From Jacinta Thompson

Executive Director &
Events and Exhibitions Producer


As we say goodbye to 2019, I’m proud to say that we presented over 50 events and 12 exhibitions, engaging with over 50,000 people - thank you for your support of The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre’s program.

What strikes me this year is a consistent call from our speakers to protect our democratic principles, from Fran Baum exploring healthy and sustainable communities to Sally Rugg delivering the 2019 Nelson Mandela Lecture – How Powerful We Are; from an expert panel discussing refugee and asylum seeker issues to Mr Bill Kelty AC delivering the 22nd Annual Hawke Lecture.

Similarly, Matthew Evans and Adele Ferguson highlighted that we also ‘vote’ with our wallets and market choices – and this can also lead to significant social change. Webtopia discussed how corporations are redefining the democratic process by influencing the information we receive. While Brett Hennig discussed “sortition democracy” as an alternative to accompany our current legislatures.

Our greatest minds are challenging us to notice democracy is floundering – and this year they have given a strong reminder, that we are the constituency and we do have political power. As Mr Bill Kelty AC outlined - we should not accept mediocrity from our leaders.  It would seem one of our key themes, Strengthening our Democracy, and the Hawke Centre as forum to hear and express ideas, is ever-more relevant as we head into the twenty-twenties.

Our final exhibition for 2019, Activism Now features the voices of six young women activists – embracing the idea that there will always be ideas worth fighting for, and that political engagement matters as much now as it ever has.

Looking into our future, you can expect the Hawke Centre to deliver another dynamic program next year – and some events already have registrations open.

The Kerry Packer Civic Gallery will once again host: Sanaa: A Better World Through Creativity. Each of the exhibition’s artists has a unique style and story – but common to all is the fact that their art portrays a vibrant, positive and energetic view of Africa – different to the one so often portrayed by Western media. In association with Sanaa, the Hawke Centre will also present an Artist Talk, giving the audience the opportunity to hear first-hand from the artists, who will talk about their creative journey. There will also be a storytelling session.

At WOMADelaide, the Hawke Centre will present the International Women’s Day Address delivered by journalist and TV Presenter Jan Francis, hosted by Tory Shepherd. Better known as Jan Fran, she hosted SBS-TV’s The Feed and a series of podcasts called Sexism in the City, commissioned by Plan International Australia.  We will also present a live broadcast of “The Party Room” podcast, featuring Fran Kelly, Patricia Karvelas and special guests.

Former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres will present views on the “Future We Choose” – emphasising that this is our final hour, but it can be our finest hour – we must solve our climate emergency now.

The 2020 Kerry Packer Civic Gallery exhibition program will also include a wine labels exhibition celebrating the creative designs of this industry; a reflection on modernism in South Australia housing design and architecture, and our Youth Poster Exhibition marking SA Refugee Week. More exhibitions will be announced in the new year.

As we move into the festive break, we recall the words of first International Patron, Nelson Mandela: “If you make one gift this year, make it the gift of knowledge”. Instead of a Netflix binge over the break, why not treat yourself with some of the events you missed during the year - check out the Relive our Events section on our website.

I wish you a joyous and peaceful festive season and hope to see you at an event in the new year. Please share our optimism in the themes that we present at the Hawke Centre: Strengthening our Democracy; Valuing our Diversity and Building our Future.

Jacinta Thompson
Executive Director & Events and Exhibitions Producer
The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre



While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - Building our Future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.