Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne
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Presented by The Hon Barry Jones AC
‘Equality’ dropped off Australia’s political agenda in the 21st Century. Both sides of politics recognise that winning elections depends on the votes of ‘aspirationals’. So progressive taxation was dropped, education became more stratified in Australia than the US or UK, and governments moved away from ‘needs based’ policies.
A standard measure of ‘equality’ has been equal treatment under the law. However, past decades have been marked by the protection of special interests that are above the law and by the harsh treatment of those below the law. Casino owners, private schools and big miners have been in the first category; asylum seekers, public schools and Indigenous Australians in the second. Both sides of politics are tainted.
In the age of retail politics, all values have a dollar equivalent, debate is minimal and ‘truth’ purely operational. Courage, imagination, curiosity, compassion have disappeared without trace to the detriment of ‘Equality’.
What is to be done?
Jointly presented by the Melbourne Law School, Melbourne School of Government and Accountability Round Table LTD
This event involves Dr Tania Miletic in conversation with Dr Anouk Ride, exploring violence, protests, and peace in the Solomon Islands. Recognising the need for greater recognition, understanding and imagination for greater peace and justice, The University of Melbourne’s Initiative for Peacebuilding launched a Conversation Series in 2021 to hold spaces for deeper listening to Australian-based peacebuilders and discussion of important dimensions of their peacebuilding work. In 2022 these conversations continue with a fascinating range of peacebuilders connected to the Initiative for Peacebuilding.