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Allan Myers AC QC on Victorian optimism

Speaker(s): Allan James Myers AC QC

  • Date recorded: 22 Aug 2016

  • Duration: 41:12

'An energetic devotion to the advancement of institutions which promote education, scientific knowledge and access to the arts is as important today as it was 150 years ago.'

– Allan Myers AC QC

About this video

Sir Redmond Barry (1813–80) was a champion of colonial liberalism. With other civic leaders in the burgeoning city of Melbourne, he worked to create a democratic and enlightened society, one where everyone had free access to learning and opportunities for self-improvement.

Some of our most august institutions owe their existence to Barry and his vision, including State Library Victoria, the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

In the 2016 Redmond Barry Lecture, barrister, academic and philanthropist Allan Myers asks: what did Barry's optimistic vision give us, and how much of it remains today?

About the Redmond Barry Lecture

This annual lecture honours the work of Sir Redmond Barry, founder of the State Library and a key figure in the development of Australia's cultural and intellectual life.


Allan James Myers AC QC is one of Her Majesty's Counsel in Australia and is a barrister in England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. He was named an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2007.

In 2016 Allan Myers was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia for his eminent service to the community through philanthropic leadership in support of major visual arts, higher education, medical research and not-for-profit organisations, to the law and to professional learning programs.