Dean's Lecture 2019 Series - The Honourable Dr Barry Jones AC

Why have the most highly educated generation of Australians lost faith in democracy, public institutions and major causes?

The current cohort of Australians is the most highly educated by far in the nation’s history – at least on paper – with about 6.5 million graduates. Why then is support for democracy as the best political system declining sharply? Why have Australians lost faith in our major institutions? Why has the level of community engagement in major policy collapsed? Why are our brightest and best disengaged from major causes? Why has the quality of political discourse, in and out of Parliament, fallen to historically low levels? Why the self-absorption, emphasis on the short term, preferencing feeling over evidence, emotion over rationality? Why the revival of tribalism, misogyny and racism, not just here but throughout the Western world? Why have so many universities opted to become trading corporations rather than shapers of Australia’s future?

The Honourable Dr Barry Jones AC will present on 'Australian Exceptionalism': his coinage for a set of major issues that we ought to be addressing, and are not.