One Hundred Years of the Higgins Legacy:
Treasured Inheritance or Debilitating Folly?


Peter Anderson is Director of Workplace Policy for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the peak national body of employer organisations in Australia.

Peter joined ACCI at the beginning of 2002. Prior to this Peter was Senior Adviser to two Federal Ministers for Employment and Workplace Relations between 1997 and 2001, Peter Reith and Tony Abbott. He also developed the Australian government's trade practices reforms in 1998 whilst Peter Reith was small business Minister.

Peter lives in Melbourne but is originally from South Australia. He was responsible for the South Australian government's industrial relations, workers compensation and occupational health and safety reforms between 1993 and 1996 and was chief of staff to the South Australian Premier Dean Brown in 1996.

He was Executive Director of the Retail Traders Association of South Australia between 1998 and 1991 and a Director of the Retailers Council of Australia. He has also been a partner in a commercial law practice, specialising in employment law.

Peter has an Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Adelaide.

He is also a contributing author to a major teaching publication on Business Law.


Ray Evans is a consultant and President of the H R Nicholls Society.


Emeritus Professor Keith Hancock retired in 1997 from his position as Senior Deputy President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. He now has honorary appointments at Adelaide and Flinders Universities, where he is studying aspects of the regulation and deregulation of the labour market. He achieved early success in academia as a labour economist and was appointed by Prime Minister Hawke to chair the committee of inquiry into the state of industrial relations in Australia. The Hancock Report was issued in May 1985, and led to the founding of the H R Nicholls Society in February 1986.


Mark Harrison has a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago and taught for 10 years at the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Chicago. He has been a visiting researcher at the Research School of Social Sciences at the ANU, the George Stigler Centre for the Study of the Economy and the State at the University of Chicago and the Productivity Commission in the Australian Government. He has published many articles on education issues and has undertaken commissioned research for the Ministry of Education, the Treasury and the Education Forum in New Zealand, and the Australian Review of Higher Education Financing and Policy (the West Review) and the Industry Taskforce on Leadership and Management Skills (Karpin Committee) in Australia.

The New Zealand Education Forum recently published his 'Education Matters: Government, Markets and New Zealand Education', a comprehensive overall examination of the education system and the proper role for government.

Empirical evidence and economic analysis is used to derive an optimal structure for ownership, regulation and funding of schools and a reform plan for schooling is set out.


Professor Phil Lewis is Professor of Economics and Head of the School of Business at the University of Canberra and the Canberra Director of the Centre for Labour Market Research, a consortium of the University of Canberra and three universities in Perth. The Centre has a record of over 18 years of research in all aspects of labour market analysis. Phil is among the best-known economists in the area of employment, education and training in Australia. He is the author of over 80 books, book chapters and journal articles. Apart from a distinguished academic career he has worked in government and has produced a number of major reports for the private and public sectors. He is also the National President of The Economic Society of Australia.


Des Moore was formerly Deputy Secretary to the Commonwealth Treasury, Senior Fellow of the IPA, and is now Director of the Institute of Private Enterprise (IPE). He is a member of the board of the HR Nicholls Society.


Ken Phillips is a workplace relations consultant, a member of the board of the H R Nicholls Society, and secretary of Independent Contractors Australia. He appears frequently as a columnist in the Australian Financial Review.


Alex Robson was born in Canberra and grew up in Townsville where he went to school and to James Cook University, graduating in Economics in 1994. After two years in the Treasury He then went to the University of California at Irvine, completing a PhD in 2001. He won first prize in the Hayek Essay Competition awarded by the Mont Pelerin Society in October 2002. He is currently lecturing at the School of Economics at the ANU.