One of the major public activities of the Edmund Rice Business Ethics Initiative is to host Forums at which prominent individuals are invited to reflect on their experience of ethical issues that arise in business life. Members of the audience then have the opportunity to ask questions or make further comments. The events have been held in partnership with ACU National and in more recent times have been held in association with Transparency International Australia and Oxfam Community Aid Abroad.
**October 14, 2004 – Who really runs the country?, a Hypothetical
Compered by Michael Pascoe, Seven’s Sunday Sunrise, and featured panel members:
Carol Austin: Economist, former Commonwealth funds manager, presently Contango Asset Management Investment Services Director. Gary Flower: formerly Managing Partner Sparke Helmore, currently Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Rugby Union. Margo Kingston: has worked for a number of leading Australian newspapers, talks every Tuesday and Wednesday on Radio National’s Late Night Live about politics and currently runs the Web Diary at the Sydney Morning Herald. Hon. Justice Terry Sheahan AO: former NSW Attorney General, currently President, NSW Workers Compensation Commission. Dr. Don Russell: former Australian Ambassador to the US presently Executive Director of WestAM Australia. Chris Willis: Channel 7’s Director of News. Bruce Wolpe: former US Congressional Aide, presently Corporate Affairs Manager, Fairfax Group.
The plot starts with a large US corporation, Hallibut, gaining a reconstruction project in Ireq, a middle eastern country recently devastated by war. An Australian Public Servant (who looks suspiciously like Don Russel) learns that Hallibut’s bid was much higher than its competitors’ and begins to talk to the press very discreetly in the person of Irene Sharp le Pen (looking very much like Margo Kingston after an election). Irene is very keen to run with the story and so is the owner of the newspaper she works for, Jerry Storeman (a Chris Willis look-alike!), or at least so he says. He would just like to clear up a few doubts about the veracity of the report and its source. He asks Irene to check it out further, he does not have the time after all, he has to rush off to a meeting with the Prime Minister to talk about possible changes in the media ownership laws in this country.
Suddenly, it appears that lots of people are discussing, in round about sorts of ways, Hallibut’s Randy Kinghit (Bruce Wolpe) extends an invitation to a large Australian Telecommunications company, chaired by Malcolm Obile (someone thought he looked like Gary Flowers), to share in the project which looks like it will prove very beneficial to everyone. The Prime Minister (so relaxed and comfortable that he looks like a much younger Terry Sheehan) is talking too, and not only to media moguls, but also to a well known funds manager (played by Carol Austin), enthusiastically predicting big windfalls for those who get in early.
Even those who know about the bid do not seem too concerned, except for Irene, but then she has a vested interest in making noise. No-one in Australia seems to be getting hurt, should we worry?
**May 2003 – ‘Super: Win or lose – the difference is ethics’
Panel members include: Bernie Fraser, Australian Retirement Fund; Former Govenor of Reserve Bank of Australia; Dr. Ian Woods, Senior Researcher, SRI Funds, AMP; Andrew Brown, Trent Capital; John Peterson, Van Eyck Research Group; Professor John Hewson, Dean, Macquarie Graduate School of Management; Member – Advisory Council, ABN Amro Aust.;
**SEPT 2002 – ‘Corporate Governance: What’s Ethics Got to do with it? – A HYPOTHETICAL’
(Sponsored by AAMI; Further support given by CARROLL & O’DEA Solicitors & ANZ Banking Group Limited.)
Panelists included: Dr Robert Fitzgerald (Commissioner for Community Services); The Hon. Susan Ryan, AO (President of AIST); Dr Shann Turnbull (Co-founder of the first educational qualification in the world for company directors); The Hon.Justice Barry O’Keefe (Supreme Court Judge); Mr Bill Beerworth (FAICD); Ms Deborah Smithers (KPMG Chair of Government Advisory Committee on Corporate Governance).
Mr Michael Pascoe compered the evening with the assistance of Justice Terry Sheahan.
**MARCH 2002 – ‘Business, the Environment and Ethics: Sustainable Profit vs Sustainable Planet?’
(Sponsored by WESTPAC.)
Mr Don Argus, AO, Chairman of BHP-Billiton, Former Managing Director and CEO of National Australia Bank Limited. (Click here for his speech)
**SEPTEMBER 2001 – ‘A Trust Free Economy? Regulation or Responsibility’
(Sponsored by Crane Group Limited; Further support given by Food For Thought; Boomerang! Integrated Marketing and Advertising, Red Partnership; Spitting Image.)
Ann Sherry, Group Executive, People and Performance Westpac Banking Corporation and CEO, Bank of Melbourne. (Click here for her speech)
Tony Harris, Journalist with the Australian Financial Review and Former NSW Auditor-General. (Click here for his speech)
**FEDERATION FORUM MARCH 2001 – ‘Rogues, Scallywags and Thieves? Business Ethics in the Lucky Country’
(Sponsored by Recruitment Solutions and KPMG; Further support given by Food for Thought, Boomerang!, Red Partnership, St George Graphics, Spitting Image.)
Mr Paul Barry, commentator and author of several books, including The Rise & Fall of Alan Bond and the Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer. (Click here for his speech)
Mr Patrick Dodson, the Inaugural Chair of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and Royal Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
MC was Mr Michael Pascoe, Channel 9 Finance Editor
**Forum 1999 – ‘What’s legal? What’s ethical? What can we get away with? How do you measure up?’
(Sponsored by Crane Group; Boomerang! Integrated Marketing and Advertising; Berney Studios Colour Imaging Centre).
Mr John Ralph, former chief executive of CRA and President of the Business Council, and author of the Ralph Report on Business Taxation. (Click here for his speech)
Mr Michael Carmody, Commissioner of Taxation since 1993. (Click here for his speech)
Ms Attracta Lagan, Leader of the Ethics & Integrity Practice of KPMG.
MC Mr Michael Pascoe, Channel 9 Finance Editor.
**Forum 2000 – ‘The Business Olympics: Is it just about winning? Or how you play the game?’
(Sponsored by LUCAS; Further support given by Boomerang! Integrated Marketing & Advertising; Red Partnership; Food for Thought; St George Graphics; Spitting Image.)
Mr Allan Moss, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie Bank Limited. (Click here for his speech)
Mr Ralph Doubell, Executive Chairman of Australian Derivatives Exchange (ADX), Director of Stadium Australia. (Click here for his speech)
MC Mr Michael Pascoe, Channel 9 Finance Editor.