HR Nicholls Society 2016 Annual Conference – the State of Reform

The HR Nicholls Society invites you to join us for our thirty sixth annual conference in Melbourne on the 21st and 22nd of October. The Conference will commence with the Society’s annual dinner at Oaks on Collins with a keynote address from the Hon. Senator Eric Abetz.

Book online here –

Presentations will follow on Saturday at the Oaks on Collins conference centre including refreshments and buffet lunch, concluding at 3pm.

We are lucky to be joined by the following presenters:
– The Hon Eric Abetz
– the Hon Robert Clarke, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations in the Victorian Parliament
– One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts
– Alternative union entrepreneur Graeme Haycroft
– the Hon Peter Katsambanis MLC

Time: Annual dinner – 6:00pm Friday
Saturday presentations – 8:30am to 3:00pm

Prices: $240 for members, $260 for non-members and $220 for students

HR Nicholls Society XXXVI Conference: Saturday 28 November 2015,  Melbourne.
The Fair Work Act – an Australian idiosyncrasyThe conference will include a review of the draft proposal of the Productivity Commission to “tweek” the Fair Work Act, the major part of which, about awards, the commission describes as “an Australian idiosyncrasy”.Venue: Morgans, 401 Collins St, MelbourneConference proceedings: 1.00pm – 5.00pmConference Dinner: 6.30pm for 7.00pmRegistration:        Saturday, 28 November, 2015, 12.15 to 1.00 pm at mezzanine level of 401 Collins St.  Light lunch for registrants.

Session One:       

  • Introduction

A Bisits, President HR Nicholls Society             

  • Review of the draft report of the Productivity Commission of August 2015 on the “Workplace Relations Framework”

S Barklamb, Executive Director, Australian Mines and Metals Association, contributor to AMMA’s major submission to the Productivity Commission

  • Gems from the Fair work Commission

You can now earn your bonus while you are on a three month strike: [2015] FWCFB 5530.  This and other recent gems of the commission will be reviewed by a member of the board. 

Afternoon Tea. 3.10-3.30

Session Two

  • A remembrance of the writings of Ray Evans, 1939-2013, former president of this society

P Morgan, historian and former member of the Australia Council

  • The blue highway: proposed coastal shipping reforms and whether labour costs will become competitive on the Australian coast

Hazel Brasington, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

  • Should Australia adopt the United States’ RICO legislation for dealing with corrupt trade unions?Gerard Phillips, Partner, K&L Gates

Conference Dinner:

Venue:                         Ground floor, Morgans, 401 Collins St, Melbourne

Time:                             6.30pm for 7.00pm

Guest Speaker:         The Hon Bernie Finn MLC

Mr Finn’s address will include discussion of trade union issues involving Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.


Please fill out the form below to register:

To book send either send cheque for registration fee to Michael Moore, Secretary-treasurer, 64 Grieg St, Albert Park, VIC. 3206, or pay fee by bank transfer to the society’s account at the Bank of Melbourne, BSB 033 000 697304 AND email accordingly



The HR Nicholls Society hosted an Australian Tour of Professor Bernd Fitzenberger of Freiburg University, one of the world’s leading labour market experts, on “Labour Relations for a Resilient Economy” with speeches in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth on the German model for labour relations, and its contribution to German competitiveness and employment in the last decade.

Annual Dinner with Stephen Sasse, Monday 24 November 2014, Melbourne

South Australia – how the labour market can help the state, Adelaide Wednesday 22 October 2014 – click here for the report!

Ending construction thuggery: Construction industry forum to be addressed by Robert Clark, Victorian Minister for Industrial Relations
Monday, 25 August 2014


The HR Nicholls Society’s annual conference, Stopping the Decline: Our Urgent Jobs Planwas held Brisbane on Saturday 17 May. Click HERE for a conference report.


Alan Anderson: Our urgent jobs plan: labour market freedom in Australia

Kyle Kutasi: Simon Bolivar’s Babies: Industrial Regulation as a Cause of Failure in South America

Speaker: A Year of Lost Opportunity

Prof. Anthony Makin: Fiscal Consolidation, the Economy and Employment

Roger Gyles AO QC: Back to the Future – Unions and the Building Industry Then and Now

2013 Annual Dinner with Guest Speaker Leigh Clifford AO, Chairman of Qantas: Thursday 5 December, 2013

Launch of report on new anti-competitive superannuation requirements in The Fair Work Act


11 am, Tuesday, 13 August 2013, Waratah Room, Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney

HR Nicholls Society XXXIII Conference 

The HR Nicholls 33nd Conference, Unions in Control?, was held in Melbourne on July 8. Click HERE for the Conference Program and speaker details.

Papers presented included:

Paul Fletcher MP: Superannuation Advancing Union Power Influence 

Scott Barklamb:The Damaging Costs & Risks of Doing Business Under the Fair Work Act

Speaker: The Changing Industrial Relations Landscape in Australia

Grace Collier: HR Nicholls Annual Conference Presentation

Kyle Kutasi: A House Built on Sand: Recent developments in American Labour Law and what they mean for Australia

Presentations from previous Conference are available here.