On May 17 The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa will host legendary Australian media personality George Negus who - among other things - will share his thoughts on Australia's place in a monumentally changing world.
The first in the Byron at Byron Presents dinner series for 2012, the event follows last years' sell-out dinners with Bettina Arndt, Joanna Savill and David Clark.
George's most recent book The World From Down Under is a compilation of interviews with international "movers and shakers" for SBS Dateline that reveal George's passion to put significant world events into perspective for Australians.
"The world is in turmoil and sometimes we Australians tend to overestimate our own problems," says George. "I wouldn't go so far as to call us the lucky country, but we are definitely a fortunate country. Less than 25-million people out of 7-billion world-wide, we need to think about that and get it into a realistic perspective. We need to see Australia in relation to the world - not the world in relation to Australia.
"There are people in other parts of the world facing hardship and difficulty we can't imagine, yet our own politics has become so spiteful, small minded and uninspired. There's a leadership crisis in this country that goes right across the ideological spectrum. A lack of maturity and sophistication in our politics means we find ourselves complaining at a time when we should be thankful.
"I've seen third world countries handle the up-and-down nature of their affairs in a more dignified way. I'm disappointed that we can't get our heads out of our own sandy beaches".
Be it Syria, coal-seam gas in the Byron hinterland, caring for The Kimberleys versus the Amazon River or Byron's coast, the Greek economic collapse versus Australian real estate development and debt, George will discuss "What is our place, as Australians, in the global scheme of things? Why should we care for more than their own backyards?"
Negus began his career as a Queensland teacher, before moving into journalism and working behind the scenes in Canberra. He burst onto our TV screens during the heady days of 60 Minutes (1979-86), then spent several years as founding presenter on ABCs Foreign Correspondent (1992-99). His many other forays into our lounge rooms include Nine's Today Show, ABC's This Day Tonight and programs tagged with his own name such as ABCs George Negus Tonight and Ten's 6:30 with George Negus.
His exceptional list of interviewees spans politics (Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Al Gore, Gaddafi, Mikhail Gorbachev, an entire last generation of Australian Prime Ministers), music (Bob Marley, Annie Lennox, Bob Dylan), religion (His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Richard Dawkins), Hollywood legends (Robert Redford, Steven Spielberg) and thinkers including Richard Branson, Geoffrey Robertson QC, Dr David Suzuki, Sir Bob Geldof and Fatima Bhutto.
George's most recent book The World From Down Under follows his two earlier bestsellers The World from Islam and The World From Italy.
Byron at Byron Presents George Negus "Australia's Place in the World"
7:00pm Thursday May 17, The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa
$70 for two courses from Head Chef Gavin Hughes, a glass of wine and George. Stay the night from $285 for two people.
Bookings essential. 02 6639 2105 or [email protected]