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SPEAKER

The Hon Christopher Pyne

The Hon Christopher Pyne

Chairman of Pyne and Partners

 

Christopher is Chairman of Pyne and Partners and Principal of GC Advisory, consulting to business in the domain of government and political engagement. Both are headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia but operate nationally and globally.

He is an Industry Professor in the University of South Australia Business School specialising in Defence and Space.

He is Chairman of the Australia United Arab Emirates Business Council and a Director of the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships as well as its Foundation. He is on the Advisory Board of the International Institute for Strategic Leadership Dialogue as well as being on the Board of Governors of the America Australia Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of its Council in South Australia.

Christopher sits on the Australian Advisory Board of the Dubai headquartered, international consulting group, Dar al Handasah.

Christopher has a weekly column in The Adelaide Advertiser called “Pyne on Monday” and hosts a podcast series through Podcast One Australia called “Pyne Time”.

He is a member of the Claxton’s Speakers Bureau stable of public presenters and speaks at conferences and events both domestically and internationally on defence, national security, politics and government.

He is the author of two books - “A Letter to my Children”, published in 2015 by Melbourne University Press and “The Insider”, published in 2020 by Hachette Australia.
Christopher Pyne served as the 54th Australian Defence Minister. He was responsible for delivering the $200 billion build-up of Australia’s military capability, the largest in Australia’s peacetime history.

Serving previously as Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher assisted in developing the 2016 Defence White Paper and implementing the Integrated Investment Program.
During his time as a Cabinet Minister in the Defence portfolio, Christopher:
⦁ Awarded the $35 billion Hunter Class Anti-Submarine Warfare frigates contract to BAES;
⦁ Backed in the $50 billion Attack Class Submarine project by Defence and Naval Group Australia;
⦁ Awarded the $3.7 billion Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel project to Luerssen Australia, CIVMEC and the ASC;
⦁ Awarded the $5.2 billion Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle project to Rheinmettal Australia; and
⦁ Secured Australia as the Asia Pacific hub for the sustainment and maintenance of the F35-A Joint Strike Fighter.

Christopher also worked to ensure the growth and sustainment of Australia’s Defence Industry, and thus implemented Australia’s Defence Export Strategy, Defence Industrial Capability Plan, and the Naval Shipbuilding Plan. He also created the Defence Cooperative Research Centre, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, the Defence Innovation Hub, and the Next Generation Technology Fund.

On an international scale, Christopher was responsible for creating the Pacific Step Up to strengthen Australia’s strategic role in the South Pacific.

Christopher also worked to strengthen Australia’s defence ties with other countries, helping in the establishment of the Australia France Initiative to take advantage of the close relationship with France through the Attack Class Submarine Project. He settled Defence Memoranda of Understanding with Israel, China, and Switzerland, and initiated Memoranda of Understanding with the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Christopher was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Australian Space Agency.
Christopher was a Minister in the Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison Governments, holding various portfolios including Ageing, Education, Industry Innovation and Science, Defence Industry and Defence.

As a Minister for Education and Minister for Industry Innovation and Science, respectively, Christopher delivered the National Innovation and Science Agenda, reformed the National Curriculum, introduced compulsory literacy and numeracy testing for Australian teaching graduates and expanded phonics teaching.

One of Christopher’s proudest achievements is founding “Headspace: the Youth Mental Health Initiative” in 2006.

Christopher was elected to Parliament in 1993 and served as the Member for Sturt for 26 years. During this time, he was in the Liberal Party Leadership Group for 10 years, Leader of the House of Representatives for six years, and served in Cabinet for six years.

He was the longest serving non-Labor Member of the House of Representatives from South Australia since Federation in 1901.

He is an Ambassador for the Adelaide Football Club.

Christopher lives in Aldgate in South Australia and is married to Carolyn and is the father of Eleanor, Barnaby, Felix and Aurelia.

Before entering Parliament, Christopher practised as a solicitor at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Thomson Geer.