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OBA Forum Speakers 2006

OBA Forum Speakers

The OBA (Australia) is extremely privileged to have four of Australia's most influential business figures as speakers for the OBA Forum 2006 where they will discuss and debate "the future of the Australian media industry".

The speakers for the OBA Forum 2006 are:

Alan Jones AO (Master of Ceremonies)

Alan Jones is a graduate of Queensland and Oxford Universities, with majors in English and French Language and Literature, Politics and Education. He has University Blues from both Queensland and Oxford in tennis and for three years, he was speech writer and senior adviser to the then Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser.

Alan was elected Australian Rugby Union Coach in 1984 and coached Australia, until early 1988, to 89 victories in 102 matches. He is the most successful Australian Rugby Coach ever. His teams won 23 Tests out of 30, and four of those losses were by only a point. In 1984, he coached Australia’s national team, the Wallabies, to their now-famous Grand Slam with victories over England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland and a Barbarian side made up of the best players of those countries and France. During this tour, one British newspaper described Alan Jones as “the most approachable and articulate Rugby person to visit Britain in the last 40 years”. The London Times’ sports writer stated that Alan “has the most analytical brain I have encountered in charge of a national side”. After returning to Australia from the triumphant tour, Alan was invited to deliver the Australia Day Address as Guest of Honour of the Australia Day Council at the National Press Club in Canberra and, in October 1985, he was awarded the Rostrum Speakers’ Award as the Communicator of the Year.

Alan is regarded by many as one of Australia’s most gifted public speakers. In December 1985, Alan was selected by the Confederation of Australian Sport as Australia’s Coach of the Year. In 1986, Alan coached the Wallabies to Australia’s now famous Bledisloe Cup victory in New Zealand, the first time such a victory had been achieved in 39 years. The 1986 Wallabies remain only the second team in rugby history to win a series against New Zealand on their home ground. On Australia Day in 1988, Alan Jones was appointed a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for services to Rugby Union Football. From August 1990 to August 1993, Alan Jones, coached, without a fee, the Balmain Rugby League side in the Sydney Winfield Cup Competition. In August 1993, he was appointed, without a fee, Director of Football for the South Sydney Rugby League Football Club.

In March 1985, Alan Jones was recruited to join Radio 2UE as their morning radio host and quickly established himself in the competitive world of Sydney radio. In March 1988, he moved to the breakfast shift and soon won the largest breakfast audience and the largest radio audience in Australia. When he did not renew his contract at the end of 2001, Alan Jones had set what some think to be a world record in radio, namely 79 consecutive survey victories, equivalent to winning his shift, easily, for more than ten years. Alan Jones has now joined the Macquarie Radio Network on Radio 2GB 873 in the 5.30am to 9am slot. In March 1989, Alan Jones was honoured by the Variety Club of Australia as their Australian Radio Personality of the Year.

He has, on too many occasions, been voted by his peers as Australia’s top current affairs personality; and, for almost the whole of the 90’s, Alan Jones was voted by his peers as Australia’s top radio personality. In 1993, Alan Jones received an Advance Australia Award for his services to the community. Alan Jones is Deputy Chairman of the Australian Sports Commission and Deputy Chairman of the New South Wales Institute of Sport. Along with his current 2GB commitments, Alan Jones appears daily making editorial comment on the Nine Network’s Today Show.

David Kirk

David Kirk was appointed CEO of John Fairfax Holdings Limited, Australasia's largest newspaper publishing group, in August 2005, and formally assumed the position in October 2005.

Prior to Fairfax, David Kirk was the CEO and Managing Director of PMP Limited, the largest magazine and commercial printing and media services company in Australia. The company was publicly listed and had revenue of approximately A$1.4 billion and 4,000 employees.

Prior to joining PMP Limited, David was Regional President, Australasia for Norske Skog the world’s second largest manufacturer of newsprint and magazine grades of paper. David previously worked for Fletcher Challenge Paper and Fletcher Challenge Energy in senior executive roles in New Zealand and Australia.
Prior to joining Fletcher Challenge, he worked for three years as first Executive Assistant and then Chief Policy Advisor to the Rt. Hon. Jim Bolger, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Apart from the business arena, he represented New Zealand in rugby union from 1983-1987. He played for the Otago and Auckland provinces and captained the All Blacks in 1986 and 1987. In 1987, under his leadership the All Blacks won the inaugural Rugby World Cup. In 1987 he was awarded an MBE for services to rugby. In 1987 he took up a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University, studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics. His first degree was in Medicine. He graduated from the University of Otago in New Zealand in 1985.

David is President of the New Zealand Rugby Players Association, an honorary ambassador for the World Food Program and is a Trustee of a number of charities. He is also the author of two books “Black and Blue” and “The Road to Cardiff” (with Graham Hutchins) and has been a regular contributor to newspapers around the world.

He is married with 3 boys and lives in Sydney.

James Packer

James D Packer is the Executive Chairman of Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, a top 30 listed Australian company. PBL is Australia's leading media and entertainment company. Its core businesses are television production and broadcasting; magazine publishing and distribution; and gaming and entertainment. James is also the joint CEO of Consolidated Press Holdings Limited, Chairman of SEEK Limited, and a director of various companies including Qantas Airways Limited and Challenger Financial Services Group. Since 1988 James has worked in various senior positions across the PBL group.

Mark Scott

Mark Scott was appointed ABC Managing Director for a five-year term from
5 July 2006.

Prior to his appointment as ABC Managing Director, Mark Scott spent almost twelve years in a variety of editorial, editorial management and organisation development positions with John Fairfax Publications. From 2003 to 2005 he was Editor-in-Chief, Metropolitan newspapers, and during 2005 became Editor-in-Chief of Metropolitan, Regional and Community newspapers. From November 2005 he was Editorial Director, with responsibility for the management and editorial direction of the newspaper divisions and websites along with the editorial and commercial performance of the Fairfax newspaper magazine division.

From 1993-94 he worked in education policy research at the Centre for Learning and Competitiveness at the University of Maryland.

He was employed in the New South Wales Government from 1988-92 in the roles of Chief of Staff to the Education Minister, Director of Communications in the Education Ministry, and Policy Advisor to the Education Minister.

Mark Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Education and a Master of Arts degree in Government from the University of Sydney. During 1992-93 he completed a Masters degree in Public Administration at Harvard University.

Kim Williams AM

Kim Williams has had a long involvement in the arts and entertainment industry in Australia and internationally.

He was General Manager of Musica Viva Australia until 1983 when he was appointed Chief Executive of the Australian Film Commission. He remained at the AFC until 1988 when he left to become the inaugural Chief Executive of Southern Star Entertainment, the production division of Southern Star Group, Australia's largest producer. Kim also founded the Australian Government's Australian Film Finance Corporation in 1988 and was its inaugural Chairman.

After a three-year period as a senior executive of the ABC he accepted the position of Chief Executive of Fox Studios Australia in April 1995 where he remained until December 2001.

Kim commenced as the Chief Executive of FOXTEL in January 2002.

Since the early 1970s, Kim has held numerous diverse Board and Committee positions in commercial and public life including as a member of Music Board of the Australia Council, the Deputy Chairman of the Australian National Commission of UNESCO, the Chairman of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Chairman of Musica Viva Australia. He is the current Chairman of the Sydney Opera House.

Kim was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2006 for his service to arts administration through executive roles with a range of cultural organisations, and his contribution to music education and the formulation of arts-related public policy.

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