H.C. Coombs Lecture - 1997

Kerry Stokes delivered the 1997 Herbert Cole Coombs lecture with an address titled “Enterprise in Australia: The Risks and Rewards”.

In his lecture, Mr Stokes states “The theme of these lectures is enterprise, and I like the word enterprise. But for me, it's a word that doesn't necessarily stand alone. In fact, by itself, it tends to be a bit lonely. To succeed, I'd like to use the word vision with enterprise.” With that statement he looks at enterprise in a variety of ways including boldness, energy and invention, practical affairs, and a disposition to engage in undertakings involving risk or danger and shows many examples of how Australians have had both enterprise and vision throughout the years.

About Kerry Stokes

Kerry Stokes was born in Melbourne in 1940 and arrived in Perth in 1959, where he has resided ever since. His early commercial experience was in real estate and project development where he developed a range of shopping centres in Perth and regional Western Australia.

In I978 he acquired an interest in South West Telecasters Ltd, operator of television station BTW3, which he sold in 1981 and his media interests expanded when he acquired through his new holding company, Australian Capital Equity Ply Ltd, the television station CTC7Canberra.

A founding shareholder and director of radio station 96FM, Mr Stokes was also involved in property developments, the pastoral industry, film processing and sporting goods manufacture and marketing in Australia and South East Asia.

Mr Stokes has had varied business interests and has held major commercial interests in Westrac Equipment Pty Ltd, Golden West Network Pty Ltd, Australian Capital Equity (Entertainment) Ply Ltd, Australian Capital Equity (USA) Inc, the Federal Capital Press of Australia Pty Ltd, Austrim Ltd, a major shareholding in RM Williams Holdings Ltd and various property holdings in Western Australia and New South Wales.

Mr Stokes has been Chairman of the National Heart Foundation of Western Australia, a director of the Citizens Advice Bureau, a director of the Variety Club of Australia, a director of the Sydney Dance Company, Chairman of the Canberra Theatre Trust, Director of Sci tech, a director of the Western Australian Art Gallery and Chairman of the Western Australian Art Gallery Foundation and Chairman of the National Gallery of Australia and is currently the Chairman of the Seven Network and Australian Capital Equity.

In 1994 Mr Stokes was the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award through Rotary International and the West Australian Citizen of the Year Award in Industry and Commerce. In that year he presented the Boyer Lecture, a series of five lectures broadcast annually on ABC radio on the topic of the "'The Information Superhighway".

On Australia Day 1995 Mr Stokes was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO).

In 2008, he was invested as a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for services to business and commerce through strategic leadership and promotion of corporate social responsibility, to the arts through executive roles and philanthropy, and to the community, particularly through contributions to organisations supporting youth.

In November 2012, Stokes was named Western Australia’s Australian of the Year for his extensive philanthropic contributions to Australian society.

In October 2020, Curtin University awarded Mr Stokes an honorary science doctorate for his significant and sustained contribution to child health research in WA.

Beyer, M. (2014, October 10). Stokes biographies tell some of the story. Business News. https://www.businessnews.com.au/Person/Kerry-Stokes

People Pill. (n.d.) Kerry Stokes. https://peoplepill.com/people/kerry-stokes

Curtin University. (2020, October 9). Curtin awards Kerry Stokes an Honorary Doctorate of Science [Press release]. https://news.curtin.edu.au/media-releases/curtin-awards-kerry-stokes-an-honorary-doctorate-of-science/

Stokes, K. (1997, March 19). Enterprise in Australia: The risks and rewards [Conference Presentation]. Herbert Cole Coombs Annual Lecture, Perth, WA, Australia.

Kerry Stokes - Enterprise in Australia: The Risks & Rewards

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