Cultural diversity in leadership: where does Australia sit in 2018?

Join Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane and University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence AC at the launch of new research on cultural diversity and Australian leadership.

Australia is widely celebrated as a multicultural triumph, but any such success remains incomplete. There remains significant under-representation of cultural diversity in the senior leadership of Australian organisations. Our society does not yet appear to be making the most of its diverse talents.

The findings of a new report, produced by the Australian Human Rights Commission in partnership with the University of Sydney Business School, the Committee for Sydney and Asia Society Australia, suggest we have a long way to go before realising the full potential of our multicultural population.

This event was held at the University of Sydney on Wednesday 11 April 2018.


  • Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner with the Australian Human Rights Commission. Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, Tim was a political philosopher and held posts at The University of Sydney and Monash University. His thinking on multiculturalism, patriotism and national identity has been influential in shaping debates in Australia and Britain. Tim is the author of four books: I’m Not Racist But … (2015), The Virtuous Citizen (2012), Don't Go Back To Where You Came From (2012), and Reclaiming Patriotism (2009). He was co-editor (with Nick Dyrenfurth) of All That's Left (2010). He has been an opinion columnist with The Age and The Weekend Australian newspapers, and presented the documentary series Mongrel Nation on ABC Radio National (2013). Tim is an adjunct professor at the School of Social Sciences and Psychology, Western Sydney University and chairs the Leadership Council on Cultural Diversity.
  • Dr Michael Spence AC, University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Dr Spence was appointed the 25th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney in 2008, as an alumnus of the University of Sydney, having graduated with first-class honours in English, Italian and law. His other languages include Chinese and Korean. Dr Spence lectured in law at the University and worked for the Australian Copyright Council prior to departing from Australia and establishing himself at the University of Oxford in order to undertake doctoral studies. At Oxford, Dr Spence obtained a Doctor of Philosophy and a Postgraduate Diploma in Theology. Dr Spence is recognised internationally as a leader in the field of intellectual property theory. His work includes articles and books on both intellectual property law and the law of obligations, with a critical focus on suggested ethical and economic justifications of the existing regimes.

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