Barton Lecture

The Barton Lecture, first presented by the University of Newcastle in 2008, was established to explore Australian politics and Constitutional issues. The lecture is held to honour Sir Edmund Barton, one of the founding fathers of the Constitution and the first Prime Minister of Australia, who was elected to the seat of Hunter in 1901.

For information about the Barton Lecture or to find out when the 2015 lecture will be held, contact the Office of Alumni and External Relations on +61 2 4921 7454 or

2013 Barton Lecture

The 2013 Barton Lecture was delivered by the Honourable Malcolm Turnbull MP on Thursday 18 April at Newcastle City Hall. 

A self-professed "notorious republican", Mr Turnbull said Sir Edmund Barton left in the Constitution a provision "that has made the Constitution almost impossible to change" and drew on his own experiences as part of the republican movement and the 1999 Australian republic referendum as examples.

Past presenters of the Barton Lecture include Professor Geoffrey Gallop, the Honourable Bob Carr, Professor Greg Craven and the Honourable Joel Fitzgibbon MP.