What's On at ALERA



Orange Whip is a party band that in the past few years has won the hearts and worn out the feet of audiences around the country. Featuring the estimable talents of Andrew Stewart (yes,that Andrew Stewart) on lead guitar, the band has already played to wild acclaim at ALERA and IR Society events in a number of States. Their popular mix of hits from the 60s to the present is guaranteed to fill the dance floor and cap off a memorable conference. To find out more, hit them up on Facebook @saorangewhip

And now by popular demand (no, really), Orange Whip will be undertaking an ALERA-sponsored national tour! You can catch them at one – and preferably more – of the following locations beginning at the IRSQ Conference and ending at the biannual National ALERA Conference in South Australia 2018:-

Gold Coast – October 2017

Melbourne – November 2017

Canberra - March 2018

Terrigal (NSW) – May 2018

South Australia – October 2018


The 2018 ALERA National Conference is being held, 18 - 20 October at the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, Barossa Valley, SA.

REGISTRATION NOW AVAILABLE! Click HERE to register now. Conference program and social event details can also be reviewed by following the link provided.


The extremely successful 2016 National Conference was held from Thursday 26 May 2016 - Saturday 28 May 2016 at Pier One, The Rocks, Sydney NSW.

 The previous National Conference was hosted by the Industrial Relations Society of Queensland on the Gold Coast on 28 August 2014 - 31 August 2014.  The Conference theme was Productivity and Workplace Relations into the Future.  Conference speakers included:

  • Senator, the Hon Eric Abetz ( Profile )
  • The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP ( Profile )
  • Martin Ferguson, former Labor minister, Chairman to the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Advisory Board
 ( Presentation )
  • Professor Emeritus Ron McCallum AO, University of Sydney ( Profile )
  • Vice President Joe Catanzariti, Fair Work Commission ( Profile
 | Presentation )
  • Commissioner Peter Hampton, Fair Work Commission ( Profile )
  • Justice Michael Burnett, Federal Circuit Court of Australia ( Profile )
  • Natalie James, Fair Work Ombudsman ( Profile
 | Presentation )
  • Nigel Hadgkiss, Fair Work Building and Construction ( Profile )
  • Ged Kearney, ACTU President ( Profile | Presentation )
  • Innes Willox, AiG Chief Executive ( Profile )
  • Scott Barklamb, Executive Director, AMMA ( Profile | Presentation )
  • Dave Noonan, National Secretary, CFMEU Construction and General ( Profile )
  • Professor Andrew Stewart, University of Adelaide ( Profile | Presentation )
  • Henry Skene, Seyfarth Shaw ( Profile | Presentation )
  • Jonathon Hadley, Dibbs Barker ( Profile | Presentation )
  • Professor Marian Baird, University of Sydney ( Profile | Presentation )
  • John Martin, QCU Research and Policy Officer ( Profile | Presentation | Paper )
  • Murray Procter, DLA Piper ( Profile | Presentation | Paper )

The presentations of a sample of Conference speakers will be available on this website shortly.  The full 2014 National Conference website can be accessed here.


ALERA conducts a three day advocacy course which provides theoretical and practical training in the art of advocacy in the industrial tribunals.  The course is delivered by two leading Victorian Barristers – Chris O’Grady and Brian Lacy.  In addition to an illustrious career at the Bar Brian Lacy is also a former Senior Deputy President of the Fair Work Commission.  The practical component of the course is conducted in the Fair Work Commission before Fair Work Commissioners.  ALERA gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Brian Lacy, Chris O’Grady, the Fair Work Commission Tribunal Members and Fair Work Commission staff who all contribute their time pro bono to enable the course to be delivered. 


The Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA) administers the Journal of Industrial Relations (JIR). The JIR is an international ISI-ranked journal that analyses a wide range of employment and workplace issues. It is one of the oldest and most highly regarded academic journals in industrial relations around the world. The JIR is the pre-eminent journal of industrial, employment and workplace relations in Australia and has provided an authoritative record of developments in industrial relations for over 50 years (since April 1959). It is a peer reviewed journal, publishing five issues per year. The JIR includes contributions exploring the traditional concerns of industrial relations as well as studies addressing the intersection of workplace, family and community and how individuals, groups, organizations and institutions (including government) shape the employment relationship. The JIR has an international reputation for publishing rigorous qualitative and multi-method analyses, including theoretically-informed case studies and international and comparative papers.  The JIR is available on-line and in hard copy. More information about the JIR is available here.


The Laffer Lecture is an annual lecture organised and hosted by the University of Sydney at Sydney University. 

Kingsley Laffer (1911-93) introduced the teaching of industrial relations at the University of Sydney in the early 1950s and taught in the field for over twenty years. Kingsley was the founding editor of the Journal of Industrial Relations for 18 years and he was one of the founders of the Industrial Relations Society of NSW, which is now part of a national organisation, the Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA).

The inaugural Kingsley Laffer Memorial Lecture was given in 1993 by the Hon Bob Hawke. Subsequent Laffer Lecturers
 have featured:

1994 – Mr Bert Evans
1995 – Justice Deidre O’Connor
1996 – Ms Jennie George
1997 – The Hon Jeff Shaw
1998 – Mr Justice Bill Fisher
1999 – Ms Quentin Bryce
2000 – Mr Brian Pickett
2001 – Ms Sharan Burrow
2002 – Justice Michael Kirby
2003 – Professor Russell Lansbury
2004 – Ms Heather Ridout
2005 – Professor Ron McCallum
2006 – The Hon Kim Beazley
2007 – Hon Julia Gillard MP
2008 – Reverend Tim Costello
2009 –Professor Russell Lansbury
2010 – Ms Sue Bussell
2011  – Professor Thomas Kochan
2012 - Ms Helen Conway
2013 – Justice Iain Ross

Since 2012 ALERA has provided financial support to take the Laffer Lecture ‘on the road’ to other States and Territories.  The dates and locations of the ALERA sponsored Laffer on the Road lectures have been:

ACT - April 2012

South Australia - April 2012

Tasmania - June 2013

Melbourne - June 2013

The 2013 Kingsley Laffer Lecture Managing the Future presented by Justice Iain Ross can be downloaded here. 



ALERA publishes a quarterly newsletter called the ALERA ALERT.  The newsletter contains a range content including case reviews, opinion pieces, interviews with prominent industry figures and details of upcoming State/Territory events.  A copy of the current newsletter is available here. If you are interested in contributing material for next or future newsletters please contact the Newsletter Editor at info@alera.asn.au