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Since assuming his role as Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Tim Soutphommasane has been a forthright advocate for racial tolerance and multiculturalism. In this National Press Club Address, he will give an account of the state of race relations in Australia.
Forty years on from the introduction of the Racial Discrimination Act, it is timely to reflect on the role of the law in combatting racism, debates about free speech, and the importance of community harmony amid concerns about national security.
Dr Soutphommasane will also outline the emerging opportunities and challenges for corporate Australia in promoting culturally diverse leadership.
The National Press Club Address will follow the release of the Commissioner’s new book, I’m not racist but …, written to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Dr Soutphommasane commenced his five-year appointment as Race Discrimination Commissioner on 20 August 2013. Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, he was a political philosopher at the University of Sydney. His thinking on multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in reshaping debates in Australia and Britain.
Dr Soutphommasane is the author of I’m not racist but… (2015), The Virtuous Citizen (2012), Don’t Go Back To Where You Came From (2012), Reclaiming Patriotism (2009) and co-editor of All That’s Left (2010).
He has been an opinion columnist with The Age and The Weekend Australian newspapers, and in 2013 presented the documentary series “Mongrel Nation” on ABC Radio National.
A first-generation Australian, Dr Soutphommasane was raised in southwest Sydney. He completed a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy (with distinction) at the University of Oxford, and is a first-class honours graduate of the University of Sydney.