ABC Chairman James Spigelman AC QC addressed the 30th anniversary of Conversazione in Melbourne.
I have been invited to address you on the same topic as my predecessor, as Chair of the ABC, addressed the first Conversazione 30 years ago. Dame Leonie Kramer was one of the most formidable women it has been my privilege to know. She was, in so many ways, a pioneer, notably of the teaching of Australian literature. She broke through more glass ceilings than any other woman of her generation – as a professor, as chair of NIDA, as chair of the ABC, as Chancellor of my own university, as a director of Western Mining and of the ANZ Bank.
Her political and social persuasions were not such that she sought, or received, recognition from the feminist movement as the first woman to occupy a range of significant positions in our society. Indeed, during her tenure at the ABC she insisted on being called “Chairman”. I am very pleased to reprise her topic after three decades.
It is necessary in an address such as this to adopt a confined approach to a topic as broad as “Australian Culture”. I intend to focus on the sphere...