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South Australia's Premier to deliver lecture

South Australia's Premier to deliver University of Auckland's prestigious Chapman Lecture

Politics, poetry and the potential power of "small democracies" will take centre stage in a forthcoming public lecture by the New Zealand-raised Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann.

Mr Rann's Chapman Lecture is entitled "You Campaign in Poetry. You Govern in Prose". He will recollect his days at The University of Auckland, where he studied under Professor Robert Chapman, inaugural Professor of Political Studies, and he will discuss his own transition from student activist to professional politician. Premier Rann will also explore the role of the media in modern politics, and the goal of improving people's lives through practical, day-to-day change. And he will examine the continued relevance of one of Professor Chapman's signature ideas: the potential of "small democracies" to become exemplars to the world.

Born in England, and raised and educated in New Zealand, Mr Rann entered South Australian Parliament in 1985. He was a Minister from 1989 to 1993, and Leader of the Opposition from 1994. He became Premier in 2002, leading a minority government, and won a sizable majority for Labor at the March 2006 State election. He was recently elected Senior National Vice President of the Australian Labor Party (from 2007) and President (from 2008).

"The Chapman Lecture is a prestigious event and we are delighted Premier Rann has accepted the invitation to deliver the annual speech," says Professor John Morrow, Dean of the Faculty of Arts. "His connection to Professor Chapman, combined with his own political activism and engagement, makes him an ideal choice as speaker. Given the current political situation in this country, Mr Rann's experience with multi-party governance is also of particular interest to New Zealand audiences."

The annual Chapman Lecture honours Professor Robert Chapman, who, in addition to his academic contributions, founded the Chapman Archive, an audio-visual collection comprising political archival materials dating back to the 1960s.

Mike Rann will deliver the Chapman Lecture on Friday, 17 November at 6:30pm at the Maidment Theatre (Alfred St, Auckland). The Maidment bar opens from 5:30pm. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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