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‘Clerk of the world’ to give seminar at Southern Cross University


1 September 2003
The workings of Federal Parliament may seem to many to be one of the more esoteric mysteries of life but all will be revealed when the Clerk of the House of Representatives comes to Lismore to give a free public lecture at Southern Cross University (SCU) on Wednesday, September 3.

Ian Harris, who is also President of the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments, otherwise known as ‘clerk of the world’, will give a seminar on The Role of the House of Representatives, from 12noon to 1.30pm, in the Southern Cross University Union Auditorium.

Mr Harris, whose daughter is studying in SCU’s School of Education, advises the Speaker of the House on parliamentary practice and procedure. He is an expert in such matters, having been Clerk of the ‘People’s House’ since 1997, Deputy Clerk prior to that, and having worked in the federal parliamentary system since the 1970s.

Mr Harris’ talk will cover such topics as the Westminster system of government, the separation of powers, the main functions of the House, the importance of an effective opposition, legislation and how a law is made, the role of parliamentary committees, and some alleged weaknesses of the Australian parliamentary system.

The talk is aimed at law students but is open to all University students and staff and to the public. It will be followed by finger food.

People coming to the lecture are asked to RSVP, for catering purposes, to Paola Bolzicco in the SCU School of Law and Justice, ph: 6626 9189 by Tuesday morning, 2 September.

NB Mr Harris arrives in Lismore on Tuesday evening, but would be available for interview prior to that from Canberra, or in Lismore the morning of the talk.

For more information contact: Sara Crowe or Kath Duncan, SCU Media Liaison, Ph: 6620 3144, or M: 0439 858 057.