2020 Economic and Political Overview in Sydney

2020 Economic and Political Overview in Sydney

Feb 12
Join former Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Kevin Rudd AC and a panel of senior economic and political analysts for the launch of CEDA’s annual Economic and Political Overview (EPO) to explore the issues that will impact business, government and policymakers in 2020.
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The Hon. Kevin Rudd AC, Former Prime Minister of Australia
David Thodey AO, Chair, NSW-Federal Financial Relations Review
Terry Moran AC, Chair, Centre for Policy Development
Tanya Smith, Principal, Nous

Event Overview

The EPO report and forums across the country provide senior executives with new data and insights on the issues shaping the coming year.

Following Federal and NSW government elections in 2019, the fresh terms of government provide an opportunity to reset the policy agenda. This event will explore both foreign policy priorities and the domestic, political and economic outlook.

This event will also include:
  • A panel discussion featuring David Thodey AO, Tanya Smith, and Terry Moran AC on the current state of Australia’s federation and building a shared, positive agenda to underpin Australia’s economic and social prosperity and inefficiencies which act as a handbrake on productivity;
  • Keynote address by the Hon. Kevin Rudd AC on the global response and economic implications of climate change;
  • The economic and political outlook that will shape Australia's economic development and social progress; and
  • Trends in trust and priorities for corporates, government, and not-for-profits in Australia in connecting with the community.
All attendees will receive a copy of CEDA's 2020 Economic and Political Overview Report.

Event presentations

Michael Blythe, Commonwealth Bank of Australia PDF

Arturo Bris, International Institute for Management Development PDF

Delegate handout PDF

Video presentations


Meet the keynote speaker

The Hon. Kevin Rudd AC
Former Prime Minister of Australia

Kevin Rudd served as Australia's 26th Prime Minister (2007-10, 2013) and as Foreign Minister (2010-12). In office, Mr Rudd led Australia's response to the Global Financial Crisis, reviewed as the most effective policy in the developed world. Australia was the only developed country to avoid recession. His government also ratified the Kyoto Protocol, apologised to Indigenous Australians, implemented a mandatory renewable energy target, delivered the national school curriculum, negotiated major reform of the health system, introduced national paid parental leave and pursued the world's first plain-packaging regime for tobacco.

Meet the speakers

David Thodey AO
Chair, NSW-Federal Financial Relations Review

David Thodey AO is Chair of the Commonwealth Science, Industry & Research Organisation (CSIRO), Xero and Tyro Payments. He is also a Director of Ramsay Health Care and Vodafone Group. Mr Thodey was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Telstra, and before joining Telstra, Chief Executive Officer of IBM (ANZ). Mr Thodey is currently Chair of an eminent panel appointed by the NSW Government to lead an independent review of Federal Financial Relations.

Terry Moran AC
Chair, Centre for Policy Development

Terry Moran served as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australia’s most senior public servant position, from 2008 to 2011. He also chaired the Advisory Group on the Reform of Australian Government Administration, which developed a blueprint for reform of the Australian Public Service. Prior to joining PM&C, Terry held a number of senior positions at state and federal level, including Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria, Director-General of Education in Queensland and CEO of the Australian National Training Authority.

Tanya Smith
Principal, Nous

Tanya has been a Principal at Nous Group, the largest Australian-founded management consulting firm, for almost 10 years. She leads Nous’ public policy practice and work with central agencies of government. With Nous, Tanya has led several significant intergovernmental projects and has advised several jurisdictions on potential improvements to our model of federalism.

Michael Blythe
Chief Economist and Managing Director, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Michael monitors, analyses and forecasts trends in the Australian economy. With more than 30 years’ experience in economic policy and financial markets he leads significant research and provides macroeconomic analysis. He was previously a Senior Economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Jennifer Hewett
National Affairs Columnist, The Australian Financial Review

Jennifer Hewett is National Affairs Columnist at The Australian Financial Review and writes a daily column on politics, business and the economy. A journalist with more than 30 years experience, Jennifer previously worked for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian. She has also worked in New York and Washington as a foreign correspondent.

Arturo Bris
Professor of Finance and Director of IMD World Competitiveness Centre, International Institute for Management Development (IMD)

Arturo Bris is Professor of Finance at IMD. Since January 2014 he is also leading the world-renowned IMD World Competitiveness Center. At IMD he has directed programs for senior executives in several industries and continents. Prior to joining IMD, Professor Bris has worked extensively on issues of Corporate Governance, Financial Regulation, and International Valuation. Arturo is passionate about global competitiveness, financial development and macroeconomics. His latest research identifies the relationship between income inequality, social mobility and competitiveness. He is also developing a competitiveness-based investment portfolio that track the best and worst economies.

Meet the chairs

Penny Burtt
Group Chief Executive Officer, Asialink

Penny is the Group CEO of Asialink at the University of Melbourne, Australia’s leading centre for creative engagement with Asia. She joined Asialink from global payments company Visa, where she served on the Asia Pacific leadership team based in Singapore. Prior to Visa, Penny led External Relations and Client Service Risk for the Asia Pacific with global management consultancy, McKinsey&Company. Penny is a former Australian diplomat who served in embassies across Asia. A former trade negotiator, she has held board roles with the National Centre for APEC, the US Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, Singapore Institute for International Affairs and the Board of the Asia Business Trade Association.

Melinda Cilento
Chief Executive, CEDA

Melinda is a company director, economist and experienced senior executive. She is a non-executive director of Australian Unity and Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia. Melinda is also a member of the Parliamentary Budget Office panel of expert advisors.

Melinda was previously a Non-Executive Director with Woodside Petroleum, Commissioner with the Productivity Commission and Deputy CEO and Chief Economist with the Business Council of Australia. Melinda has also previously held senior roles with the Federal Department of Treasury, Invesco and the International Monetary Fund.

Dr David Orsmond
Professor of Economics, Macquarie Business School

David Orsmond has recently been appointed as a Professor of Economics at Macquarie Business School. His previous roles include as Deputy Head Financial Stability Department and Deputy Head Economics Analysis Department at the Reserve Bank of Australia and positions with the International Monetary Fund and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. David holds a PhD in economics from Duke University.

David Stone
Chief Growth Officer, Stellar

David Stone is Chief Growth Officer for Stellar, charged with implementing the company’s growth strategy in domestic, Asian and US markets across a range of customer experience products. An industry veteran with 25 years’ experience David works with enterprise and government organisations to deliver customer experience transformation through digital strategies that include the careful consideration of people, process and intelligent automation.

Supported by CEDA members

Major 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 CEDA Programming Team on 03 9662 3544 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 is currently delivering a digital program of public events, podcasts and virtual Trustee roundtable discussions; hybrid events with both a livestream and audience in attendance; and face-face events, where there is member demand and they can be delivered in accordance with government health advice for a specific state.

For face-to-face gatherings, CEDA is working closely with our hosts and venues to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and facilities and equipment have been properly sanitised. Attendance numbers will strictly adhere to government guidelines for each state.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 will follow all relevant health advice from the Australian government in relation to COVID-19.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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