On 4th February 2008, Kevin Rudd said:
As I roll around Australia and talk to people, there's a whole bunch of ideas out there amongst our brightest and best, whether it's the economy, whether it's in Indigenous policy, whether it's how we build a world-class education system, dealing with the big challenges of infrastructure in our cities and rural areas.
But there's a bunch of expertise outside government, and we need to call forth the talents and energies or the nation.
So for those two reasons, we are going to bring together 1,000 of our brightest and best in these 10 big challenge areas, 100 apiece, in the middle of April, and shake the tree and see what ideas come out of it.
The ten critical areas of discussion are:
- Australian Economy - future directions for the Australian economy – including education, skills, training, science and innovation as part of the nation’s productivity agenda
- Infrastructure - economic infrastructure, the digital economy and the future of our cities
- Sustainability and Climate Change - population, sustainability, climate change and water
- Rural Australia - future directions for rural industries and rural communities
- Health - a long-term national health strategy – including the challenges of preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population
- Communities and Families - strengthening communities, supporting families and social inclusion
- Indigenous Australia - options for the future of Indigenous Australia
- Creative Australia - towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design
- Governance - the future of Australian governance: renewed democracy, a more open government (including the role of the media), the structure of the Federation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens
- Australia's Future in the World - Australia’s future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world
Are any Webdiarists thinking of nominating or making submissions? Even if nobody is interested in participating at that level, this could be a good time to have a conversation about some or all of the summit topics. Meanwhile, from the website:
Australia 2020 Summit
Welcome to the website for the Australia 2020 Summit.
This is an important initiative to harness the best ideas for building a modern Australia that is ready for the challenges of the 21 st century.
With the complex challenges that Australia is facing, we need to get the best ideas we can from all Australians – business people, experts, community leaders – and just ordinary Australians.
I know from travelling around the nation that many of the most creative solutions to our big future challenges are in the minds of Australians whose voices normally aren’t heard in our national Parliament.
The Summit will help us shape a long term strategy for the nation’s future – covering the economy, the nation’s infrastructure, our environment, our farmers, health care, indigenous Australians, the arts, national security, how we improve our system of government, and how we strengthen our communities and ensure nobody is left out of Australia’s future.
It’s a big agenda, but we need to think big.
The new century has thrown up enormous challenges, as well as breathtaking opportunities. The ground rules of economic success are being re-written with the rise of nations like China and India. New technologies are continuing to transform our work lives, our social lives and everything from health care to entertainment. Our own society is changing rapidly as well as we live longer and expect greater fulfilment in our older years.
I invite all Australians to contribute their ideas as we look ahead to how Australia will tackle all these challenges. This website is a great way for you to have input to how we plan for our common future.
If we want to shape the kind of nation Australia will be in 2020, the work needs to start now. There are few limits to Australia’s future potential – now is the time to start turning our nation’s potential into a reality.