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Event banner featuring name, date and the keynote


Prices from $295

Date & Time

Thursday, 27 July 2023
6:00 pm - 9:30 pm AEST


Crown Sydney | Pearl Ballroom, 1 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo, 2000, NSW

Annual Gala Dinner and Lecture 2023

Tickets begin from $295 and are inclusive of GST, to save on the Eventbrite booking fee please contact CIS directly to pay by invoice or credit card. Contact the Events Team via email at or by calling 02 9438 4377.

Questioning Orthodoxies

The John Bonython Lecture series began in 1984 to honour the founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees and has had a tremendous impact on fostering debate and injecting new ideas into the broader public-policy discourse. We are honoured to present Jason Riley as this year’s keynote speaker.

Jason Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, where he has published opinion pieces for more than 20 years. He is the author of several books, including Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell (Basic Books). Riley is widely regarded as one of America’s leading figures in the Black conservatism movement. His perspectives on contemporary issues promise to be insightful and thought provoking. Incidentally, Sowell delivered our John Bonython Lecture in September 1988 which can be read here.

Join us for an evening filled with thought-provoking conversation. Our Annual Gala Dinner and Lecture gathers CIS supporters, members and friends and provides the opportunity to further our commitment to the core principles for which we stand.

Pricing Table Seat
VIP Speaker’s Table N/A $695
VIP Director’s Table N/A $595
Platinum Table $4,950 $495
Gold Table $3,950 $395
Standard Table $2,950 $295

Jason Riley

Jason Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, where he has published opinion pieces for more than 20 years. Topics include politics, economics, education, immigration, social inequality and race. He’s also a frequent public speaker and provides commentary for television and radio news outlets.

After joining the Journal in 1994, he was named a senior editorial page writer in 2000 and a member of the Editorial Board in 2005. He joined the Manhattan Institute, a public policy think tank focused on urban issues, in 2015. In 2008 he published Let Them In, which argues for a more free-market oriented U.S. immigration system. His second book, Please Stop Helping Us, which is about government efforts to help the black underclass, was published in 2014. In 2017, he published False Black Power?, an assessment of why black political success has not translated into more economic advancement. In 2021, he published  Maverick, a biography of the iconic economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell, and narrated the documentary film Thomas Sowell: Common Sense in a Senseless World. Riley’s most recent book is The Black Boom, an analysis of black economic progress prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Riley earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has also worked for USA Today and the Buffalo News.