News & Events

14 December 2018

Henry Ergas – Distinguished Speaker

On Tuesday November 27 Henry Ergas, economist, columnist and author delivered the fifth lecture in the Ramsay Centre Distinguished Speakers series 2018. The title of his lecture was “Can Columnists be Civilised?”


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27 November 2018

Can columnists be civilised? – Henry Ergas speaks at The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation

Henry Ergas speaks at The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation

Sydney, Tuesday 27 November 2018: In an increasingly polarised and fragmented media environment, and society, is there room for civility? Can columnists be civilised?

That’s the question economist and The Australian newspaper columnist Henry Ergas will ponder tonight, as he  delivers the fifth Distinguished Speakers Address, for The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.

Speaking to an audience of newspaper editors, journalists, businesspeople, political leaders and students, Mr. Ergas will argue that the twin forces of audience fragmentation and political polarization are reshaping the media and its role in informing public debate.

To read the full release click HENRY ERGAS MEDIA RELEASE

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21 November 2018

Dr Michael Easson AM joins Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation Board

Sydney, Wednesday 21 November 2018: The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, a centre which seeks to provide unique and exciting opportunities for the study and discussion of western civilization, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Michael Easson AM, as a Non-Executive Director, effective immediately.

Dr Easson is founder and Chairman of fund manager EG Funds Management and building technology company Willow Technology Corporation; as well as Independent Chairman of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia. Over the past twenty-five years he has served on boards in property, funds management, rail and water infrastructure, insurance, manufacturing, construction, energy and asset management.

He has also served as a senior Vice-President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Secretary of the Labor Council of NSW, and Senior Vice-President of the ALP, NSW Branch.

To read the full release click EASSON MEDIA RELEASE EMBARGOED

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25 September 2018

Dr Pano Kanelos – Distinguished Speaker

On Tuesday September 18, Dr Pano Kanelos, President of St John’s College, Annapolis, delivered the fourth lecture in the Ramsay Centre Distinguished Speakers series 2018. The title of his lecture was “Liberal Education in the Age of I”.

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29 August 2018

John Carroll – Distinguished Speaker

On Tuesday August 21, John Carroll Professor Emeritus of Sociology at La Trobe University delivered the third lecture in the Ramsay Centre Distinguished Speakers Series 2018.  The title of his lecture was “The politicisation of the western canon”


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17 August 2018

Professor Greg Melleuish, political scientist and historian at the University of Wollongong, explores the question: What is western civilisation?

Prof. Greg Melleuish
The question regarding the nature of western civilisation is not an easy one to answer, not least because of the way in which those of us who are the products of Western civilisation think about such things. Three preliminary points are worth making: 

  • The word civilisation was created during the Enlightenment.  Its first usage in English  is in Adam Ferguson’s History of Civil Society (1767) but it was not used in the plural  until quite a number of years later.  It is worth noting that Guizot, writing in the  1820s called his lectures and book Histoire de la civilisation en Europe not Histoire de  la civilisation européenne.1   Western civilisation does not really appear on the scene  until the twentieth century and is largely an American creation.  
  • The word civilisation is not the only word used in the ‘West’ to describe a complex  social order.  Before there was civilisation there was the word police from which the  modern term policy is derived.  Many figures of the late eighteenth century used this  term including Ferguson and Adam Smith.  Police has a largely political connotation,  while civilisation is a response to the rise of commercial society.  Culture emerged in  the nineteenth century, in part as a response to what was seen as the overtly  materialist and commercial nature of civilisation in countries such as England.2  In  particular, Germans favoured Kultur as possessing a spiritual dimension in opposition  to what was seen as the shallow and materialist nature of civilisation.  
  • One can be a civilised person without living in a civilisation.  Being civilised can be  seen as behaving in a particular way, generally marked by moderation and decency

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Western Civilisation GM (002)

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The mouth should have three gatekeepers. Is it true? Is it kind? and is it necessary "
- Anon