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Managing Ourselves in a Chinese World: Australian Foreign Policy in an Age of Disruption


2017 Gough Whitlam Oration

16 March 2017

The 2017 Whitlam Institute Gough Whitlam Oration by Dr Stephen FitzGerald AO was a landmark and timely address on Australia’s place in the world. 

Offering a unique perspective as a diplomat, academic and Australia's first Ambassador to the People's Republic of China - appointed by the Whitlam Government, 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. 

"We are living in a Chinese world. But we don't have the relationship to match it."


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Read Dr Stephen FitzGerald AO's 2012 Whitlam Legacy Paper: The Coup that Laid the Fear of China

FitzGerald's evocative telling of the story of the 1971 trip to The People's Republic of China by Gough, then leader of the opposition, 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.