In an environment of fractured planning responsibility, how could we create the conditions for Australian government participation and leadership on urban issues?

RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research has partnered with the John Cain Foundation, Melbourne University’s Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and the Hamer Family Fund to present the Whitlam / Hamer Legacy: Challenges for Australian Cities on 5 November.


An impressive cast of presenters will go beyond description and high-level analysis and examine the strengths and weaknesses of the Whitlam and Hamer periods of intervention in Australian cities and how it might relate to the urban challenges we face today.

Speakers include:

  • Adam Bandt, federal Member for Melbourne;
  • Tim Colebatch, journalist and author of Dick Hamer: The liberal Liberal;
  • Andrew Giles, federal Member for Scullin, Victoria;
  • Terry Moran, former Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;
  • Prof. Marian Simms, Adjunct Professor, Deakin and University of Canberra;
  • Assoc. Prof. Wendy Steele, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University;
  • Prof. John Thwaites, Monash University Professorial Fellow and Chair of ClimateWorks Australia and the Monash Sustainability Institute;
  • Lucy Turnbull, Chair Committee for Sydney; and Chair Prima BioMed Ltd.;
  • and other distinguished speakers.

View conference program (PDF 823 KB).

Pre-conference function

Maxine McKew will chair a conversation with Professor Ross Garnaut and Professor Brendan Gleeson (University of Melbourne) about Reforming Australian Cities for Productivity at a pre-conference function on 4 November.

Date: Wednesday 4 November 2015 Time: 5.15 pm for a 6.00 pm start Where: Graduate House, University of Melbourne, 220 Leicester Street, Carlton Cost: $30.00

Registration and bookings

Conference prices

Full fee: $200.00 Students : $55.00

Optional pre-conference function: $30.00

Conference ticket prices include catering: tea/coffee, lunch, morning tea and afternoon tea.


Swanston Academic Building (Building 80), RMIT City campus


9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (UTC +10:00)
Venue: Swanston Academic Building (Building 80), RMIT City campus