John Howard Lecture

John Howard Lecture

The Menzies Research Centre established the John Howard Lecture to honour John Howard's contribution to Australian public life over more than 30 years.

This lecture has become one of the most significant events on the Australian policy and political calendar. Each year the John Howard Lecture features a distinguished Australian or international speaker presenting a thought-provoking, topical address dealing with issues of current and future importance to Australia's prosperity and security.

John Howard’s Achievements

The Government led by John Howard created a more confident, prosperous, outward-looking, secure and socially-stable Australia.

Under John Howard's Government, the economy was stronger, more competitive and more productive than at any other time in Australia's history. The Howard Government achieved the lowest unemployment rate in 33 years, produced 10 budget surpluses, paid off $96 billion of Labor Government debt and comprehensively reformed the tax system, the waterfront and the labour market. Lower and middle income families became progressively better off. The legacy of changes to financial regulation, prudent management of public finance and a strengthened banking system meant Australia was rated consistently as one of the most robust and resilient economies in the OECD.

In John Howard's own words, his Government sought to "restore to Australian families a sense of confidence and optimism about their country's future; to bring within the reach of more families the prospect of good jobs, home ownership and rising living standards; and, to open up new avenues of choice for families, especially those on modest incomes".

His Government was innovative in pursuing partnerships with business and charities to create the internationally-renowned Job Network and Family Relationship Centres, and in restoring choice in the provision of health and education services. The Howard team created a social security system based on the principle of mutual obligation and introduced Work for the Dole. It sought practical responses to Aboriginal policy and established the Northern Territory Intervention.

The Government also restored confidence in our migration system, creating an orderly and generous migration program.

The Howard Government enhanced Australia's standing in the world, promoting freedom and security in nations as diverse as East Timor, Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan. It achieved closer security arrangements with the United States, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and The Philippines; concluded free trade agreements with Thailand, Singapore and the United States; and began pursuing free trade agreements with China and Japan.

Jun252015

NZ Deputy Prime Minister delivers 5th John Howard Lecture

NZ Deputy Prime Minister delivers 5th John Howard Lecture

The welfare system should be reducing misery rather than merely servicing it, NZ Finance Minister Bill English told a Menzies Research Dinner in Melbourne last night (June 25).

Governments need "fewer customers, not more", he said.

"Fewer dysfunctional families. Fewer parents who spend decades on welfare. Fewer people who commit crimes. Part of our response is to recognise that people can do more for themselves, and often want to.

"We expect more from people, because …

Jan162013

John Howard Lecture 2013

UK Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague MP to deliver the John Howard Lecture – Sydney 17 January 2013

John Howard Lecture 2013

The Menzies Research Centre is delighted to invite you to attend the fourth annual John Howard Lecture, to be delivered by UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Rt Hon William Hague MP, at 10.30am on Thursday 17 January 2013, in the Strangers' Dining Room at the NSW State Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney.

Former Prime Minister Hon John Howard OM AC, after whom the Lecture is named, will propose the vote of thanks.

Senator the Hon George …

Jul052012

Third John Howard Lecture - 'Reflections from New Zealand'

Third John Howard Lecture - 'Reflections from New Zealand'

The third John Howard Lecture was delivered by Rt Hon John Key MP, Prime Minister of New Zealand, in Sydney on 5 July 2012, on 'Reflections from New Zealand'. You can view a broadcast of the speech here, or download a copy by clinking on the link provided.

John Key has been Prime Minister of New Zealand since 2008. He was elected to Parliament in 2002 and became National Party Leader in 2006. During National's first term in office good progress was made on reforming the tax …

Jul102011

Second John Howard Lecture - 'Welfare Reform – Investing in Life Change'

Second John Howard Lecture - 'Welfare Reform – Investing in Life Change'

The second John Howard Lecture was delivered by Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, the UK's Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in Sydney on 26 July 2011, on 'Welfare Reform: investing in life change'. You can view a broadcast of the speech below, or download a copy by clicking on the link provided.

The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP has been Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions since the 2010 United Kingdom General Election. He has served as the MP for …

Feb182009

Inaugural John Howard Lecture – 'Australian Liberalism for the 21st Century'

Inaugural John Howard Lecture – 'Australian Liberalism for the 21st Century'

The inaugural John Howard Lecture was delivered by Hon John Howard in Melbourne on 19 February 2009 on 'Australian Liberalism for the 21st Century'. You can view a broadcast of the speech, or download a copy by clicking on the link provided.


Hon John Howard OM AC was Australia's second longest serving Prime Minister. Born in Sydney on 26 July 1939, John Howard was a solicitor in private practice before entering Parliament in 1974 as the Member for Bennelong. During the …

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