Balmoral Lectures

The Balmoral Lectures at Queenwood are an ideal forum for Queenwood students and members of the wider community to engage with big ideas. Distinguished speakers are invited to speak on topics of importance to our community. 

The lively Q&A and resulting discussions stimulate civil discourse and encourage wider public understanding of contemporary social and political issues.

To join our mailing list for invitations to the Lectures click here.

2020 Series


Please book here

‘Guns Don’t Kill People’ and Other Fantasies in the Firearms Debate

The Hon Andrew Leigh MP, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities

Monday 17 February 2020

Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities, and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. Prior to being elected in 2010, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Arts and Law. Andrew is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and a past recipient of the 'Young Economist Award', a prize given every two years by the Economics Society of Australia to the best economist under 40.

His books include Disconnected (2010), Battlers and Billionaires (2013), The Economics of Just About Everything (2014), The Luck of Politics (2015), Choosing Openness: Why Global Engagement is Best for Australia (2017), Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World (2018) and Innovation + Equality: How to Create a Future That Is More Star Trek Than Terminator (with Joshua Gans) (2019). Andrew is a keen marathon runner, and hosts a podcast titled "The Good Life: Andrew Leigh in Conversation", which is available on Apple Podcasts.

Andrew is the father of three sons - Sebastian, Theodore and Zachary, and lives with his wife Gweneth in Canberra. He has been a member of the Australian Labor Party since 1991.

Donald Trump’s America and the 2020 presidential election

Michael Fullilove AM, Executive Director, Lowy Institute

Monday 23 March 2020

Dr Michael Fullilove AM is the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute.
Over the past decade and a half, Dr Fullilove has played a central role in the establishment and development of the Lowy Institute. He wrote the feasibility study for the Institute in 2002 and served as the Director of its Global Issues Program from 2003 until his appointment as Executive Director in 2012. He has also worked as a lawyer, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and an adviser to Prime Minister Paul Keating. He remains a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings and serves on the Advisory Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London.

Dr Fullilove writes widely on Australian foreign policy, US foreign policy and global issues in publications including The New York Times, Financial Times, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs, as well as the Australian press. He is a sought-after speaker and commentator who has been quoted in publications such as The Washington Post and The Economist and appears regularly on broadcasters such as the ABC, the BBC and CNN. He graduated in arts and law from the Universities of Sydney and New South Wales, with dual university medals. He also studied as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he completed a master’s degree and a doctorate in international relations.

In 2015 Dr Fullilove delivered the Boyer Lectures. His lectures were published as A Larger Australia: The ABC 2015 Boyer Lectures (Penguin). He is the editor of Men and Women of Australia! Our Greatest Modern Speeches (Viking), and the co-editor, with Anthony Bubalo, of Reports from a Turbulent Decade (Viking), an anthology of the Lowy Institute’s best work. Dr Fullilove is also the author of Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America into the War and into the World (Penguin), which won the NSW Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction.

In 2019 Dr Fullilove was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to international relations.

Black Death and Yellow Rain

Annabelle Duncan, Chair at New South Wales Physical Sciences Fund

Monday 1 June 2020

Dr Annabelle Duncan is the Chair of the NSW Physical Sciences Fund, a member of the Board of the Regional Australia Institute, Chair of the Australian College of Learned Academies Expert Work Group on a boosting Regional, Rural and Remote Research and a member of the Advisory Board of Outbreak.

She is a Microbial Ecologist by training, who was educated at Otago University in New Zealand, La Trobe University and Monash University. She has completed a Senior Executive Management Course at Harvard University as well as the Directors course and the Advanced Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She spent 16 years working for CSIRO, initially as a research scientist, later in science management and was the Chief of CSIRO Molecular Science for 6 years. During this time she lead the Division, she oversaw the spinning out of six start-up companies.

From 2005–2007 she was Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne and from 2007 – 2010 was Executive Director, Science Collaboration at the Biosciences Research Centre, a joint venture between La Trobe University and Victorian Department of Primary Industries.

Dr Duncan has acted as an adviser to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on biological weapons control and in this capacity represented Australia at international arms control meetings. She was awarded a Public Service Medal in 1996 and an Honorary DSc from Murdoch University in 2005 for her work in arms control. She has also acted as a biological weapons inspector with the United Nations in Iraq. In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary D.Sc from La Trobe University achievements in academia and contributions to science.

Professor Duncan joined the University of New England in late 2010, initially as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research). She later became Deputy Vice Chancellor and in late 2014 she was appointed Vice Chancellor of the University, serving in this role until mid-2019.

2019 Series

An Economy Fit for Humans

Ross Gittins AM, Economics Editor Sydney Morning Herald

A Century of Women's Achievements: unfinished business 

The Hon Margaret Beazley AO, Governor of NSW 



The Ethics of Spying: eyes on the spies

The Hon Margaret Stone AO FAAL, Inspector-General of Intelligence & Security


2018 Series

Challenging the STEM Orthodoxy

The Hon Rob Stokes MP, Minister for Education

Finding the Language of Cultural Change

Lieutenant General David Morrison AO, Chief Of Army (retired)

Growing Up During Holocaust Years

Ana Deleon, Holocaust Survivor

2017 Series

Post-Trump, Post-Brexit, Post-Politics

John Daley, CEO of The Grattan Institute

The Case for an Australian Republic

Peter FitzSimons, Chair of the Australian Republic Movement


Niromi de Soyza

Author of Tamil Tigress and former Child Soldier

2016 Series


An Unexpected Public Life

Wendy McCarthy AO, Author, campaigner, entrepreneur    


Foreign Policy & National Security

David Irvine AO, Director-General of ASIO 2009-2014


Australia’s Response to Refugees

Graham Thom, National Refugee Coordinator, Amnesty International Australia