Works on Australia’s relations with Asia and on the stalling of important reform over recent years in Australia have dominated the shortlist of the 2011 John Button Prize.
The four contenders for this year’s Prize are:
- Gary Banks AO, Chair, Productivity Commission for his speech ‘Successful Reform: Past Lessons, Future Challenges’
- George Megalogenis, journalist and commentator with The Australian for his Quarterly Essay ‘Trivial Pursuit: Leadership and the End of the Reform Era’
- Dr Michael Wesley, Executive Officer, Lowy Institute for International Policy for his book ‘There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia’, and
- Prof. Hugh White, Visiting Fellow, Lowy Institute for International Policy for his Quarterly Essay ‘Power Shift: Australia’s Future Between Washington and Beijing’.
The judges of the Prize, created in memory of the late Industry Minister and Victorian Senator, John Button, said the four shortlisted works all challenged the growing complacency in Australia’s political culture and the struggle to produce substantial reform in the long-term interests of the nation.
The winner will be announced on August 27, at the Melbourne Writers Festival’s John Button Oration, to be given this year by former High Court judge, Michael Kirby.