Ted Wheelwright (1921-2007) was one of the great contributors to Australian political economy. He was a strong critic of orthodox economics, the concentration of corporate power and the failure of Australian economic policy to confront the challenges facing the nation in an increasingly globalised context. He was involved in the struggle to develop political economy courses at the University of Sydney. He supported the establishment of the Journal of Australian Political Economy (JAPE) and published an article in its very first issue in 1977.
The annual E.L. ‘Ted’ Wheelwright Memorial Lecture is held to commemorate the pioneering role that Ted Wheelwright played in developing studies in Political Economy in Australia.
Established in 2008, previous distinguished lecturers include Kim Stanley Robinson (2022), Adam Tooze, Jayati Ghosh, Susan Ferguson (2020), Susanne Soederberg (2019), Alfredo Saad-Filho (2018), Katherine Gibson (2017), David Ruccio (2016), Erik Olin Wright (2015), Leo Panitch (2014), Susan George (2013), Diane Elson (2012), Sheila Dow (2011), Fred Block (2010), Jim Stanford (2009) and Walden Bello (2008).
You can read Frank Stilwell’s full obituary of Ted Wheelwright’s life published in JAPE here and Phillip O’Hara on Ted Wheelwright’s contributions to political economy here.
Cover image: Alfredo Saad-Filho’s 2018 Wheelwright Lecture
Portrait: Ted Wheelwright, 1986 (University of Sydney archives)