Australia in the World
Australia in the World
Gough Whitlam’s vision of Australia’s place in the world was for ‘a more independent Australian stance in international affairs… an Australia which will enjoy a growing standing as a distinctive, tolerant, co-operative and well regarded nation not only in the Asia-Pacific but in the world at large.’ This vision and the Whitlam Government’s enormous contribution to Australia’s standing in and engagement with the world has never been more important than it is today, in what Stephen Fitzgerald described in the 2017 Whitlam Oration as this ‘age of disruption’.
This focus area of work aims explore how we can develop greater coherence between Australia’s domestic and foreign policy, based on the core principles of our democracy and our values, through wider engagement and consultation within the Australian community. How can we achieve a more independent and strategic Australian foreign policy that starts with a clear assessment of Australia’s national interest – that national interest defined in a way that reflects those core values? The result should be an Australian foreign policy that can bring together the many forms of our international engagement – diplomacy, development assistance, humanitarian aid, trade, cultural and peace and security – in a coherent way and to our nation's best advantage.
Offering a unique perspective as a diplomat, academic and Australia's first Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, Dr FitzGerald called on Australia to be confident in pursuing a foreign policy that is independent and also which has a keen eye to our own national interests, and that is principled and consistent both domestically and abroad.
As the government looks to frame our engagement with the world in the years ahead, Associate Director Leanne Smith argues that we must find a better coherence between our domestic and foreign policy based on the core principles of our democracy.
These documents are the raw materials of history. In transporting us back to the threshold of a new era in Australia-China relations, these documents remind us that what is was not also so, and that mature foreign policy requires mature leadership.
FitzGerald’s evocative telling of the story in this ‘part memoir’ captures the passions and tensions, the enthusiasms and the political daring of the adventure that it was. More than this, it elucidates its historical significance. Deep within its folds you will find more than a few pointers to the challenges confronting contemporary policy-making concerning our relationship with China.
In a speech delivered to a large audience which included politicians from both sides of the House, Mr Fraser called for greater cooperation between political parties. His wide ranging address also covered issues of immigration and foreign affairs including the nation's alliance with the United States and our relationship with China.
Jointly hosted by the Challenging Racism Project, the Whitlam Institute and the Asia Society, this symposium is not to be missed.
With an official welcome from WSU Deputy Chancellor Liz Dibbs and opening remarks by Tim Soutphommasane (Race Discrimination Commissioner) and Philipp Ivanov (CEO of Asia Society Australia), the event will provide a forum to discuss contemporary challenges facing the Chinese Australian community.
In these challenging global times, the SDGs offer us a roadmap for what it might take to achieve a sustainable future for us all. They represent in the truest sense, an opportunity to think globally and act locally for the future of humanity and the planet.
A thought-provoking presentation from Australian lawyer Paul White as he draws on his extensive experience in humanitarian crises around the world and asks, “Can civilians be better protected in conflict?”