Western Civilisation: An Australian View

An exclusive panel discussion with Paul Kelly, John Lee and Dave Sharma

Paul Kelly, John Lee, Dave Sharma

What form does Western civilisation take in modern Australia? What are our unique considerations on being part of the West? How has Western civilisation shaped our past and present, and how will it influence our future?

For our second Ramsay Lecture for 2023, the Centre is delighted to present a panel discussion exploring Western civilisation from an Australian perspective.

Our panel consists of three accomplished Australians: The Australian newspaper’s Editor-at-Large Paul Kelly, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dr John Lee, and former Australian Ambassador to Israel and former federal MP, Dave Sharma.

The panel discussion considers a range of themes that include shared civic values and the legitimacy of national identity; the implications for Australia and the West on shifting global power balances and the challenges posed by this in our modern world; the erosion of our classical liberal heritage; the decline of organized religion in the West and the implications of this; the rise of alternative identities and tribalisms; the traces of the ancient world in modern Israel; and the enduring wisdom of the Greco-Roman Stoics.

Please join us for this insightful discussion with Paul Kelly, Dr John Lee and Dave Sharma. The discussion is guided by Ramsay Centre Academic Manager Jack Sexton.

Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly is Editor-at-Large on The Australian. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of the paper, and he writes on Australian politics, public policy, and international affairs. Paul has covered Australian governments from Gough Whitlam to Scott Morrison. He is a regular television commentator on Sky News. He is the author of nine books including The End of Certainty on the politics and economics of the 1980s. His recent books include Triumph and Demise on the Rudd-Gillard era and The March of Patriots which offers a re-interpretation of Paul Keating and John Howard in office.

Dr John Lee

Dr John Lee is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute. From 2016 to 2018, he was senior advisor to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. In this role, he served as the principal adviser on Asia and for economic strategic, and political affairs in the Indo-Pacific region. Dr Lee was also appointed the Foreign Minister’s lead adviser on the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, the first comprehensive foreign affairs blueprint for Australia since 2003. He has held adjunct professorships at the Australian National University and University of Sydney. He is one of the foremost experts on the Chinese political economy and on strategic and economic affairs pertaining to the Indo-Pacific.

Dave Sharma

As a former Member of Parliament, Ambassador and company director, Dave Sharma has a wealth of high-level experience in national security, trade, international relations, public policy, and technology and innovation. Dave is a law graduate of the University of Cambridge, has chaired and worked with a number of publicly listed technology companies, and was chair of Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and the Foreign Affairs and Aid Subcommittee. Prior to his election to Parliament, Dave was an Australian ambassador and diplomat, serving in Israel, Washington DC, and Papua New Guinea. He was awarded an Australian Service Medal for his peacekeeping duties in Bougainville.

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