Phillip Adams AO
Broadcaster, writer and film-maker & living national treasure
Phillip Adams is a prolific and sometimes controversial broadcaster, writer and film-maker. As presenter of Radio National’s Late Night Live, he has interviewed thousands of the world’s most influential politicians, historians, archaeologists, novelists, theologians, economists, philosophers and sundry conversationalists. Phillip Adams is renowned for his laid back approach, his humour and curiosity, his ability to flesh out rare insights from his guests, and his amazing store of anecdotal knowledge.
Largely self-educated (he left school in his mid-teens) Phillip is the author of over 20 books, including The Unspeakable Adams, Adams Versus God, Talkback, Retreat From Tolerance and A Billion Voices. His writing has appeared in many of Australia’s most influential publications and he has been a contributor to The Times and The Financial Times in London, and to the New York Times.
His films include The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, The Getting of Wisdom, Don’s Party, Lonely Hearts and We of the Never Never. Adams’ Australia was part of BBC TV’s contribution to Australia’s bicentennial celebrations. Other TV programs include two series of The Big Questions with Professor Paul Davies, and Death and Destiny, filmed in Egypt with Paul Cox.
A foundation member of the Australia Council and chairman of the Film, Radio and Television Board, Phillip has chaired the Australian Film Institute, the Australian Film Commission, Film Australia and the National Australia Day Council. He is a former president of the Victorian Council for the Arts and was foundation chairman of the Commission for the Future. He currently chairs the Advisory Board of the Centre for the Mind at Sydney University and the Australian National University. His many board memberships include the Festivals of Ideas in Adelaide and Brisbane and the Families in Distress Foundation.
Other board memberships have included the Museum of Australia, Greenpeace Australia, CARE Australia, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Film Victoria and the Anti-Football League. He was co-founder of the Australian Skeptics.
As well as two Orders of Australia, Phillip was Australian Humanist of the Year (1987), Republican of the Year 2005, and received the Longford Award, the film industry’s highest accolade in 1981, the same year that he was appointed Senior ANZAC Fellow. He is a recipient of the Henry Lawson Arts Award (1987) and in 1998, the National Trust elected him one of Australia’s 100 Living National Treasures. He has four honorary doctorates-from Sydney, Griffith, Edith Cowan and the University of South Australia.
Phillip lives on a cattle property specialising in the production of chemical-free beef. He is a collector of rare antiquities, including Egyptian, Roman and Greek sculptures and artefacts.
Excellent. Phillip provided an enlightening and sometimes challenging speech that reflected his expertise but also was made relevant to his GP audience. For many, his was the stand out presentation of the conference.
-Australian Division of General Practice LTD
Excellent. Philip was a real gentleman and it was an honour to have him at our symposium. He pulled no punches in his presentation. Highly recommended.
-Central Queensland University
Excellent. Phillip Adams was the highlight of our two-day conference. Very humorous presentation, sharing his own personal experiences with very realistic directions for the future. Much food for thought.
-Sydney West Primary Principals
A true professional.
-SA Primary Principals Association
Excellent. Wonderfully presented, entertaining, provoking talk that everyone of our clients enjoyed immensely.
-Australian Financial Services
Excellent. Phillip's presentation was a highlight of the South Pacific User Services Conference. His entertaining anecdotes were always related back to the theme of the conference.
-The University of Newcastle
Phillip Adams enthralled the audience with his wisdom, wit and intellect as he took us on a journey of Mass Media through the ages.
-Lake Macquarie City Council
Over the years we have had a number of speakers who although did their best did not really hit the mark with the audience. Phillip was excellent in this regard. I was very happy that he took questions without notice from delegates on any topic. His stories about his amazing life kept the audience entertained and amused for the entire session. Phillip was very gracious with his time and freely spoke with the delegates both before and after his appearance.