Australia is an affluent country, so do Australians have a responsibility to give aid to struggling nations? How is aid money best spent, and is there ever a downside to helping to those less fortunate? There are many arguments surrounding financial aid, with some arguing that it is a moral duty to give as much as we are able, and others saying that aid is a disincentive for development.
Peter Singer and Tim Costello join a panel of researchers and economists to debate these issues at an event hosted by the University of Melbourne.
Robyn Archer is a singer, writer, director, and public arts advocate. Known to many for her major stage success as "A Star is Torn," Archer is also a writer, including of political songs like "Pack of Women" and "Kold Komfort Kaffee."
Over the past decade she has been Artistic Director of several arts festivals. She has recently been appointed as Creative Director of the Canberra Centenary 2013.
Lisa Cameron received her PhD (Economics) from Princeton University in 1996. She was appointed as a lecturer in the Economics Department at the University of Melbourne in January 1997. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in January 2000 and Associate Professor in January 2003.
She currently also holds the post of Research Associate at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University and has worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the ILO, UNICEF and AusAID. Cameron is also currently the Director of the Asian Economic Centre.
Tim Costello is one of Australia's leading voices on social justice issues. He's taken a prominent role in national debates on issues such as gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse.
Costello has also been instrumental in keeping the issues surrounding global poverty on the national agenda since February 2004, when he joined World Vision Australia as Chief Executive. In June 2005, Costello was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO); and in 2006 he was named Victorian Australian of the Year.
In February 1988, Bob McMullan was sworn in as Senator for the Australian Capital Territory. In 1990 he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and in 1991 became Manager of Government Business in the Senate. In 1993 McMullan was appointed Minister for the Arts and Administrative Services and became a member of the Cabinet, the first time the Arts portfolio was represented in Cabinet. In January 1994, he was appointed Minister for Trade.
Following a redistribution of Canberra's House of Representative seats, McMullan stood for the seat of Canberra in 1996, and was elected. Following a redistribution in 1998, McMullan became Member for Fraser. Between 1996 and 2007 McMullan held a number of Shadow Ministerial positions. After the election of the Rudd Government in November 2007 McMullan was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance.
John Roskam has been the Executive Director of the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs since 2004. Before joining the IPA he taught political theory at the University of Melbourne. He was previously the Executive Director of The Menzies Research Centre in Canberra, has been a senior adviser and chief of staff to federal and state education minister, and was the manager of government and corporate affairs for a global mining company.
His publications include Australia's Education Choices (with Professor Brian Caldwell), "Terrorism and Poverty" in Blaming Ourselves, "Liberalism and Social Welfare" in Liberalism and the Australian Federation, and "The Liberal Party and the Great Split" in The Split Fifty Years Later.
His fortnightly column appears in The Australian Financial Review. He is a member of the Editorial Board of The Australian Journal of Public Administration, and Connor Court Press, and the Advisory Board of The Centre for Advanced Journalism at the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration, Australia in Victoria, and is Vice-President of the Old Xaverians Soccer Club.
Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He specializes in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, preference utilitarian perspective. Singer is well-known for his book, Animal Liberation, a canonical text in animal rights/liberation theory. From 2005 on, Singer has also held the part-time position of Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics.
Claire Slatter is a development expert and Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences at the Fiji National University. She has been a consultant with a number of Development agencies such as the WHO, UNDP Pacific Centre, IWDA, UNIFEM and Oxfam on issues around Gender Equality, Economic security and Human Rights and taught political studies in the Department of History and Politics at the University of the South Pacific for 17 years.
Slatter has a background in the nuclear free and independent Pacific movement, the women's movement, trade unionism and journalism, and is also a founding member of the third world feminist network, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), and was its general coordinator from 1997-2004. She is a graduate of the University of the South Pacific (B.A), the Australian National University (M.A.), and Massey University (PhD).