Speakers Profile - Phillip Adams

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Broadcaster, filmmaker, author, archaeologist, controversialist, social commentator and satirist, Phillip Adams was elected one of Australia's 100 National Living Treasures in the inaugural poll conducted by The National Trust (NSW).

For almost 50 years, Adams' columns in major newspapers and magazines have provoked discussion and outrage. He is in constant demand as a speaker, chairman and moderator at public and private sector conferences. In his speaking engagements, broadcasts and writing Phillip tackles the urgent questions facing society in the 21st century using wit, humour and provocative opinions to challenge thought and stimulate debate.

He is the author of over 20 books that have sold over a million copies, including The Unspeakable Adams, Adams Versus God, The Penguin Book of Australian Jokes, Retreat from Tolerance, Talkback and A Billion Voices. His most recent book is Adams Ark, published in 2004 and he is now working on a book about Kerry Packer.

Billed as the godfather of the Australian film industry, Adams' features include The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, Don's Party, The Getting of Wisdom, Lonely Hearts and We of the Never Never. His television programs include two series of The Big Questions with Professor Paul Davies and Death and Destiny, filmed in Egypt with Paul Cox.

As a consultant to prime ministers and premiers, Adams played a key role in the establishment of the Australia Council, the Australian Film Development Corporation, the Australian Film Commission, the South Australian Film Corporation (which became a model for similar organisations in most states) and the Australian Film Finance Corporation.

Adams has been Chair of the Australian Film Institute, the Australian Film Commission, the Commission for the Future, the Film Radio and Television Board, Film Australia and the National Australia Day Council. He is Chairman of the Centre for the Mind at the University of Sydney and the Australian National University in Canberra. His scores of board memberships have included Greenpeace, CARE Australia, The National Museum of Australia, Adelaide's Festival of Ideas and Brisbane's Ideas Festival.

As a broadcaster, Adams has interviewed over 15,000 of the world's most prominent politicians, philosophers, economists, scientists, theologians, historians, archaeologists, novelists and scholars. His radio program, 'Late Night Live' is broadcast twice a day over the 250-station network of ABC's Radio National and around the world on Radio Australia and the World Wide Web.

Honours awarded to Adams include two Orders of Australia, the Senior ANZAC Fellowship, the Australian Humanist of the Year, the Republican of the Year 2005, the Golden Lion at Cannes, the Longford Award (the highest award of the Australian film industry), a Walkley award, a UN Media prize, four Honorary Doctorates and the Responsibility in Journalism Award at New York University.

Adams has two weekly columns in The Australian newspaper.