Liberalism and Australian Democracy: lessons from history, public talk by the Hon Dr David KempTalk
27 August 2019
House of Representatives, Old Parliament House
Free event, including drinks and light refreshments, bookings are essential
In his acclaimed 2018 publication The Land of Dreams: How Australians Won Their Freedom, 1788-1860, David Kemp tells the story of how Australians became a free people, gaining the liberties they desired to take control of their own lives, the right to govern themselves and the capacity to address their own political problems through democratic institutions.
He argues that Australian democracy is based on liberal ideas inherited from the Enlightenment of the 18th Century, and that Australia’s unique foundation story goes far to explaining its success as a nation.
David Kemp reflects on the contribution of liberalism to Australia’s democratic story and asks what can we learn for the future in this public talk, part of Democracy 2025’s Future Democracy series.
David Kemp's career spans both academia and practical politics. From 1990 to 2004 he was member of the federal parliament, and from 1996 he was a minister in the Howard government overseeing various portfolios including Employment, Education and Environment. Before entering parliament he was Professor of Politics at Monash University, and after leaving parliament Professor and Vice-Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Melbourne.
He is a Fellow of the Australia & New Zealand School of Government and was for 10 years a foundation board member of the Grattan Institute for Public Policy. He is Chairman of the Old Parliament House Board and of the Australian Heritage Council.