Dennis Richardson: Australia should Always aim to do more

EVENT VIDEO: On Wednesday 19 September 2012, the University of Sydney and the Department of Foreign Affairs kindly invited AIIA members to join Ambassador Dennis Richardson, the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and one of Australia’s most senior and respected officials, to deliver the 2012 Michael Hinze Lecture at the Seymour Centre. Ambassador Richardson talked about “hitting up to our weight”, rather than “hitting above our weight” – a distinction intended to reflect that as a medium country it was not enough to say we are doing enough or more than our share, but to always aim to do more. Australia is among the 20 most prosperous economies, the 5 most sizable countries, the 10 most generous aid providers and the most developed countries globally, more than that though, we have a proven ability to create opportunities at the global level, bring global partners together to achieve great things and have ensured our place at the table to participate and shape global discussions.

Ambassador Richardson also spoke to the Australia-US-China dynamic, suggesting it is more than a simple economics vs. defence question: a complex interplay of competing and complementary objectives and multifaceted interactions. The suggestion that we have to chose between the two was a far too simple view of the challenge ahead of us. Diplomacy is never in black and white, but a complex myriad of issues always in grey or, possibly more accurately, a spectrum of colour.

This is part 1 of this video (the lecture), part 2 follows and incorporates the question time. The second video will be available tomorrow.


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