Commonwealth Speakers Gather in Canberra for 26th Conference

Parliament of Australia

This week, Senator the Hon Sue Lines, President of the Senate and the Hon Milton Dick MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives, will welcome the attendees to the 26th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) at Australian Parliament House. This biennial conference aims to strengthen parliamentary institutions by bringing together Speakers and Presiding Officers.

Held between 3 and 6 January 2023, more than 120 delegates will attend the conference, including Presiding Officers, parliamentary staff, and observers from 32 Commonwealth Parliaments. The Presiding Officers represent the breadth of parliamentary systems in the Commonwealth and are from some of the smallest to the largest of nations.

The proceedings will begin with a procession of Speakers and Presiding Officers in their ceremonial robes, to be led by First Nations dancers and singers to the Great Hall.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our parliamentary colleagues from the Commonwealth to Australian Parliament House,” President Lines said. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we will look to strengthen our relationships and learn from each other to ensure that our debates and parliamentary processes continue to be robust.”

Delegates will attend workshops and plenaries on topics relating to their roles as Presiding Officers, including the pandemic, security, e-parliaments, and the central role Presiding Officers play in leading innovation. This will be the first CSPOC to be held in three years.

“The last few years have taught us that things can change very quickly, and the role of parliamentary institutions has been reinforced. It is so important for us to work together and learn from one another,” Speaker Milton Dick said.

The first CSPOC was held in Canada in 1969. The program for CSPOC 2023 is available on the website.

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