State of the Nation Digital Forum

State of the Nation Digital Forum

Jun 15
CEDA's annual State of the Nation has pivoted to an online forum, and will include political commentary from federal and state leaders, and business roundtable discussions across a range of sectors, all through the Covid19 lens.

Event overview

Forum program

CEDA's State of the Nation will be headlined by Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison and will deliver two days of interactive discussions with leaders from federal and state politics, government, business and the community.

The 2020 State of the Nation will be delivered digitally over two half days and will provide a timely update on the economy, critical policy priorities and the path to recovery. 

Day one will deliver presentations and discussions with political leaders and policy experts on priorities for Australia.

Day two will provide a series of panel discussions with business leaders and decision makers focused on four areas key to Australia’s recovery:
  • supply chains
  • workforce
  • critical services
  • at risk communities
A second face-to-face conference focused on long-term recovery is still in planning for later in the year subject to social distancing requirements.  

Please note all livestream events will be recorded and registered participants will receive exclusive access to the recording following the event, ahead of the general public. Substitutions for the livestream can be made at any time. Please forward details to the event coordinator.

Livestream start times:
SA/NT: 8.30am
WA: 7.00am

Meet the keynote speakers

The Hon. Scott Morrison
Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP was sworn in as Australia's 30th Prime Minister on 24 August 2018. He has previously served as Treasurer, Minister for Social Services, Minister for Border Protection and was first elected to Parliament as the Federal Member for Cook in 2007. During his more than ten years in the parliament, the Prime Minister has established a reputation as a passionate advocate for his local community as well as a proven fixer for difficult policy problems in senior Cabinet portfolios. The Prime Minister has represented the electorate of Cook in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire since 2007.

The Hon. Anthony Albanese
Federal Leader of the Opposition

Anthony has represented the Inner West of Sydney as the Federal Member for Grayndler since 1996. During the Rudd-Gillard Government he served as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and Leader of the House. Anthony was named Infrastructure Minister of the Year in 2012 by London-based publication Infrastructure Investor and in 2010 was named Aviation Minister of the Year for producing Australia's first ever Aviation White Paper.  Anthony believes strongly in the need for the government to invest in infrastructure and transport in our cities and regions to ensure our growing communities are productive, liveable and sustainable.

Meet the panel

The Hon. Andrew Barr
ACT Chief Minister and Treasurer

As a social progressive and economic reformer, Andrew has led a positive agenda for Canberra since being elected ACT Chief Minister in 2014. Andrew’s strong and diversified economic agenda has led to record job creation in the ACT, and a consistently low unemployment rate. Andrew has led significant growth in the ACT’s tourism sector, enticing international flights into Canberra and encouraging a booming hospitality industry. During his time as Chief Minister, Canberra has been ranked by the OECD as the best city in the world to live and by Lonely Planet as one of the best cities in the world to visit. Andrew is also the ACT Treasurer and Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment.

Dr Andrew Charlton
Director, AlphaBeta

Andrew has senior experience in business, government and international institutions. From 2008-10, through the period of the global financial crisis, he served as senior economic advisor to the Prime Minister of Australia and Australia’s senior government official to the G20 economic summits. From 2010-14 he worked for Wesfarmers, including two years in corporate strategy and two years in operational roles. In 2011 he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM
Board Member, CEDA

Gordon has over 30 years’ experience in public policy and administration globally. His areas of professional policy expertise include macro, financial and international economics; natural resource and environmental management; climate change; energy markets; the integration of security and economics in strategic policy; international organisations; institutional design and governance; and public-sector management and governance. Gordon has served as Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Energy and in senior positions in the Prime Minister’s Department, in Treasury, the Reserve Bank and as G20 Sherpa.

Kareem El-Ansary
2019 Australian Youth Representative to the UN, United Nations Youth Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Kareem El-Ansary is Australia’s 21st Youth Representative to the United Nations. First established in 1999, it is the only role of its kind in Australia. In 2019, Kareem and his team conducted the nation’s largest face-to-face consultation of young Australians to better understand their views and the issues that are impacting them. Over a seven-month period, Kareem travelled over 100,000km, visited 56 towns and cities in every state and territory and directly engaged with over 10,000 young Australians. Following his domestic ‘Listening Tour’, Kareem represented young Australians at the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York where he served as Australia’s youngest diplomat.

