Date & Time

Wednesday, 7 September 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm AEST

Online Event

Can we depend on merit?

Join us Wednesday, September 7 for a free webinar with Peter Kurti, Director of the Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society program at the CIS, in conversation with two distinguished CIS Adjunct Scholars, Professor Steven Schwartz and Dr Gary Johns, as they consider the interaction of meritocracy and equality of opportunity.

Meritocracy sounds like a good thing. It purports to promote opportunity by distributing social and economic rewards based on talent and ability rather than inherited status. In theory, it ought to work: a person ought to be able to succeed simply based on their skills and abilities. However, is it possible that meritocracy entrenches privilege and is an obstacle to equality of opportunity?

In Australia, the meritocratic hope that wealth and status are no bar to those who do not belong to the elite yet aspire to success appears to be strong. But, what if the flaws in our meritocratic system deny equal opportunities? Does meritocracy threaten to blight Australia’s future? Do we really afford a fair go to all?

Dr Gary Johns was the Commissioner of The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. He is adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland and was a Minister in the Keating government.

Professor Steven Schwartz is a Senior Fellow at the CIS. He has served as Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University in Sydney, Brunel University in London and Murdoch University in Perth. He recently completed his term as Chair of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Advisory Authority (ACARA). He is also a Board member of Teach for Australia and an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

Peter Kurti is Director of the Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society program. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Law at the University of Notre Dame Australia, and Adjunct Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture at Charles Sturt University.