Former Premier of Victoria, Company Chairman
The Hon. Jeffrey Kennett AC was an Officer in the Royal Australian Regiment, serving at home and overseas. He was a Member of the Victorian Parliament for 23 years, and was Premier of the State from 1992 to 1999.
Mr Kennett has held several influential positions on the boards of corporate and not for profit organizations, including Chairman of Open Windows Australia Proprietary Limited and Amtek Corporation Pty Ltd, and Chairman of the Board of Management of PFD Food Services Pty Ltd.
More about the Hon. Jeffrey Kennett AC
The Hon. Jeffrey Kennett AC was elected Leader of the Opposition in October 1982. Under his leadership, the Victorian Coalition was elected to Government on October 3, 1992, with two-to-one majorities in both Houses of Parliament - a position unparalleled in almost 140 years of responsible State Government in Victoria. In the Government's first term, Mr Kennett held the positions of Premier and Minister for Ethnic Affairs.
The Coalition was returned to office at the March 30, 1996, election with a net gain in representation across both Houses of Parliament.
Mr Kennett continued as Premier, as well as serving as Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for the Arts. He headed the Government's peak industry organisations - the Ministerial Industry Council, Premier's Business Round Table, Victorian Communications and Multimedia Task Force and Food Victoria, and chaired the Science, Engineering and Technology Task Force.
Under his Premiership, Victoria earned the reputation as Australia's most reformist government. They implemented extensive reforms of the Victorian public service, led Australia in privatisation of public authorities, reduced the State's indebtedness from $33bn to $5.5bn, reinvigorated its economy and reinstated confidence among the Victorian community. On April 22, 1998, Victoria regained its AAA credit rating from international ratings agency, Standard and Poor's.
In November 1999, Mr Kennett resigned from the Victorian Parliament after 23 years service to pursue a corporate career.
Mr Kennett has traveled extensively internationally, and has a wide network of business and political contacts. His leadership positions include:
- Chairman of Open Windows Australia Proprietary Limited
- Chairman of Amtek Corporation Pty Ltd
- Chairman of the Board of Management of PFD Food Services Pty Ltd.
- Director of Equity Trustees Limited and Jumbuck Entertainment Limited.
- Chairman of beyondblue: the national depression initiative.
- President of the Hawthorn Football Club.
- Mr Kennett is Patron of a number of community organisations.
For a brief period during 2002, Kennett was a radio presenter for Melbourne station 3AK, continuing an interest in mass-communication which was also a feature of his premiership. He has also served on the boards of Australian Seniors Finance, a reverse mortgage company, and SelecTV, a satellite television group.
Mr Kennett was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in January 2005 for his work with the Victorian Parliament, social and economic initiatives, arts, sport and mental health. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate - Hon DBus (Honoris Causa) - by The University of Ballarat.
The Hon. Jeffrey Kennett AC speaks about:
While comfortable on a wide range of topics, Mr Kennett's key areas of interest are:
- Australia in the 21st Century and Beyond; our future, potential growth areas, the shape of society
- The challenges ahead for Australia as a nation
- The strategic importance of Australia's participation in the Asian region beyond East Timor
- The role of Government in leading debate on social issues
Jeff was sensational in his delivery of the Keynote address. Delegates were very excited at the prospect of hearing Jeff speak, particularly in such challenging times. He was visionary, urbane, spoke superbly on topic and was a pleasure to work with.
Fran Kerlin, City of Melbourne
Thank you from the team at CRT for joining us at the recent National Conference in Perth. Your presentation inspired much debate and interest amongst our delegates. Our delegates gave you very high marks in our post-Conference survey and we very much appreciate your contribution to the success of our Conference.
Combined Rural Traders Pty Ltd
A wonderful and engaging speaker, Mr Kennett speaks with passion and warmth.
Excellent ProVision Eyecare Pty Ltd
Captivated the audience and communicated his message on leadership extremely well.
John Danks & Son Pty Ltd
As usual, no notes - brilliant speaker. It was great way to finish the day.