PHILLIP ADAMS AO
Hon D.Univ (Griff), Hon D.Litt (ECU),
Hon D Univ (Uni SA), Hon D.Litt (Uni Sydney), Hon D (Macquarie Uni)
Broadcaster, filmmaker, author, archaeologist, controversialist, social commentator and satirist, Phillip Adams was elected one of Australia’s 100 National Living Treasures in the inaugural poll conducted by The National Trust. In October 2006 a poll conducted by Professor Richard Nyall of Curtin University among 200 senior academics to define ‘the top forty most influential Australian intellectuals’ had Adams equal third with Noel Pearson
Writing in The Monthly, Professor Robert Manne says Adams is: ‘Perhaps the most remarkable broadcaster in the history of this country.’
For over 50 years his columns in major newspapers and magazines, here and overseas, have provoked discussion and outrage. He is the author of over 20 books that have sold over a million copies, including The Unspeakable Adams, The Inflamable Adams, The Uncensored Adams, Adams Versus God, The Penguin Book of Australian Jokes, Retreat from Tolerance, Talkback, A Billion Voices, Adams Ark and Adams Versus God: The Rematch and Backstage Politics. His most recent book, Bedtime Stories, about his 21-year history as presenter of Radio National’s ‘Late Night Live’, was published in October 2012 by Harper Collins.
Billed as the ‘godfather of the Australian film industry’, Adams’ many features include The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, Don’s Party, The Getting of Wisdom, Lonely Hearts and We of the Never Never. His many television programs include two series of The Big Questions with Professor Paul Davies and Death and Destiny, filmed in Egypt with Paul Cox.
As a consultant to prime ministers and premiers, Adams played a key role in the establishment of the Australia Council, the Australian Film Development Corporation, the Australian Film Commission, the South Australian Film Corporation, the Australian Film Finance Corporation and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.
Adams is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Centre for the Mind at the University of Sydney. He was President of the Victorian Council for the Arts, Chairman of the National Australia Day Council, Film Australia, the Australian Film Institute and the Australian Film Commission and the Commission For The Future. In 2009 Premier Rann appointed him Foundation Chairman of the Australian Centre for Social Innovation, now known as TASCI. His countless board memberships have included Greenpeace, CARE Australia, the National Museum of Australia, Adelaide’s Festival of Ideas and Brisbane’s Ideas Festival.
As a broadcaster, Adams has interviewed over 15,000 of the world’s most prominent politicians, philosophers, economists, scientists, theologians, historians, archaeologists, novelists and scholars. His radio program, ‘Late Night Live’ is broadcast twice a day over the 250-station network of ABC’s Radio National and around the world on Radio Australia and the World Wide Web. Late Night Live is Radio National’s most successful podcast program, both in Australia and around the world.
Honours awarded to Adams include two Orders of Australia, the Senior ANZAC Fellowship, the Australian Humanist of the Year, the Republican of the Year 2005, the Golden Lion at Cannes, the Longford Award (the highest award of the Australian film industry), a Walkley award, a UN Media prize, five Honorary Doctorates, the Centennial Medal and the Responsibility in Journalism Award at New York University. In 2006 he received the Human Rights Medal from the Australian Government’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. In 2008 he was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. A ‘minor planet’ was named in his honour by the International Astronomical Society.
He was also honoured as the ‘Worst Dressed Man in Australia’ three years running by Mode magazine.
Adams’ columns have appeared in scores of newspapers and magazines in Australia and internationally. He currently writes for the Weekend Australian Magazine. His columns first appeared in The Australian in the early 1960s.