Dr Stephanie Fahey
Chief Executive Officer, Austrade

Stephanie is Chief Executive Officer of Austrade, the Australian Government agency responsible for promoting trade, investment and international education, and tourism policy, programs and research. She has over 30 years’ experience both as an academic and executive working in Australia and overseas. Austrade’s first female chief executive, Stephanie has also served on the Australia China Business Council, the Australia China Council, the NSW International Education Advisory Board, and was Vice President of the European Australian Business Council.

Dr Cassandra Goldie
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council of Social Service

Cassandra Goldie has been CEO of ACOSS since July 2010. With public policy expertise in economic and social issues, civil society, social justice and human rights, Cassandra has represented the interests of people who are disadvantaged, and civil society generally, in major national and international processes as well as in grassroots communities. Prior to joining ACOSS, Cassandra held senior roles in both the NFP and public sectors, including with the Australian Human Rights Commission, Darwin Community Legal Service and as Senior Executive with Legal Aid in Western Australia.

Christine Holgate
Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Australia Post

Christine Holgate joined Australia Post as Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director on 30 October 2017, after nearly nine years as the Chief Executive Officer of Blackmores. She has more than 30 years of diverse international leadership experience in highly regulated industries, including healthcare, media, telecommunications and finance; and more than 20 years of public board experience as either a non-executive director or CEO and has held senior management positions in Asia, the Americas and Australia.

Will Irving
Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, NBN Co

Will is accountable for Strategy and Transformation leadership at nbn. This covers nbn’s corporate strategy, its operating model, future network architecture, regulatory and key strategic relationships. Prior to joining nbn Will was the Interim CEO of Telstra InfraCo and the Group Executive of Telstra Wholesale from 2016-18. From 2011-16 Will headed Telstra Business, responsible for over 1 million Small and medium business Telstra customers – from sole traders to smaller ASX listed companies and local government.

Sally McManus
Secretary, Australian Council of Trade Unions

Sally commenced her working life as a Pizza Hut driver, cleaner and a shop assistant prior to joining the ACTU’s Trainee Organisers Program in 1994.  From this she went on to become an Organiser and then the Branch Secretary of the ASU in NSW. In 2017 Sally was elected as the ACTU Secretary, the first woman Secretary in its 90-year history.

Su-Lin Ong
Chief Economist and Senior Relationship Manager, RBC Capital Markets

Su-Lin is a Managing Director of RBC Capital Markets, Chief Economist & Senior Relationship Manager. She has led the Economics and Fixed Income Strategy team for AU/NZ since 2010 and was Head of AU Research, including oversight for equity research, from 2015 to 2019. In August 2019, she began a newly created role to help foster senior relationships with RBC’s key clients. Su-Lin is part of the global strategy team with primary responsibility for formulating and presenting RBC’s AU/NZ macroeconomic outlook, cash rate view and bond yield forecasts.

Tim Pallas MP
Treasurer of Victoria

Tim was elected to the Victorian Parliament in 2006 and is the State Member for Werribee. Following the election of the Andrews Labor Government in November 2014, he was sworn in as Victoria’s 50th Treasurer – a position he holds to this day. He is also currently Minister for Economic Development; Industrial Relations; and Coordinattion of Treasury and Finance: COVID-19. Tim previously served in the Bracks and Brumby Governments as Minister for Roads and Ports, and later added Major Projects to his responsibilities. He was also previously Minister for Resources in the last term of the Andrews Labor Government, overseeing a period of significant growth.

The Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP
NSW Treasurer

Dominic is Treasurer in the NSW Government, and the Member for Epping in the NSW Legislative Assembly. He was re-appointed Treasurer and Deputy Leader of the NSW Liberal Party in March 2019. He was first appointed Treasurer and Deputy Leader in January 2017, having previously served as Minister for Finance and Services from April 2014, and then Minister for Finance, Services and Property from April 2015. He is driven by the belief that responsible fiscal management is the key to delivering better services and infrastructure, and his three budgets have been characterised by strong surpluses, record investment in new productive infrastructure, and tax cuts of around $2.4 billion, all while maintaining NSW’s coveted triple-A credit rating.

