Australia has punched above its weight in the past, regionally and globally, and can again. In an era of great geopolitical uncertainty, Australians need a firmer sense of what we believe in, where we can make the most difference, and how we can best contribute to a saner, safer and more prosperous world. But too often we shy away from these kinds of debates, consumed by our sense of dependency on the great powers. It’s time to give renewed attention to just what we can do for ourselves when we set our sights high.
Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC FASSA FAIIA has been Chancellor of the Australian National University since January 2010. He was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments from 1983-96, in the posts of Attorney General, Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Transport and Communications and - from 1988-96 - Foreign Minister. During his 21 years in Australian politics he was Leader of the Government in the Senate (1993-96) and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives (1996-98). From 2000 to 2009 he was President and CEO of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation.
He has written or edited 13 books - including Incorrigible Optimist: A Political Memoir (2017), Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015 (co-author), Inside the Hawke-Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary (2014), and The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All (2008); has published many newspaper articles and over 100 journal articles and chapters on foreign relations, human rights and legal and constitutional reform; has honorary doctorates from Melbourne, Sydney, Carleton and Queen’s Universities; and has lectured at many universities around the world, including Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Yale, Stanford and the Central European University.