Former Rudd adviser wins 2012 John Button Prize
by Clayton Wehner - September 3rd, 2012
Dr Charlton won the prize for his 2011 Quarterly Essay on climate change, Man-Made World: Choosing between progress and planet.
The judges described Dr Charlton’s essay as a “dispassionate, reasoned and original analysis” that confronted the core dilemma behind global attempts to address climate change – the huge gap in priorities between rich and poor nations.
“Every Australian over the age of 15 should read it, then we could start the climate change debate afresh and with a much larger perspective ,” one judge said.
Dr Charlton said he was honored to win the award. “John Button reflected the best of Australian politics. He was a thinker, a doer and a thoroughly decent man.”
In writing the essay, Dr Charlton, a former Rhodes Scholar, drew on his experience as a member of the Australian delegation that travelled to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.
His essay defeated two other shortlisted entries, The Australian Moment by George Megalogenis, and Us and Them: On the Importance of Animals, by Anna Krien.
Anjali Bethune of Ruyton Girls School won the $2500 John Button Schools Prize for writing on politics and policy by a Victorian secondary student. Her essay argued that Australia should increase its immigration intake.
Anjali, who is 17 and in Year 12, said: “To win this prize is a great honour, as I believe Australian politics and policy are amongst the most important things for the youth of this country to be involved in.
“Many of us will soon be on the electoral roll, and I think it is imperative that we all take advantage of our democratic right to free speech, which many in this world are not fortunate enough to have.”
Andrew Charlton and Anjali Bethune were awarded their prizes at the Melbourne Writers Festival’s John Button Oration, given this year by American philosopher Professor Martha Nussbaum.
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