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Sun. May 26th, 2024

One of Australia’s most respected constitutional law experts, Professor Anne Twomey, will be visiting Armidale this week to give the Austin Page College Politics Lecture.

Anne Twomey is a Professor Emerita of the University of Sydney where she taught Constitutional Law. She has previously worked for the High Court of Australia, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Research Service, the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee and the Cabinet Office of New South Wales. She is currently a consultant to Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers, and engages in public education on constitutional matters, including through her YouTube channel, the Constitutional Clarion.

Twomey is best known for her many television interviews on the section 44 citizenship saga in 2017 which caused many federal politicians to be deemed ineligible to be in parliament. She has also been called on to provide expert commentary on the upcoming referendum on the Voice to Parliament.

Her topic for the address is aptly Sir Earle Page, and his views on constitutional reform. Page was the founder of the New England Statehood movement, which still exists in a form today. He served as Prime Minister for 19 days after the death of Joseph Lyons, and was an extremely influential figure in the early days of the Country Party. He was also the first Chancellor of the University of New England in 1954. Earle Page College, named in his honour, and Austin College were combined as a result of COVID-19’s impact on on-campus student numbers.

Sir Earle Page may have led a conservative party, but he was a radical reformer. He sought to achieve constitutional change both formally and informally, including advocating for the creation of new States and supporting the secession of the New England area from New South Wales during the Great Depression. Page was deeply critical of both the method of constitutional change and the failure of the people to update the Constitution.

In this Lecture, Professor Anne Twomey will draw the connections between Earle Page’s struggles with constitutional reform and our own today.

The address will take place on Wednesday 30 August at 5pm in the Robb College Dining Hall. Those interested in attending can register on the UNE website here https://www.une.edu.au/connect/events/events/austin-page-college-politics-lecture-professor-anne-twomey


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