Like many Australians I have often thought we should not take ourselves too seriously and be careful not to make fools of ourselves by suggesting we are more important than we really are. In the opening to his fourth lecture Michael Fullilove suggests otherwise:-
It is often said that Australia is a middle power. But there is nothing middling about Australia.
There are two hundred-odd countries in the world. On every important measure except population, we rank in the top ten or twenty.
Our economy is the twelfth largest in the world. Our people are the fifth richest.
Australia is an old democracy and a free society. We are allied to the global leader and located in the most dynamic region in the world.
Our diaspora is one million strong: our own world wide web of ideas and influence.
We have a continent to ourselves. And we are fortunate enough to share it with the oldest continuing culture on earth.
Australia is not a middle power. Australia is a significant power with regional and global interests – and we should act like one.