H.C. Coombs Lecture - 1994

Sir Rod Eddington delivered the 1994 H.C. Coombs lecture titled “Australia as a part of Asia – a View from the North”. Australia's role in Asia was one that had been debated in political, academic, and business circles during the late 80’s and early 90’s. He looks to bring an outsider's view to that debate, albeit that this particular outsider is a committed Australian.

He discusses the change from European focus to a more Asian based one and poses the question -Where do we go from here? He further looks at what will our community look like in 30 years’ time and demonstrates the need for Australia to consider itself as a part of the Asian community and to strengthen its educational business and cultural links with that region.

About Rod Eddington

Sir Rod Eddington was born in 1950 in Perth was educated at the University of Western Australia. He gained a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1971, tutored at the University in 1972 and 1973, and in 1974 completed a master’s degree in Engineering Science and was the Western Australian Rhodes Scholar.

In 1978 and 79, he lectured at Pembroke College in Oxford and completed a DPhil in Engineering Science.

In 1979, he joined the Swire Group as a junior executive in Korea, then became airport manager at Hong Kong. He went on to become CEO of Cathay Pacific, Ansett Airlines and British Airways, before retiring in late 2005 and returning to Australia.

In 2005 he was awarded a Knighthood by the British Government for service to civil aviation

In 2012 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) "for distinguished service to business and commerce through roles with a range of national and international economic, trade, infrastructure development and transport organisations".

in 2015 was honoured by the Japanese Government with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun for his contribution to strengthening the economic relations between Australia and Japan.

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. (2022, March 7). Our Board. Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. https://infrastructure.org.au/our-board/

Eddington, R. (1994, April 6). Australia as a part of Asia – a View from the North [Conference Presentation]. Herbert Cole Coombs Annual Lecture, Perth, WA, Australia.

Rod Eddington - Australia as Part of Asia: A View from the North

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