Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

1320th OGM and Open Lecture

Peter Shergold and Kirsty Muir “Putting the 'Civil' Back in Civil Society”

Emeritus Professor Peter Shergold AC FRSN FASSA
  Former Chancellor, Western Sydney University


Professor Kristy Muir
  Chief Executive Officer
  Paul Ramsey Foundation

Date: Wednesday, 17 April 2023, 5.30 pm for 6.00–8.00 pm AEST 
Venue: Metcalfe Theatre, State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney
Video presentation: YouTube video
All are welcome

Summary: A conversation with Professors Kristy Muir & Peter Shergold

A generation ago, it seemed that democracy was a given.

No longer.

Democratic governance appears fragile, under the threat from authoritarianism, xenophobia and populism. Trust in political leaders is wavering, thanks to the rise of AI and the increasingly powerful role of social media as a primary news source. In Australia, as elsewhere, public discourse seems riven by increasing social divisiveness and political discord. What’s going wrong? Who or what is to blame? What can be done to restore a truly civil society?

Kristy Muir and Peter Shergold will argue across a contested terrain.

Kristy Muir, a Professor of Social Policy at UNSW, is the CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation. Peter Shergold, Deputy President of the RSNSW, is Chair of the James Martin Institute for Public Policy.  They previously worked together at the Centre for Social Impact, Kristy as CEO and Peter as Chair.

Presenter Biographies

Professor Kristy Muir is Paul Ramsay Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer.  She is also a Professor of Social Policy at UNSW Sydney Business School and Chair of Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy Australasia. 

Kristy has worked for more than three decades — as a support worker, academic, collaborator, leader, funder, and board director — with for-purpose organisations that enable children, families, and communities to thrive.

Kristy is a seasoned keynote speaker and internationally recognised leader. She has published widely and has delivered her insights on governance for social impact to hundreds of non-executive directors and CEOs through formal executive education programs. She founded the AGSM Governance for Social Impact course and the Social Impact Leadership Australia program which she currently teaches to for-purpose CEOs.

Kristy has undertaken more than 100 social impact projects with partners across sectors, including governments, not-for-profits, corporates, social enterprises, academics, and philanthropists. Many of these projects were designed to work alongside families and communities, and they spanned housing, education, employment, social participation, disability, mental health, financial resilience, wellbeing, and the social purpose sector.

Kristy was CEO of the Centre for Social Impact (2017-21), served as an elected academic member of UNSW’s Council (2016-2021), and was a non-executive Director of the Community Council of Australia and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Young People (ARACY). She has a PhD in social history and is a graduate of executive education at Harvard Business School and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

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