Freedom to Choose - Conference Speakers

Dr Hal Colebatch

Hal Colebatch received a BA Honours, an MA in History/Politics and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Western Australia, in addition to degrees in jurisprudence and law. He wrote The Modest Member: The Life and Times of Bert Kelly.  His book Blair's Britain: British Culture Wars and New Labour was chosen as a Book of the Year by the London Spectator. He writes regularly for Quadrant, The American Spectator Online, The Salisbury Review and The New Criterion. His work includes eight volumes of poetry, including The Light River, which was awarded the West Australian Premier's literary prize for poetry in 2008. He is also known for his science fiction, such as Time Machine Troopers, which is a sequel to H. G. Wells' The Time Machine, set in 802719 and features Wells himself. He is the son of the Western Australian premier, Sir Hal Colebatch, and the author of Sir Hal’s biography, Steadfast Knight.


Dr William Coleman

William Coleman (BEc Hons Syd: PhD LSE) is a Reader at the School of Economics of the Australian National University, and has written extensively upon inflation, the history of economic thought, and the contested position of economics in society. He is currently the editor of Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform. He co-authored Giblin’s Platoon: The Trials and Triumph of the Economist in Australian Public Life, which won the Bruce McComish Prize for Economic History. His other books include Economics and Its Enemies: The Story of Two Centuries of Anti-economics; The Causes, Costs and Compensations of Inflation and The Political Economy of Wages and Unemployment. He has recently edited Only in Australia: The History, Politics and Economics of Australian Exceptionalism.


Henry Ergas (AO)

Henry Ergas is an economist and columnist for The Australian. He has held senior policy positions in a range of organisations, including the OECD, the Australian Trade Practice Commission and Deloitte. He was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong from 2009 to 2016 and has held appointments at the National University of Singapore, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Centre for Research in Network Economics and Communications at Auckland University, Monash University and the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Economique. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2016 for distinguished service to infrastructure economics, higher education, and public policy development, and as a supporter of emerging artists.


Dr Zachery Gorman

Zachery Gorman is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs. He was previously a tutor of History & Politics at the University of Wollongong, where he completed his PhD. His research focus is the history of classical liberalism in pre-war Australian politics, covering figures such as George Reid, Henry Parkes and Bruce Smith. His first book was a biography of Sir Joseph Carruthers, the founder of the original NSW Liberal Party and a key figure in ensuring that 'liberalism' in Australia came to be associated with the centre right.


Dr Peter Phelps

Dr Peter Phelps was awarded a BA (Hons) from Sydney University in 1990, and a PhD, also from Sydney, in 1997. He was Government Whip in the Legislative Council of New South Wales between 2011 and 2016. He has published in the IPA Review, Quadrant, and the International History Review, where he reviewed Keen as Mustard: Britain’s Horrific Chemical Warfare Experiments in Australia. He has said,"At the heart of many scientists – but not all scientists – lies the heart of a totalitarian planner”.