Does Positive Discrimination Work?

The Australian Institute of Management Great Debate returns to answer this question

18th July 2016

The Institute of Manager and Leaders (IML) is set to bring the topic of discrimination under the spotlight, when it hosts the IML Great Debate in Canberra on Friday 29th July 2016. Celebrating the importance of diversity in Australian society, specifically in the Australian workplace, this event will see leaders from various fields debate the controversial topic of ‘Positive Discrimination Works’.

Two teams of interesting and opinionated speakers will share witty arguments and powerful leadership insights as they debate the contentious topic. The combination of speakers is sure to set sparks flying, with Phillip Coorey, Chief Political Correspondent for The Australian Financial Review; Nipuni Wijewickrema, National Finalist Young Australian of the Year 2016; and inspiring young Australian Ben Pettingill, who went blind at the age of 16 and is sharing his story through ‘True Vision’, just some of the speakers primed to bring their arguments and opinions to the table.

Speaker Ben Pettingill is eager to get people thinking about the bigger picture of positive discrimination.

“Too often, decision makers are placing limits on the lives of others, in the name of positive discrimination. They are making decisions they perceive to be in everyone’s best interest, but I know from my own personal experience that this is not always the case,” says Pettingill. “I am excited to be part of the IML Great Debate, and to add my unique and personal perspective to this already juicy topic.”

With a strong affirmative team set to challenge Ben and his teammate’s opinions, the event is set to be a lively and insightful discussion. Channel Nine sports presenter Erin Molan will be emceeing the event, bringing her own experience of thriving in a hugely male dominated industry into the ring. Molan is not only the co-host of the hugely popular NRL Footy Show, but is also the first full-time female panellist in the show’s 22 year history.

The IML Great Debate has been part of Canberra’s professional and social scene for the past 17 years. With eye- opening discussions, debating fun and networking with like-minded professionals over lunch, this is an event not to be missed.

Tickets start from $155 for members. For more information or to book your tickets, visit the website

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Notes to the Editor

Affirmative Team: 

  • Frances Crimmins – Executive Director of YWCA Canberra, Chair of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Committee for Women and the current Co-Chair of Anti-Poverty Week in the ACT.
  • Nipuni Wijewickrema – National Finalist Young Australian of the Year 2016, Nipuni runs a floristry business designed to create employment opportunities for people with special need
  • Phillip Coorey – Chief Political Correspondent for The Australian Financial Review.

Negative team:

  • Amanda Daff – Employment Solicitor with over ten years of experience, Amanda has a deep knowledge of workplace relations.
  • Ben Pettingill – Blind at the age of 16, Ben is dedicated to sharing his messages of ‘True Vision’ and ‘Limitless Vision’ always believing that anything is possible.
  • Catherine Carter – ACT Executive Director for the Property Council of Australia, author for HerCanberra and recipient of the Telstra Business Women’s ACT Community and Government Award in 2010.

For media enquiries:

Rebecca Clark – Magnum & Co 02 9211 4322 / 0413 187 028

Kate Gabbott – Magnum & Co 02 9211 4322 / 0434 886 678