Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarships Selection Panel

The Ramsay Postgraduate Selection panel will be chaired by Michael Sexton SC and includes other esteemed leaders, scholars and educators, including members of the Ramsay Centre Executive and Board.
The Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarship selection panel members are:


Michael Sexton SC

Mr Sexton has had a highly successful and varied career straddling the worlds of law, academia and writing.

He was appointed New South Wales Solicitor General in 1998, making him one of the longest to serve in that role.

In academia he has worked as a senior lecturer at the University of NSW and was an Adjunct Professor with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Faculty of Law. He also served as member of the UTS council from 2005-16, chairing its Social Justice Committee and Student/Council Liaison Group, and serving as a member of the Governance Committee.

Mr Sexton has co-authored the first text on Australian defamation law as well as authoring several books on Australian politics and history. He has served as Chairman of the NSW State Rail Authority and on the boards of the NSW Public Transport Authority, the NSW Library Council and the Sydney Writers’ Festival.



Professor Simon Haines

Professor Haines is CEO of the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, and a distinguished scholar, teacher, and author.

Educated in Iraq, England and Australia, Professor Haines took a BA (Hons I) at the Australian National University and a DPhil in English Literature at the University of Oxford.

He worked as a banker in London and then as a diplomat and analyst with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Office of National Assessments. He led the OECD Budget Committee as Chairman from 1985-1987. Professor Haines then taught English Literature at the Australian National University from 1990 to 2008, where he also served as Head of the School of Humanities. He has also taught at Oxford and Bologna. In 2009 he was appointed Chair Professor and Head of English at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he also served as Director of the Research Centre for Human Values. He is a founding member of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities.

Professor Haines’s research interests include Romantic and post-Romantic literature and philosophy; the self in poetry and philosophy; and 17th-century English poetry and philosophy, including Shakespeare in particular. His undergraduate teaching has mainly been in the long nineteenth century and in early modern literature, as well as a “great books” course on literature and philosophy from Homer to Proust. He has supervised more than twenty PhDs.

He has served on the editorial committees of a number of journals including The Critical Review and Victoriographies, and on scholarship selection panels including the Esther Yewpick Lee Millenium Scholarship for study at Oxford.

Simon is the author or editor of five books including the prizewinning Reader in European Romanticism (Bloomsbury, 2010, 2nd paperback edition 2014) and Poetry and Philosophy from Homer to Rosseau (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) His most recent book is the edited volume Shakespeare and Value (Routledge, May 2018).

Professor Diana Glenn

Professor Diana Glenn is Academic Director of the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, and an experienced and dedicated leader in higher education, a Dante scholar, and award winning tertiary educator.

Before joining the Centre, she was the National Head of the School of Arts at Australian Catholic University, and before that, the Dean of the School of Humanities and Creative Arts at Flinders University.

She has previously taught at the University of Melbourne and the University of Adelaide, while undertaking research in Dante Studies, migration and twentieth century Italian literature. She has also served as Lead Co-ordinator (Australia) for the ICI (Instrument for Co-operation with Industrialised Countries) EU-AU Joint Mobility project ‘Border Crossings: People and Places’.

A distinguished scholar, Diana has presented her research locally and overseas, and has published numerous scholarly articles as well as authoring and co-editing nine books, including Dante’s Reforming Mission and Women in the Comedy (Troubador Italian Studies Series, 2008), ‘Legato con amore in un volume’: Essays in Honour of John A. Scott (Olschki, 2013), and Italian Identities (Troubador Italian Studies Series, 2020). Her most recent book is the co-authored, commemorative volume, La seconda casa: A history of the South Australian Italian Association (SAIA, 2021).

She is also a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation, Leaders Institute of SA.



The Hon Tony Abbott AC

Mr Abbott served as Australia’s Prime Minister for two years from 7 September 2013. He was the Member for Warringah in Australian Parliament from 1994 to 2019.

Prior to entering parliament, Mr Abbott was a journalist with The Australian newspaper, a senior adviser to Opposition Leader John Hewson, and director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.

He has degrees in economics and law from the University of Sydney and an MA in politics and philosophy from the University of Oxford which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

On 1 October 2019 Mr Abbott was appointed by the Governor-General of Australia to the Council of the Australian War Memorial for a three-year term.

In 2020 Mr Abbott was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for “eminent service to the people and Parliament of Australia”.

Professor Ann Brewer

Professor Ann Brewer is a Higher Education Consultant and Researcher and Emerita Professor at the University of Sydney, Australia. She is currently the Director of Baccalaureate Program and Learning Transformation at the Scots College, Sydney.

While Professor Brewer’s academic background is in Behavioural Science, it is in the areas of leadership, education, strategic policy and organisational behaviour that most of her research and teaching over the past decade is located. She has an international reputation in lifelong learning. Professor Brewer has published 10 books and over 60 articles as well as being a guest editor of and reviewer for academic journals.

