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Peter Kurti from the Centre for Independent Studies (Sydney) introduced us to the difference between “Values and Virtues” at Mannkal events in Perth during April 2023. Below are my concluding comments made at a combined Western Australian University Executive Lunch held on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 featuring Peter Kurti as our speaker.

Rev. Peter Kurti at Mannkal’s Subiaco Office, April 2023. Left to Right: Judy Carroll, Nicola Wright, Ron Manners, Peter Kurti, Kate Wagstaff, Nathan Cuthbertson

Thank you all for sharing this occasion with us today.

Today’s ‘Values & Virtues’ input from Peter Kurti has given you some idea of the way our Mannkal Foundation introduces new concepts to our ever-growing band of Mannkal scholars.

In this contest of ideas vigorously being pursued these days, it is not enough to be against something; you have to be ‘for something’, particularly something that is sound.

Sound values and virtues were supported by the early scholar Seneca, who said, “nothing is more excellent or more beautiful than virtue”.  This was reinforced in Peter Kurti’s comments here.

Thank you all, as individuals and as universities, for providing us with such fine examples of the next upcoming generation of leaders.

Our Mannkal Scholars contribute much to the discussion around our office, and you have had an opportunity today to meet Nathan Cuthbertson, an example of our Mannkal scholars.

Mannkal is in the business of ideas, and we would like to do more direct projects with our local universities.

We have two excellent projects that we have developed, over the years, with the University of Notre Dame. One of those projects is the annual Public Choice Theory Course which is an accredited course that can accept attendees from all local universities.

The other project is the annual Freedom to Choose Conference, where we bring world-class speakers.  This has been a regular event and is, of course, available to all interested parties not just Notre Dame students.

The other direct project we have this year is with Curtin University where we are collaborating with them on a public function – Adam Smith Tercentenary – at Curtin’s St. George’s Terrace venue on Thursday June 27th. This event is to celebrate 300 years since the birth of that remarkable individual who created modern economics as we know it.

We do need more direct projects like this, as this year we are faced with sending $600,000 across to the Eastern States because we have not gained traction with UWA, Murdoch or ECU.

The type of projects we are looking for are unusual in a sense that we really seek no publicity, but we focus simply on the Classical Liberal ideas of the free-market and personal development.

We also have a great conference coming up on April 17, 2024 titled Australia: The Road Ahead, where we will be concentrating on culture, values, virtues and, in particular, productivity. 

Australia is slipping badly on the productivity scale.  It was highlighted recently in an Ernst and Young report that only 20% of Australian companies adequately measure productivity.  This is a disturbing, yet unsurprising, fact.  If we are not measuring the right things then how can we make informed decisions and put in place the right initiatives?  Watch out for that event scheduled for April 17, 2024.  It will be at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle and will be a full day action-packed event.  Becky Clough is Chairperson of that thought provoking event.

Thank you all, in particular to Peter Kurti, for coming all this way and adding to our knowledge and appreciation of ‘values and virtues’, giving us an opportunity to meet together like this.


I encourage you to read Peter Kurti’s presentation here.


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