State of the Nation





Running for over 35 years, CEDA's State of the Nation provides a day and a half of briefings and discussions of topics and policy issues on the national agenda.

The 37th annual State of the Nation will be held at Parliament House, Canberra, on the 10 and 11 October 2016, with the theme, A new policy agenda: innovation, growth and the future economy.



2016 Conference theme

A new policy agenda: innovation, growth and the future economy

CEDA's 2016 State of the Nation will discuss the following themes:

  • Australia's national innovation system and strategic industry policy;
  • Business investment in innovation and knowledge-based capital;
  • Social innovation and competition in human services; and
  • Investment in productivity-enhancing infrastructure

Keynote speakers

The Hon. Josh Frydenberg, Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy
The Hon. Greg Hunt, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
The Hon. Sussan Ley, Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon. 
Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition
Dr Martin Parkinson PSM, Secretary, Federal Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Session themes and confirmed speakers

Megatrends and the innovation imperative

Catherine Caruana-McManus, Director, Giant Ideas, Non-Executive Director, Meshed; Advisory Council Member, SMART Infrastructure Facility
Dr Nicholas Gruen, Chief Executive Officer, Lateral Economics
Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, Principal Scientist, Strategy and Foresight, Data61 | CSIRO

Thinking long-term: can industry seize the innovation opportunity?

Andrew Bassat, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, SEEK
Jillian Broadbent AO, Chair, Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Chair, Swiss Re Life; Director, Woolworths
Christine Holgate, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Blackmores

Strategic choices: Australia's national innovation system

Bill Ferris AC, Chair, Innovation and Science Australia
Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, Monash University
Dr Katherine Woodthorpe, Non-Executive Director, ARENA, Fishburners; Sirtex Medical; Capital Markets CRC; former Chief Executive, AVCAL; former Commercialisation Australia Board Member

Working together on economic reform - State Treasurers panel

The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Treasurer of New South Wales
The Hon. Tom Koutsantonis MP, Treasurer of South Australia
The Hon. Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer of Victoria

Funding future infrastructure

Phil Davies, Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Australia
Mark Delaney, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Investment Officer, AustralianSuper
Matina Papathanasiou, Deputy Head of Global Infrastructure, QIC

Social innovation and competition in human services

Bessi Graham, Co-Founder and Chief Executive, The Difference Incubator
Professor Stephen King, Commissioner, Productivity Commission and Adjunct Professor, Monash University
Rohan Mead, Group Managing Director and CEO, Australian Unity

Breaking the rules: policy disruption in the new economy

Ahmed Fahour, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Australia Post
Lara Olsen, Regional Manager, Business Development, Tesla Energy
David Rohrsheim, General Manager, Uber Australia and New Zealand


Click here to register for State of the Nation 2016


Past conferences:

2015 State of the Nation - New economy, old economy

The 36th annual State of the Nation conference was held at Parliament House Canberra on 22 and 23 June 2015 and discussed the changing economy as Australia transitions from old to new.

View the 2015 conference program

2014 State of the Nation: Australia – Open for Business?

The 35th annual State of the Nation conference was held at Parliament House Canberra on 23 and 24 June 2014, under the banner Australia – Open for Business?

2013 State of the Nation: Adjusting Australia

The 2013 conference was aligned with CEDA's major research project for 2013, Australia Adjusting: Optimising national prosperity, and focused on key public policy areas which impact Australia's economic growth.

2012 State of the Nation: Australia Abound

CEDA's 2012 State of the Nation provided insight from experts on critical issues for Australia including the transition of our energy sector, the role of the business community in economic reforms and Budget implications.