We welcomed former Prime Minister John Howard OM AC for the launch of his book A Sense of Balance (HarperCollins 2022) with one of Australia’s most experienced commentators and journalists Ticky Fullerton.
In the years that John Howard served in the national parliament, he came to understand the special character of Australia; to appreciate its strengths and weaknesses; and most importantly to respect the sense of balance in the formulation of public policy that has long defined us as a people and made Australia an attractive destination for people from across the world.
In his book A Sense of Balance Mr. Howard explores this balance, its foundations and its future. Written against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as some of the more contested political events of recent years – the election of Donald Trump, the Brexit vote, the rise of China, and, within our own country, a carousel of six prime ministers in eleven years – these reflections touch on how Australia has responded to pressure over the last decade or so. Commentary on these subjects from politicians, opinion writers and social media can sometimes seem shrill and divisive. Australia’s 25th and second longest serving prime minister has faith that no matter what challenges and extremes threaten to upset our sense of balance, the country’s institutions and people will remain robust into the foreseeable future.