William Buss Intersecting Australian and American Constitutional Law: The Strange Case of Privileges and Immunities
16/03/12 Dr Andrew Banfield Minority Report: Lessons from Canada's Minority Parliaments
24/02/12 Anne Henderson From Labor to Conservative: Joseph Lyons and the Great Depression
07/12/11 Jon Stanhope Who's Afraid of Human Rights?
18/11/11 Kylie Scroope 'Faithful Representations' 100 years of the Historic Memorials Collection
14/10/11 Ian McPhee The Evolving Role and Mandate of the ANAO Since Federation
23/09/11 Peter Mares Temporary Migration and its Implications for Australia
05/08/11 Mick Dodson Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians
08/07/11 Don Aitkin The Problem of Planned Cities: Canberra in Context
10/06/11 Andrew Murray Budgets and Finance: Sunlight and the Dark Arts
13/05/11 Patrick Weller AO Learning to be a Minister
01/04/11 Waleed Aly Multiculturalism, Assimilation and the Politics of Terrorism
11/03/11 Dr John Barry After the Party, the Hangover: An Analysis of 'Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland' in the Light of the February 2011 Election
25/02/11 Geoff Gallop AC How Healthy Is Australian Federalism?
03/12/10 Dr David Headon Devotion, Daring and Sense of Destiny - Surveyors of the Early Commonwealth
05/11/10 Dr Meg Russell Strengthening the British House of Commons: The Unexpected Reforms of 2010
15/10/10 Dr Scott Brenton Minority Government: Is the House of Representatives Finally Catching up with the Senate?
17/09/10 Andrew Hutson Square Peg in a Square Hole? Australia's Parliament House
27/08/10 The Hon Dr John Bannon The Disillusionment of Sir John Downer
13/08/10 Kathleen M. Burns The Pryor Perspective: Sharply to the Point
23/07/10 Dr David Burchell How Not to Do It: Lessons for Australia From the 2010 UK Elections
21/05/10 Professor Diana Dwyre Elections, Money and Free Speech in the United States
23/04/10 Professor Yvonne Galligan Thinking About Gender and Democracy
12/03/10 David Day Andrew Fisher, Triumph and Tragedy
13/11/09 Charles Sampford Parliament, Political Ethics and National Integrity Systems
28/08/09 John Keane Media Decadence and Democracy
14/08/09 Jonathan Pincus Commonwealth-State Financial Relations The Case For Competitive Federalism
24/07/09 Harry Evans Time, Chance and Parliament Lessons from Forty Years
19/06/09 Professor Margaret Reynolds Is There Life After Parliament? Reflections of a Former Senator
22/05/09 Professor George Williams The Role of Parliament under and Australian Charter of Human Rights
24/04/09 Professor John Dryzek The Australian Citizens' Parliament: a World First
03/04/09 Dr Anne Twomey Cutting the Gordian Knot: Limiting Rather than Codifying the Powers of a Republican Head of State
06/03/09 John Warhurst The Trajectory of the Australian Republic Debate
17/10/08 Dr David Headon Wanted: Treasure House of a Nation's Heart - The search for an Australian capital city, 1891 - 1908
12/09/08 Professor Geoffrey Garrett McCain v Obama: What the 2008 US election means for Australia
08/08/08 Dr Peter Brain Governing the Market: Threats to Australia's stability and security
11/07/08 Dr Sally Young Politics and the Media in Australia Today
20/06/08 Kenneth Feinberg Compensating Victims of Disasters - the United States Experience
30/05/08 Dr Anne Tiernan The Rudd Transition: Continuity and change in the structures of advice and support to Australian Prime Ministers
09/05/08 Dr Clement Macintyre Parliamentary Architecture and Political Culture
04/04/08 Professor James Allan Siren Songs and Myths in the Bill of Rights Debate
07/03/08 Patricia Sykes Women Leaders and Executive Politics - Engendering Change in Anglo-American Nations
15/02/08 Sir Bernard Crick Constitutional Politics: Is it the 'Scottish Question' or the 'English Question?'