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Phillip Adams AO


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Australia’s Finest Media Figures and Intellectuals

Phillip Adams is truly a National Living Treasure. Scores of honours and awards lay testament to his immense contribution to Australian media, arts and social innovation, and he remains amongst this country’s most influential intellectuals. Phillip is a widely respected broadcaster, filmmaker, author, archaeologist, controversialist, social commentator and satirist who has been described as ‘the most remarkable broadcaster in the history of this country’ (Robert Manne, The Monthly). Thousands of the world’s most prominent people have met with Phillip’s microphone, and his radio shows beam to millions around the world.

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. In October 2006 a poll conducted by Professor Richard Nyall of Curtin University among 200 senior academics to define ‘the top forty most influential Australian intellectuals’ had Adams equal third with Noel Pearson

Writing in The Monthly, Robert Manne says Adams is: ‘The most remarkable broadcaster in the history of this country.’

For almost 50 years his columns in major newspapers and magazines have provoked discussion and outrage. 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, A Billion Voices and Adams Ark. Melbourne University Press published his most recent book, Adams Versus God: The Rematch in 2007. 

Australian Film Industry

Billed as the ‘godfather of the Australian film industry’, Adams’ many 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 and the Australian Film Finance Corporation. 


Adams is currently Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Centre for the Mind at the University of Sydney and the Australian National University in Canberra. In 2009 Premier Rran appointed him Foundation Chairman of the Australian Centre for Social Innovation. 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. Late Night Live is Australia’s most successful ‘podcast’ program, both in Australia and around the world. In 2008 there were 13 million downloads. 

Awards and Honours

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. In 2006 he received the Human Rights Medal from the Australian Government’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. In 2008 he was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Phillip Adams currently writes for The Australian newspaper.

Presentation Topics Include

  • World of media and journalism


“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.  By far our most popular speaker at the program.  Rated average 9 out of 10.” 
Institute of Municipal Management 

“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

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