The Hon. Christian Porter
Federal Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations

Christian Porter has been Australia’s Attorney-General since December 2017. After the May 2019 election, he has also taken on responsibility for the Industrial Affairs portfolio and is also Leader of the House. As Attorney-General, Christian played a key role in the modernisation of Australia’s national security laws with the successful passage of the Espionage and Foreign Interference, and Foreign Influence and Transparency Scheme legislation, which represents the most substantial reforms to Australia’s national security legislation since the 1970’s. He is also currently focused on reforming the family court system to help families save time and costs in family law disputes.

Brett Redman
Managing Director and CEO, AGL

Brett was appointed CEO of AGL, Australia’s largest energy generator and a leading retailer of energy and other services to more than 3.9 million customer accounts and services in operation, in December 2018 after 11 years of holding senior leadership roles across AGL including Chief Financial Officer. During this time, Brett led major transformational investment opportunities, including the acquisitions of the Loy Yang A and Macquarie Generation power station businesses as well as the creation of the Powering Australian Renewables Fund to kickstart large-scale wind and solar development opportunities.

Alexandra Riha
President, Australasian Supply Chain Institute

Alexandra Riha is President and Chair of the Board of Directors at Australasian Supply Chain Institute (ACSI). She has previously served as ASCI Vice President and ASCI Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors. Alexandra brings 25 years’ experience building supply chains across Europe, Asia and Australia to make them more efficient and commercially viable. Alexandra is currently the Regional Head Supply Network Operations for Asia Pacific for Merck Healthcare. 

Glenn Thompson
Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Programmed Group

In 2019 Glenn was appointed as Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of Programmed Maintenance Services. He joined Programmed in October 2012 and has held a number of senior positions with the group including CEO, Maintenance and CEO, Property Services. Prior to joining Programmed, Glenn returned to Australia from Asia where he led an online media business. Glenn has also worked in the staffing and outsourcing industry for 15 years, and for 10 years in print and online media.

Rajiv Viswanathan
Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Business Australia

Rajiv joined IBA in February 2012 from the Macquarie Group, where he held various senior roles in business development and risk management, most recently in New York. Before joining Macquarie Group, he worked as a corporate lawyer in London and Sydney. He has experience in a range of commercial transactions, including establishing new businesses, acquisitions, joint ventures, investment funds and capital raising. Rajiv has a longstanding interest in working for better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including pro bono policy and advocacy work with key community organisations. 

Meet the facilitators

Jarrod Ball
Chief Economist, CEDA

Jarrod Ball joined CEDA as Chief Economist in 2017 with over 15 years of experience as an economist across the public and private sectors. He has held senior roles at the Business Council of Australia, in EY’s advisory services practice and more recently at BHP. Jarrod also worked in the Federal Government and was a lead adviser on microeconomic reform for the Victorian Departments of Premier and Cabinet and Treasury and Finance. He is a member of CEDA’s Council on Economic Policy and the Melbourne Economic Forum. Jarrod holds a Masters degree in Economics from Monash University and undergraduate degrees in Business (Economics) and Arts from the University of Southern Queensland.

Melinda Cilento
Chief Executive, CEDA

Melinda is a company director and experienced senior executive. She is a non-executive director of Woodside Petroleum and Australian Unity and Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia. Melinda is also a member of the Parliamentary Budget Office panel of experts advisors. Melinda’s executive and director experience covers the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors and she has a strong track record of working collaboratively across sectors.

Ming Long AM
CEDA Board of Directors

Ming Long is an influential leader with non-executive director experience in a broad range of industries including financial services, funds and investment management and real estate. She has held leadership positions including CEO and CFO roles with a track record of taking on challenging roles, including successfully navigating the global financial crisis. She is the first Asian woman to lead an ASX-100 or 200 listed entity in Australia. Ming is the Chair of AMP Capital Funds Management Limited, is Deputy Chair of Diversity Council of Australia, a director of QBE Insurance (Australia and Pacific), CEDA, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, and on the advisory board for YBF Ventures to support the Fintech industry in Melbourne.

Diane Smith-Gander AO
National Chairman, CEDA

Diane Smith-Gander AO was elected as the CEDA National Chairman in 2019. Diane has recently served as one of three panellists reviewing the capability of APRA, the banking industry regulator following the findings of the Hayne Royal Commission. She is a non-Executive director of AGL Energy, Wesfarmers Limited, NQA group of companies, Keystart Loans group and Chair of Safe Work Australia, Asbestos Safety & Eradication Council. Diane is a past president of Chief Executive Women. Diane has held a wide range of non-executive roles in the past including Chairman of Broadspectrum, Deputy Chairperson of NBNCo, non-executive director of the CBH Group, commissioner of Tourism WA and board member of the Committee for Perth.

