A Nation Of Fence-sitters?

Moderator: Steve Lewis • Julianne Schultz, Ian Kemish and Allan Behm

10.00 AM – 11.00 AM
House of Representatives Chamber
Museum of Australian Democracy

An academic, a Chief of Staff and a diplomat walk into a bar . . . How can Australia realise its true potential? Debating diplomacy from the frontline.



Professor Emeritus Julianne Schultz AM FAHA is the Chair of The Conversation. She was the publisher and founding editor of Griffith Review, and is Professor Emeritus of Media and Culture at Griffith's Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, and a member of the advisory board of the Gradient Institute. She is an acclaimed author of several books, including Reviving the Fourth Estate (Cambridge) and Steel City Blues (Penguin), and the librettos to the award-winning operas Black River and Going Into Shadows.



Ian Kemish AM served as Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Ambassador to Germany, an international adviser to the Prime Minister, and Head of the consular service in a diplomatic career that spanned 25 years. He was awarded membership of the Order of Australia for his leadership of Australia’s response to the 2002 Bali bombings. He is an Adjunct Professor in History at the University of Queensland, a non-resident fellow with the Lowy Institute and a New Colombo Plan business champion.



Allan Behm directs International and Security Affairs at The Australia Institute in Canberra. He specialises in political and security risk evaluation, policy analysis and development, and negotiating the policy/politics interface. He has a substantial publishing record, including No, Minister, which is a ‘go to’ text on leadership, political management, policy development and reform. His most recent book is No Enemies No Friends: Restoring Australia’s Global Relevance.



Steve Lewis is a best-selling author whose novels Marmalade Files, Mandarin Code and Shadow Game (written with Chris Uhlmann) inspired the global smash TV hit Secret City. A former senior journalist in the Canberra press gallery, Steve now works as a political and media consultant and is a Board Member of the National Press Club. He is currently developing several new political and spy thrillers for TV through his company, Lewis & Uhlmann Productions, and is determined to put Canberra on the global map for high-quality and high-rating political drama. Steve was also instrumental in establishing the Canberra Writers Festival.