Skip to main content


Future Australia

How can we build on Australia’s unique strengths to create a better future?

grand challenges, inequality, climate change, energy

What are Australia’s unique strengths? At a time of rapid change and uncertainty, how can we build on these strengths to create a better future? Australia has been lucky in the past, but growing inequality, climate change, energy insecurity and a lack of political leadership are just some of the threats that we now face. Evidence shows that a strategic mix of structural reform and investment in capacity is needed to counter these threats and create a future built on our strengths. What does this future look like and what do we need to do to get there?

Join our panel of experts John Hewson, Cassandra Goldie, Judith Sloan and Glenn Withers as they explore what Australia's future will look like and what we need to do to get there.

In conversation with co-leads of the Grand Challenge on Inequality, Professor Rosalind Dixon and Professor Richard Holden


Glenn Withers is Professor of Economics at the Australian National University and was founding CEO of Universities Australia. Prior to that he was Professor of Public Policy at ANU and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. He is a Monash and Harvard graduate and has held academic posts in Australia and overseas. He has worked extensively as an advisor to government, business and community organisations on a range of economic and policy issues and was awarded an Order of Australia for services to applied economics. President of the Academy of the Social Sciences, Australia.


Judith Sloan is an economist and company director. She holds degrees from the University of Melbourne and the London School of Economics. She has held a number of government appointments, including Commissioner of the Productivity Commission; Commissioner of the Australian Fair Pay Commission; and Deputy Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She is a frequent commentator on economic issues and writes regularly for The Australian.


Cassandra Goldie has been the CEO of the Australian Council for Social Service since 2010. With public policy expertise in economic and social issues, civil society, social justice and human rights, she has represented the interests of people who are disadvantaged and civil society in major national and international processes and in national media. Cassandra has a PhD from the University of New South Wales and a Masters of Law from University College London and previous roles include Director of Sex and Aged Discrimination at the Australian Human Rights Commission.


John Hewson is a former leader of the Liberal Party of Australia. He has had a distinguished business and academic career both before and after his time in politics. He has worked as an economist for the Australian Treasury, the Reserve Bank, the International Monetary Fund and also as an advisor to two successive Federal Treasurers and the Prime Minister. John was a Director of Macquarie Bank and a past Chairman of ABN AMRO in Australia. He wsa a Professor of Economics and Head of School at UNSW and was Dean of Macquarie Graduate School of Management. Professor and Chair of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, ANU.