10th July 2015
"Australians are victims of an uneventful history. Our mentors had discovered who they are by going to war. The British had fought among themselves and with neighbours for centuries. The Americans sorted themselves out by having a war with the British for independence and then a civil war. We got nationhood by a stroke of the pen.
Our challenge today is to turn this privileged origin into a mission of 21st century statecraft, using the unique quality of our region to establish a new model of global power. Our region is becoming increasingly important, perhaps the engine of the world, but is not culturally defined. Unlike Europe, (Christian except for Turkey), or the American hemisphere (Christian), or the Middle East (Muslim except for Israel) or Africa (Christian south and Muslim north), there is no common culture or religion: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Shintoism, Confucianism and even Communism are all present.
It is a model in miniature of the entire world. If it can be peaceful and productive, the world will likely be peaceful and productive. The challenge for Australia is not just to plug itself into the current Asian ascendancy for obvious material benefits, although we should do that, but to take a deliberate decision to be an activist middle power, working with others to avoid conflict."
Venue: BokChoy Tang Restaurant
Fed Square, Crn Flinders Street and Swanston Street
10th July 2015, 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Ticket Price includes GST
Bookings Close: 7th July 2015