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Conservatism in politics to be debated at Wollongong University

UNLIKE Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, those involved in right of centre politics in Australia generally prefer to be called liberals rather than conservatives.

Why should this be so? The reality is that conservatism in Australia is an area of our political landscape that is little understood. A workshop on ‘Conservatism in Australia’ to be held at the University of Wollongong on Friday from 9.30am to 3pm seeks to cast some light on both conservatism in Australia and its sibling liberalism.

David Kemp, former Education Minister in the Howard government, and Associate Professor Greg Melleuish from UOW’s School of History and Politics will explore the role played by conservatism in Australian history while Wayne Errrington, biographer of John Howard and Scott Prasser, Australia’s leading academic expert on Royal Commissions, will consider the contemporary situation.

A panel at 3.30pm on Friday will feature conservative commentators, Miranda Devine, columnist for the Sydney Daily Telegraph, Keith Windschuttle editor of Quadrant and Tom Switzer, editor of the Australian Spectator, who will debate and discuss some of the major issues for conservatives in 21st century Australia.

The panel will be located in Building 20 (Communications Building) Lecture Room 2 on the main University of Wollongong campus and is open to the public.

Professor Melleuish said the workshop would dispel some of the myths surrounding conservatism.

“It will help to explain why conservatives are not the same as liberals while illuminating what they have in common,” he said.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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