2019 John Furphy Lecture - Hon Dr Barry Jones AC

Event status:

Democracy’s Existential Crisis, the Digital Challenge, the Trump Phenomenon and Newton’s Third Law.

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Tuesday 01 October 2019 06:30 pm until Tuesday 01 October 2019 07:45 pm (Add to calendar)
Christina Tait
Presented by:
Hon Dr Barry Jones AC
Type of Event:
Community Event

5:45pm (pre lecture drinks) for 6:30pm-7:45pm

Democracy’s Existential Crisis, the Digital Challenge, the Trump Phenomenon and Newton’s Third Law.

Liberal democracy faces its greatest existential crisis since the 1930s and is being displaced by emotive, and often poorly informed populism. Smart phones, computers and the world wide web have changed our behavior and communication, and challenge conventional education. The Trump Phenomenon is exploiting the digital revolution with the use of Tweets as a primary form of communication. And moves to break down misogyny, racism and fundamentalism appear to provoke a backlash on gender, race and religion. Newton’s Third Law of Motion, ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction,’ seems curiously applicable.

Hon Dr Barry Jones AC

Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne

Barry Jones, politician, writer and lawyer, was born in Geelong. Educated at Melbourne High School and Melbourne University, he was a public servant, high school teacher, television and radio performer, university lecturer and lawyer.

He served as a Labor MP in the Victorian Parliament 1972-77 and the Australian House of Representatives 1977-98.

In Bob Hawke's Government, he was best known as Australia's longest serving Minister for Science 1983-90, but also had responsibilities for Prices and Consumer Affairs 1987, Small Business 1987-90 and Customs 1988-90.

In 1985 he became the only Australian Minister ever invited to attend a G-7 Summit Meeting, in Ottawa.

He chaired the OECD review of the Yugoslav economy (1987) and OECD meetings in Paris (1987) and Montreal (1991), and served on an international think tank in Moscow to advise Mikhail Gorbachev on Perestroika (1990).

He became a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO, Paris 1991-95 and Vice President of the World Heritage Committee 1995-96.

National President of the Australian Labor Party 1992-2000; 2005-06, he was Co-Chair of the Constitutional Convention on a Republic 1998.

He is the only person to have been elected to four of Australia’s five learned Academies and is a ‘Living National Treasure’ (1997).

Sleepers, Wake!: Technology and the Future of Work (1982) was a best-seller. His autobiography, A Thinking Reed, was published in 2006 and The Shock of Recognition, about music and literature, in 2016. His Dictionary of World Biography, published by ANU Press, is available in book form and on line

In 2014 he received an AC for services 'as a leading intellectual in Australian public life'.


The Woolshed, Emerald Bank

The Woolshed, Emerald Bank, 7719 Goulburn Valley Hwy Kialla, VIC 363



15th Sep 2019 3:04pm

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