Her current work involves the educational design of a new university at the Aerotropolis in Western Sydney. She also works in both the school and vocational sectors as well as within the corporate and government sectors.

She is a highly experienced senior manager having worked at all executive levels in universities, including being the longest serving Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Sydney.

Professor Brewer holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master of Commerce (Honours) from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Arts (Behavioural Science) from Macquarie University.

Professor Brewer is a director of the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.

Dr Michael Easson AM

Dr Easson AM is a business and community leader with a deep passion for higher education.

Dr Easson has a BA (Hons.1) in Political Science from the University of NSW; a PhD in history from the Australian Defence Force Academy, UNSW; a MSc (with Distinction) from Campion Hall, the University of Oxford; and a PhD in transport project management from the University of Melbourne. He has also completed the Trade Union Program at the Harvard Business School and the Finance Management Program at the Stanford Business School.

He is founder and Chair of EG Funds Management. He is director, co-founder and co-owner of Willow Technology Corporation and independent Director of the sub-surface technology company Reveal. He is President of the Australian Defence Association and until recently served as the Chair of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.

Over the past twenty-five years he has served on Boards across a diverse range of sectors. He was a founding director of both Macquarie Infrastructure Group and Macquarie Goodman. Dr Easson was an Adjunct Professor at the Australian Graduate School of Management’s Centre for Corporate Change.

Earlier, he was a Vice President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Secretary of the Labor Council of NSW, and the Senior Vice President of the ALP, NSW Branch. He was awarded Member of the Order of Australia in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Easson is a director of the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.

Dr Amanda Bell AM

Dr Bell is Governor and Chair of Queenwood School, and a director of both Art Exhibitions Australia Ltd and the Montessori International College, Queensland. She is also an associate partner with Fisher Leadership. Previous leadership roles include Interim Principal of Kambala, Principal of The Women’s College within the University of Sydney, Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, and Director of the S.H. Ervin Gallery.

Dr Bell holds a BA degree and Dip.Ed in Art History and English Literature from the University of Sydney, and a Ph.D in Feminist Biography, Education and The Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney. She has held numerous positions on boards, including Chair of the UTS International Centre for Youth Futures and Trustee/Deputy Chair of the Queensland Art Gallery/GOMA Board. She has served on selection panels for the Rhodes Scholarship Trust (NSW) and for the Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarships.

Dr Bell is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2017 she was named a Member in the Order of Australia for significant service to education as a leader and academic, particularly to young women, and to the visual arts.


Dr Michael Casey

Dr Michael Casey is the director of the Australian Catholic University’s (ACU’s) public policy think tank, the PM Glynn Institute. The institute’s brief is to “contribute to deeper thinking and new conversations about important issues confronting the Catholic community and Australian society, to help renew and strengthen our life in common.”

He was appointed its inaugural director in 2016 and his role involves developing the scope of its public policy work, co-ordinating its research and projects, as well as strategic leadership and operational management. He also provides advice to ACU and its stakeholders on public policy matters.

Before joining ACU in 2015 as Senior Advisor Church Policy, Michael worked for many years for the Catholic Church and served on the governing bodies of a number of Catholic higher education providers in Melbourne and Sydney.

Michael holds a PhD in sociology from La Trobe University, Melbourne, and degrees in law and arts from Monash University, Melbourne. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington DC (Nov 2006–Jan 2007), and completed the Oxford Advanced Leadership and Management Program at Säid Business School at the University of Oxford in 2014.

His published writings are focused on democracy, culture and religion with subjects, and include essays on topics ranging from the Australian experience of migration, to religious freedom, issues of public ethics, and the problem of meaninglessness in modernity.


Professor James Franklin 

Professor James Franklin is an Honorary Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New South Wales.  He studied at the University of Sydney, graduating with a BA (Hons) in pure mathematics and an MA (Honours). He undertook postgraduate studies at Warwick University, where he earned his PhD in Mathematics in 1982.  

His research focuses on the philosophy of mathematics, extreme risk theory, ethics and the history of ideas. It combines the insights of mathematics (with its proofs, certainty and objectivity) with the culture of humanistic scholarship (with its understanding of how humans approach knowledge). He has been the recipient of major ARC Discovery Grants in his field and is the author of numerous books and articles. 

In the philosophy of mathematics, his 2014 book, An Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics, developed a realist alternative to Platonism and nominalism, arguing that mathematics is the science of certain aspects of the real world, especially the quantitative and structural ones.

His work in the history of ideas includes two books, The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal (2001) and Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia (2003)

In 2005 he was awarded a Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics. His book The Worth of Persons: The Foundation of Ethics appeared in late 2022.

From 2012 to 2019, Professor Franklin was a member of the Council of St Johns College at the University of Sydney. He is the founder of the Sydney School in the Philosophy of Mathematics and editor of the Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society.

The past is insight. The future is in sight.