Panel sessions

State economic outlook
Monday 15 June 10:45am
  • The Hon. Andrew Barr, ACT Chief Minister and Treasurer,
  • Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer of Victoria,
  • The Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP, NSW Treasurer,
  • Diane Smith-Gander AO, National Chairman, CEDA
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
State and territory Treasurers will join a panel discussion on the state economic outlook and priorities in the next phase of the crisis.
Day 1 analysis and wrap up
Monday 15 June 12:15pm
  • Dr Andrew Charlton, Director, AlphaBeta
  • Melinda Cilento, Chief Executive, CEDA
  • Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM, Board Member, CEDA
  • Su-Lin Ong, Chief Economist and Senior Relationship Manager, RBC Capital Markets
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
Australian trade and supply chains
Tuesday 16 June 9:15am
  • Jarrod Ball, Chief Economist, CEDA
  • Dr Stephanie Fahey, Chief Executive Officer, Austrade
  • Alexandra Riha, President, Australasian Supply Chain Institute
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
CEDA's panel will examine: 
  • trends in Australia’s trading relations pre-pandemic and the current state of play;
  • how global supply chains have been disrupted and what is required to enhance the resilience of Australian supply chains and supply of critical goods; and
  • long-term implications for global trade and Australian industry policy.
Australia's evolving labour market
Tuesday 16 June 10:00am
  • Sally McManus, Secretary, Australian Council of Trade Unions
  • The Hon. Christian Porter, Federal Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations,
  • Diane Smith-Gander AO, National Chairman, CEDA
  • Glenn Thompson, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Programmed Group
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
Join key decision makers to discuss the:
  • current state of the labour market;
  • effectiveness of government response through JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments;
  • implications of policies related to skills development and talent attraction; and
  • likely longer-term impacts and the future of Australia’s labour market.
Critical services in times of crisis
Tuesday 16 June 10:45am
  • Melinda Cilento, Chief Executive, CEDA
  • Christine Holgate, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Australia Post
  • Will Irving, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, NBN Co
  • Brett Redman, Managing Director and CEO, AGL
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
CEDA's business panel will discuss:
  • the social and economic importance of service delivery during the pandemic;
  • how critical services have pivoted to respond to community needs; and
  • how this experience might inform the design and implementation of future service delivery to meet evolving challenges.
Supporting vulnerable and at risk communities
Tuesday 16 June 11:30am
  • Kareem El-Ansary, 2019 Australian Youth Representative to the UN, United Nations Youth Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Dr Cassandra Goldie, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council of Social Service
  • Ming Long AM, CEDA Board of Directors,
  • Rajiv Viswanathan, Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Business Australia
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
Community leaders will discuss:
  • what have been the particular impacts on different groups;
  • the response by Government – has it been appropriate to support an agile and effective social safety net; and
  • how the corporate and community sectors can work with governments at all levels to build resilient communities.

Supported by CEDA members

Livestream sponsors

Further sponsorship available:

Align your brand with CEDA and communicate with hard-to-reach business, government and policy leaders by sponsoring this event. Contact Louise Claridge on 02 9779 9751 or email
Public event advice – Coronavirus

At CEDA we are proud to regularly convene and engage speakers and audiences as an essential element of our efforts to broaden discussion and debate of the most important policy issues facing Australia. In doing so, our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff.

CEDA remains true to its purpose of providing platforms to inform and promote debate of critical issues and driving policy solutions and are continuing critical discussions for Australia’s economic, social and environmental development through a digital events program including exclusive livestreams, podcasts and video, as well as our virtual Trustee roundtable discussions.

CEDA is also moving to deliver hybrid events that include a livestream and a small audience in attendance. CEDA has worked with venues to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and facilities and equipment have been properly sanitised. Attendance numbers adhere to government guidelines.
In line with government advice we request people that are unwell with cough or fever or other respiratory symptoms do not attend CEDA events. We also ask that you follow government advice and maintain social distancing by refraining from shaking hands or exchanging physical greetings, and wherever possible, staying at least 1.5 metres away from others.

CEDA will continue to closely monitor government advice regarding public gatherings and act on relevant health advice from the Australian government in relation to COVID-19.