The Fifth Estate
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Earlier this year, Philip Ruddock declared his intention to retire from politics after a 42-year career. As ‘Father of the House’ – the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives in Canberra – Ruddock has served in Fraser, Howard and Abbott/Turnbull governments, as a key player in several turbulent and transformative periods of Australian politics. Best known as the architect of the controversial ‘Pacific Solution’ during his time as Immigration Minister in the Howard era, Ruddock has also been a vocal advocate on several human rights issues, especially the abolition of the death penalty.
After the election, Ruddock will take up a new role as Australia’s Special Envoy for Human Rights. As Ruddock opens a new chapter, and Australia seeks a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for 2018, what are Ruddock’s aspirations and priorities in the role? Join this elder statesman of the Australian conservative movement, in the first days of his post-political life.
In conversation with Sally Warhaft, Ruddock will talk human rights, the death penalty, and the changing Australian political landscape.
Philip Ruddock was first elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Parramatta, New South Wales, at a by-election on 22 September 1973. Since 1992, he has held the seat of Berowra.
Having held a number of Shadow Ministry portfolios Ruddock was appointed Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs from 11 March 1996 through to 7 October 2003. This made him the longest serving Federal Immigration Minister. During this period he also had responsibility for Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.
On 7 October 2003, he was sworn in as the Federal Attorney-General, an appointment he held until the Federal Election on 3 December 2007. Following the election of the Coalition Government, Ruddock held the position Chief Government Whip from September 2013 until February 2015. On 26 May 2015 the Prime Minister appointed Ruddock as Special Envoy for Citizenship and Community Engagement.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally Warhaft has been the Wheeler Centre’s in-house news anchor since 2012. In 2018 – over 100 episodes in – the anthropologist, broadcaster and intrepid interviewer’s fortnightly live series continues, as she responds to the most important debates of the day and reignites stories that have fallen off the front pages.
Every second Tuesday, Sally hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs. It’s an event series and a live podcast taping rolled into one. Topical guests are announced in the weeks prior to events: keep an eye on our website (or in the Wheeler Weekly) for updates.
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